I am currently reading my way through a long list of science fiction and fantasy titles. (http://www.npr.org/2011/08/07/138938145/science-fiction-and-fantasy-finalists if you are interested in the list).
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 otherworldly 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 beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery 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?
An enjoyable young-adult offering in the urban fantasy genre. This is my first novel featuring angels (or seraphs, as this author calls them).
It is very much a Romeo-and-Juliet tale, as a striking male Seraph (Akiva) meets and falls for a mysterious young woman (Karou) who is associated with the Chimaera, the seemingly evil, rather animalian opposition to the Seraphs. It quickly becomes apparent to the young couple that they are on opposite sides of this eternal conflict and that their continued relationship will probably bring them buckets of trouble. But, just like the Montague-Capulet characters, these two cannot deny their feelings.
The author actually does a remarkably good job of delaying the grand romance, all the while treating us to a wonderful depiction of the city of Prague. It was quite wonderful to see urban fantasy set outside of the United States. She also manages to make war look like the senseless waste that it truly is, all the while making us smile with gentle humour.
Despite the very steep cliffhanger at the end, this is obviously a tale where True Love will conquer all. I prefer a little more mystery than that, a little more uncertainty before reaching that conclusion. Still, I can see myself reading further in the series at some point in the future.