Rating: 1 Star
WARNING: Mild spoilers are below. Also, a rant by a very tired and unhappy blogger. And, quite honestly, you probably won’t understand what I’m even talking about if you haven’t read the book. Instead (if you haven’t read and/or finished the book) scroll down where it says END RANT, END RANT and read from there.
Synopsis via Goodreads:
By way of a staggering deception, Karou has taken control of the chimaera rebellion and is intent on steering its course away from dead-end vengeance. The future rests on her, if there can even be a future for the chimaera in war-ravaged Eretz.
Common enemy, common cause.
When Jael’s brutal seraph army trespasses into the human world, the unthinkable becomes essential, and Karou and Akiva must ally their enemy armies against the threat. It is a twisted version of their long-ago dream, and they begin to hope that it might forge a way forward for their people.
And, perhaps, for themselves. Toward a new way of living, and maybe even love.
But there are bigger threats than Jael in the offing. A vicious queen is hunting Akiva, and, in the skies of Eretz … something is happening. Massive stains are spreading like bruises from horizon to horizon; the great winged stormhunters are gathering as if summoned, ceaselessly circling, and a deep sense of wrong pervades the world.
What power can bruise the sky?
From the streets of Rome to the caves of the Kirin and beyond, humans, chimaera and seraphim will fight, strive, love, and die in an epic theater that transcends good and evil, right and wrong, friend and enemy.
At the very barriers of space and time, what do gods and monsters dream of? And does anything else matter?
I’m so pissed off right now, you have no idea.
To start off, I’d like you to know that I have not finished the novel in this point in time. In fact, I’m not sure I even will. Want to know why? It’s because I was expecting so much better.
I’m not even 2/3 into the novel, and I have been trying to get through it for about a week. Which is not okay for me. I keep looking up at my bookshelf, where I have about ten other novels that I’ve been looking forward to, but I keep coercing myself to finish this one before I start another one. But I don’t know why I even try anymore.
Reason one I’m so pissed: I hate, hate Eliza.
She is probably one of the most annoying characters I have ever read about. I literally just want all of her pages to be ripped out of the book, because it would be so much better without her.
Typically, I like it when an author introduces a reader to a character and they maybe give us a few clues as to how they look, what their quirks are, blah, blah, blah. If the author doesn’t, that’s fine too. I’m not usually picky about it. So when we’re first introduced to Eliza, here’s what I know: she’s female, she’s a pretty smart scientist, she has an interesting secret that gives her night terrors, etc, etc, etc . . . And that’s all good and dandy. And as we go along to find out more about her character, we discover that she’s black, detests her co-worker and his fat lips (aka Morgan), and seems to be a pretty strong-willed woman that I love to read about.
She was completely fine up until I start reading things like:
“Eliza was used to being underestimated, because she was black, because she was a woman, but no one had ever been quite as vile about it as Morgan.”
“Whoever heard of a black angel, anyway? And a woman to boot. This must be so difficult for you, doctor.”
“The Elioud dismissed the Book of Enoch as absurd, which was kind of the pot calling the kettle black, Eliza had always thought, but wasn’t that what religion did? Squint at one another and declare, ‘My unprovable belief is better than your unprovable belief. Suck it.'”
Now, before I start getting called racist or whatever, let me just say that what bothers me about the first two quotes is not the fact that she is a black woman or because she believes she is underestimated because she is a black woman, but what bothers me is that it feels like we are constantly reminded of it. And if, say, it matters in some grand way what nationality she is, then by all means remind the reader of that. But her being black doesn’t even matter!! The only one who cares that she’s black and a woman is Eliza. The rest of us couldn’t care less. I don’t care if she’s black, white, Hispanic, Asian, or a mix of everything!!
And, okay, let’s say that Eliza really is being underestimated because of those things. Can I at least read about some of those scenarios? Morgan is, yes, an idiot, a stuck-up jerk, and quite a few other nasty things I won’t put to print, but if there hadn’t been Eliza saying that she was black, I would have never thought the reason he was being so rude to her was because of her skin color. The guy is just a jerk, simple as that.
And it’s not just Eliza he’s a jerk to. He’s the same way to all of his co-workers, including Gabriel, who’s a man and is white. So . . . . why is Eliza so hung up on the fact that she’s a black woman and because of that, it must mean that everyone (even the doctor she admires so much and has never been anything other than kind to her) is just out to hate on her because she’s those things? It seems like she cares more about it than anyone else does.
And even if these two quotes existed, I still wouldn’t be this mad. I’m honestly just mad at her whole character. She’s so annoying and I’m oh-so tempted to just read past her parts. (Which I might actually do if I go back to finish the book.)
As to the last quote I showed, I have an issue with this because 1.) I’m religious and 2.) while I’m perfectly fine with other people telling me their opinions about religions and anything that has to do with God, you’re telling me that the woman who comes from a cult, is a descent of an angel (who was also black, in case you were wondering. Because apparently that matters to anyone), and who has basically just confirmed that she believes in Something Else a few pages back, is now saying that every religion is just one, big hypocritical idiocy?
Okay, I get it. She’s come from a pretty messed up cult (to put it lightly) and most likely has an adverse to religion because of that. But that so does not give her the right to judge everyone else who believes in Something Else, whatever that might be, because you have preconceived notions about what everyone’s religion is about and how they perceive other religions.
First of all, I’ve never gotten into an argument with someone else about my religion. I have gotten into many discussions about it, but those (for the most part) are usually just me saying why I believe what I believe and them asking questions. I answer what I can, and they tell my why they do or do not believe in God. I have surely never told them to suck it because my religion is better than theirs! And this quote surely isn’t the only one in the book that’s like that. In fact, I believe there is about a page and a half dedicated to Eliza thinking about how absurd religion is and how anyone who has religion must be a hypocrite.
Usually, this wouldn’t bother me. Honestly, I’ve heard it all. But for some reason, this just really got me upset.
END RANT, END RANT . . .
After saying all that, I also have to put it out there that Laini Taylor can write, man. She is a fantastic writer, and if this book had only been about Karou and Akiva, I would have been very, very happy. In fact, if I was rating this book (on what I’ve read currently) only based on Akiva and Karou, I would have probably given it 3 or 4 stars.
But, my gosh, it took so long for them to get into the action. I was almost getting a headache by how slow it seemed to go. But I also don’t think it should have been as long as it was. I get that this is the last installment and whatever, but 613 pages??? That’s a little excessive.
Plus, there are all these new characters coming into the action and I’m still trying to remember what happened in the last two books. They’re long books that came out a while ago, and I’ve probably read a good amount (to put it lightly) of other books since reading that last book in this series. Give me a break here.
There’s also the case of Karou and Akiva’s romance. I just don’t buy it anymore. These two confuse me so much (or it might be that I just can’t care enough) that I can’t even put it into words how strangle and unmemorable it is. Which, remembering Daughter of Smoke and Bone is hard to come to terms with.
But it’s just really disappointing to me that it ended the way it did. I’ve lost all interest in the series, and I realize now I should have just stopped after Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Now that was a good read. But this book? It just didn’t do it for me, the measly 2/3 that I did read, at least.
I wouldn’t recommend buying this book unless you’re just out of all other options of entertainment and are watching horrible soap operas at home.