Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to imagine a world free of bloodshed and war.
I feel like I shouldn’t like this book as much as I do. And don’t get me wrong, plenty of flaws, but I’ll be back for the next book. This was most of the way to a 4 star for me, but I did round down after something in the book happened (more, later)
In the first book, Karou and Akiva find each other and fall in love. We discover that Akiva comes from a race in another dimension known as “seraphim” who resemble angels and are at war with another race known as “chimaera” who look like monsters (or devils). Karou is a reincarnated chimaera soul (in a human body) whose memories have been restored. She and Akiva (of course) fell in love in her previous body. They envision a world of peace for their people, but that’s not happening anytime soon. A big ol’ giant battle happens at the end, everything is sundered, Karou’s people and family are all but dead, thanks to Akiva, who, you know was just following orders
This second book is much, much darker than the first, and it has to be. In the first Karou was a happy art student living in Prague. In the second, she’s with the chimaera, trying to keep her people from annihilation by restoring bodies to the souls of those slain the great war. Plot stuff happens, but not a lot. It’s just dark, and hard, and miserable.
Akiva and Karou are struggling, on their own for pretty much the whole book, to stay alive, keep out of trouble, and still help the causes they feel they must. Their relationship is strained, since Akiva did kill Karou’s entire family, and I’m not sure what kind of shell-shocked PTSD justification can be given for Karou still loving Akiva after he deliberately kills her entire family and most of her people.
This felt like a middle novel, I’m a little afraid that the last in the trilogy will end rather typically (together, wars won, things happening like they’d like them to), but for a YA book, I really have enjoyed this series.
My rating is docked a point, because there is an assault on Karou that seriously needs a trigger warning and I had a very hard time getting through. I almost stopped at that point, and I don’t think it added anything to the story. Or maybe it did. I just didn’t like it.
And narrator for the audiobook? A-freakin-mazing.