By Laini TaylorLittle, Brown, 2011. 418 pgs. Teen fiction
Summary:Karou is not exactly your average teenager. She goes to an art school in Prague, but her artwork, sketches of monsters that everyone assumes are just from her imagination, is actually a reflection of the only family she has ever known. Brimstone, a chimaera wishmonger who collects teeth, has raised her from the time she was a child, and while she sometimes resents that he won't explain who Karou is or what exactly he does with those teeth. Akivia is an angel soldier whose job pits him against the chimaera, but when his latest mission brings him into contact with Karou, who while seemingly human also has traits of the chimaera, he sets out to find out who she is. Their attraction is almost instantaneous, but their worlds have pitted them against each other.
Review:This one started out a little slow for me, probably because I'm impatient with world-building and would have liked at least a few answers about what a chimaerae even is a little earlier in the book, but once Karou and Akivia run into each other, things picked up really quickly and the book was completely gripping from that point on. I couldn't wait to see how things would play out, and when the book ended, I definitely wasn't ready for it to be over and now am eagerly awaiting the sequel. One thing that did strike me partway through the novel was that I wasn't sure why the author decided to make this a teen novel. She could just as easily have made Karou a twenty-something college art student...and that might have made it slightly less awkward when she and Akivia are attracted to each other, since he's at least half a century old. (Okay, I know, it's been done in Twilight...and I suppose some people are okay with that, but to me, it's kinda odd.)
4 stars. With a fair amount of sex and sexual tension, some language and violence, and the thematic material (of a war between the seraphs and the chimaera), this isn't one for younger readers.
I listened to the audiobook and though the narrator was very engaging.