Meet Karou. For seventeen years she has successfully managed to keep her two lives in balance. On the one hand, she is an art student in Prague; on the other, errand-girl to an inhuman creature who deals in wishes and is the closest thing she has to family. Her friends just think she’s kooky, but they don’t know the half of it... The beads of her necklace are no mere beads; her blue hair grows out of her head that colour; the monsters from her sketchbook are all real; and yes, those ARE bullet scars on her belly. The mysteries that surround Karou’s existence and have long tormented her are about to be laid bare... And the truth is more terrifying than she could have possibly imagined.
The 'fantasy' genre is not one I've read much of in the past, although I have long been a fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the Vampire Diaries on tv so I am very much in tune with the imaginative side of my heart.
From the very first page I was engrossed in Karou's two lives. Her normal life in Prague with her student friends, and her secret life in Elsewhere with Brimstone the Wishmaker. Laini Taylor paints a vivid picture of both worlds,with from gothic Prague to exotic Marrakesh. Karou's life in Elsewhere is full of amazing characters where scuppies are used for wishes and teeth are collected for Brimstone to work with. Karou is a great heroine and there are some really poignant moments that made my heart melt.
This shouldn't be dismissed as yet more young adult fiction though, as the book is so eloquent and has such a multi stranded storyline it should be enjoyed by anyone wanting an intelligent read.
It's full of forbidden love, demons, angels, friendship, and a little bit of kookiness. I loved this book and found it hard to put down. As the first in a trilogy the book does draw to a conclusion, but has left me desperate to read the next novel to find out what challenges Karou will face next.
I was sent this preview copy to review for the Best Book Club.