All Work and No Play

So, I’m gonna be working on 2 back to back ad shoots in Bombay, which means late nights and early mornings. So there’s not going to be much activity on my side till both the shoots are over.

The first shoot gets done on the 2nd and the second on the 8th…

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All Work and No Play

So, I’m gonna be working on 2 back to back ad shoots in Bombay, which means late nights and early mornings. So there’s not going to be much activity on my side till both the shoots are over.

The first shoot gets done on the 2nd and the second on the 8th and 9th.. Maybe once that’s over I’ll have a bit of a breather. The one thing I am dying to do is read and unfortunately with such chaotic timings, reading has to take a backseat. But there are times when I start getting this almost desperate need to pick up a book and start reading it.. UGH!!! The good thing is that, once I have time, I will have tons of books to pick from. So for now, nose if going back to the grindstone!

Days of Blood & Starlight (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #2) by Laini Taylor Review

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I loved Daughter of Smoke and Bone and it was very different from most other books in the YA genre mostly because of the narrative style and I’m very glad that Days of Blood and Starlight retains that. Taylor uses descriptive narrative that as a reader you just can’t rush through, even as you’re dying to find what happens next, it is simply not possible. Her writing is so rich and has almost a lyrical quality that I find absolutely beautiful. I would say that the book is for patient readers, if you’re looking for a quick fix, then this book is probably not for you. Days of Blood and Starlight is so different from Daughter of Smoke and Bone, the previous book had a healthy amount of humorous moments and it focused more on the love story between Akiva and Karou, this book is much darker and there is an air of impending doom, the stakes are decidedly higher this time around.

She introduced us to Karou’s world in the last book and this one offers a more detailed view, the narrative shifts to different POV: Karou, Akiva, Zuzana and other newer characters. And Laini Taylor manages to make us invest emotionally with those characters. Karou and Akiva did not part on the best of terms at the end of the previous book (and that is putting it mildly) and this book is primarily about both of them dealing with the consequences of when they fell in love with each other so long ago. One is trying to believe that their shared dream could possibly be turned into reality. Maybe not soon, but bit by bit, to convert their war-ridden life with real peace. While the other is trying to atone for their supposed sins and for a large part of the book turns a blind-eye to the war raging. And while that is difficult to understand, Taylor does just that, she makes the reader understand and maybe empathize (not condone) with this person’s actions. She also gives a glimpse into Liraz and Hazael, Akiva’s siblings and their reaction to learning the whole truth about Akiva and Karou/ Madrigal. Zuzana is a godsend to Karou; she could not have hoped to find a more devoted friend had she tried. Zuzana takes pretty much everything that Karou’s new life throws at her in her stride, always willing to understand and listen. We also meet Ziri, a chimera who belonged to the same tribe as Madrigal (the last remaining Kirin). It was interesting to see this relationship play out. He clearly thought of the world of her when he was younger and struggles with dealing with her actions that finally lead to her execution.

As a reader, I can’t help but hope that Akiva and Karou do find a way to be together. In Days of Blood and Starlight, they are both reeling from the events that took place in the previous book, that they don’t really know how to move forward with each other. They clearly still love one another but what hope of a relationship could there be when of the two, one is certain that their love was a mistake. I so hope that they get their dream and experience it together. Ok, I will admit, I was frustrated with Karou more than a few times, but it would have been very strange for her to just put everything behind her and jump into Akiva’s arms. But that aside, I will be very unhappy if they don’t get their ‘happily ever after’.

My only complaint was that it took some time for me to get settled with the book. Considering that the last book came out roughly a year ago, it was somewhat difficult to really get into this world but with a little patience, I’m more than a little satisfied that I did. It is an extremely engrossing read and Laini Taylor has created such a rich and layered world that it stays with you even after finishing the book.
But if you’re thinking of starting this book, going through Daughter of Smoke and Bone again would be a good idea. Definitely a book to be savored.

P.S. – I really want Karou and Akiva to get their happy ending!!

Embers in a Dark Frost by Kelly Keaton Review

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I’ve read the Beautiful Dark series by Kelly Keaton and I really liked it, so I was thrilled when I found that she released another book. I read this one with fairly high expectations and while I did not like it as much as the other series, it was definitely an engrossing read.

It has all the right things going for it, a strong, compassionate yet vulnerable heroine, a noble hero and a villain shrouded in mystery. It did drag a little in the middle but not for long, thankfully.

Diera is a reluctant heroine, she grew up feared, shunned and always being the object of disgust for being a ‘halfling’ which meant half fae and half human. She was always relegated to the background, never had friends and has never set foot outside her grandfather’s castle and all of these things were stifling her. When the role of savior is thrust upon her, it is not surprising that she is not very enthused at the idea, after all, would you want to save people who have always hated you? I liked that her change in attitude was gradual and not something that occurred over-night.

Then there was Balen, king of the Sydhrs, a people who have can control fire. They are a strong and proud race and their king is no different. What was different about him was the fact that he was devoted to his people and his humility. But what really set him apart from others to Diera was that he did not treat with scorn or mistreat her, he treated her like a person. He wasn’t perfect. He led her on a quest to save their world and told her she was instrumental in that but never trusted her enough to reveal all of his plans and that was disappointing.

I had a slight problem with Nox, our resident bad guy. Keaton didn’t give us lot of of information which made him seem a little unconvincing. Sure he was uber-powerful but beyond that? She tried to give him more dimension towards the end but then it seemed that she was trying very hard to make him seem real, it was too little too late.

Keaton has created a beautiful world so rich in detail and I love that she took the classic fae myth and then gave it a completely different twist that made it seem familiar and new at the same time.

When I finished the book, I thought it ended very abruptly without really resolving the problems and then I read the author’s note and was glad that there’s another book, set to come out in 2013! Now if only she would give us the third in the Beautiful Dark Series! Feel like I’ve been waiting forever..