My rating: 5 out of 5 stars
This was one of those books where I picked it up because everywhere I looked there it was, be it in reviews, blogs, in stores, it was simply everywhere. I began to wonder what all the fuss was about and so I broke down and bought it. I have to admit I was very intrigued after reading the synopsis and yet I didn’t read it right away. I waited a while and the hype continued so I finally read it.
I can’t say that I was instantly drawn into the story once I did start reading this book but I do remember being absorbed by everything pretty quickly. The first thing that drew me in was the beautiful writing. I honestly was expecting this book to be written in first person, so I was delighted to see that it was done in third person. I felt like I was truly there in Prague, walking down the same streets as Karou, seeing what she sees, smelling all the different scents, experiencing everything there.
Karou wasn’t a perfect character and there were times when she annoyed me, but it was those flaws that also made her who she was. Had she been perfect I would have disliked her character and likely the book as well. I liked Issa, she was a mother like figure to Karou but was also the guardian in a sense to the portals that led to Brimstone’s place.
Zuzana was a fun character, small but kind of bossy she was a good friend for Karou and I think she really helped the story along at some points. I only wish she had a bigger presence in the book but each scene that Zuzana was in she was a strong presence. As for Kazimir I wanted to punch right from the start, I’m glad his involvement in the story was fairly minimal but he was a vital character to the story and who Karou was.
I liked Brimstone, sure he was a bit stern and didn’t really do much but he was an interesting character. In fact I enjoyed the other Chimera as well. Akiva was a pretty good male lead. I wasn’t sure what he would provide for the story for quite a bit of the book but as things started to unravel and reveal themselves I was fairly happy with his character and his involvement in the story
I like how the background story, involving Karou’s past, wasn’t revealed until the last half of the book. Normally books have back story given throughout however given the story I think it worked really well in this case to withhold that information until the end. But it was clear that wasn’t everything to know about Karou and the Chimera and that is something I’m looking forward to learning more about in the future books.
The ending kind of made me mad in a way but also shocked me, I was actually surprised that Karou did what she did and I’ll be interested to see just how that affects the start of the next book.
Overall this was a great story. The world that they were in, not just when the characters where in Prague, but as Karou traveled around and especially when she visited the Chimera world it was great to see how everything tied together. Mix in the variety of characters, the history of Karou and Akiva, absolutely gorgeous writing as well as the overall plot arcs and you have one amazing story. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who hasn’t read it yet and I will be reading the restof the series as well.