Around the world, black hand prints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.
In a dark and dusty shop, a devil's supply of human teeth grows dangerously low.
And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.
Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she's prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages—not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she's about to find out.
When one of the strangers—beautiful, haunted Akiva—fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Books4Reviews.)
Karou is an art student, but she is different in that although she is human, her adoptive family are not.
Karou has been raised from a baby by a group of Chimera, beings who are crosses between animals and humans. They look like monsters, but they have nurtured and loved Karou all her life, and they are the only family she has ever known.
Karou’s adoptive father Brimstone is a wish master. He collects teeth – human and animal, and uses them for something – Karou does not know what, and in exchange for teeth, for gives wishes. Wishes come in different denominations, and have different wish granting powers. Karou is given wishes as gifts, but she doesn’t really understand how Brimstone makes those wishes.
Suddenly though, burn marks appear on all the doors between the human world and Brimstone’s world, and Karou’s only access to her family is destroyed. Now Karou must try to find a way back to her family, a mission that is fraught with danger and deceit.
Can Karou find her way back to her family? Why did the angels burn the doors to Brimstone’s world? And who is Karou really?
I liked this book in the beginning. I literally didn’t want to put it down, however by the time I got about 65% of the way through it, it lost its thrall for me.
I liked Karou, although I agreed with Brimstone about her making wasteful wishes. I liked how unique she was, how much she loved her art, and how she went to such lengths to do ask Brimstone asked her. I also liked her blue hair!
I wasn’t all that taken with Akiva, (Akiva was one of the angels who burned the doors) it was when he became the narrator at around 65% that the book started becoming dull and dragging. I just couldn’t follow exactly what was going on, especially with the flashbacks and talk of old battles and stuff. I totally lost what was happening, or even the significance of what was happening, and when Karou’s heritage was finally revealed, I can’t say I was all that shocked or interested. The whole revelation just fell a bit flat to me. I also didn’t really get the ending, I didn’t really understand what had happened to Brimstone and the Chimera, and I can’t say that I’m all that eager to read the next book, although I would like to know what happens in the end.
Overall; liked the beginning but the end really let it down for me.
8 out of 10.