****FINAL RATING: 4.00 STARS****CATCHALLI launched into Days of Blood and Starlight right after I finished Daughter of Smoke and Bone, eager to lose myself to Karou's world again. While I didn't love it quite as much as I did it's predecessor, I can still honestly say that it was amazing. With all the drama and betrayal that tool place within book one, you'd think there wouldn't be room for more. But as it turns out, there's always going to be a struggle. This book was gorgeous, and a true marvel to read. THE HEROINEKAROUKarou is a lot stronger in this book than in the last. She's struggling to connect to her past self and her memories there. She'll also do anything to protect what's left of her people, no matter what she must do. Karou doesn't know necessarily what the right thing is for her to do, either, but she's trying. She makes mistakes but it's clear that she has a good heart and she makes a point not to put herself first. She's compassionate and caring, though she doesn't always come off that way. THE HEROAKIVAI do love Akiva, even if he does have slightly creepy tendencies. He wants to fix the wrongs he created, and he knows he can't do it alone but he isn't sure at first if there's anyone he can trust. Even among angels Akiva is something special as well. I love his courage, and his inner battles with himself. He knows what he has to do, although sometimes it's a struggle for h to do it. He can't escape the choices he made in the past, but he can make new ones. THE PLOTSo many new characters were introduced in this book, one of whom I adored. And of course, many of the old and lovable characters were back as well, to cause pain and yet also happiness. There's a wide range of everyone, from allies to villains, and not everyone is always who they appear to be. I actually had a really difficult time getting into this one. The first hundred pages if not more I found incredibly, painfully boring, and they dragged on until I thought it would never end. Once I got past that and everything picked up, I was fully immersed again. But the first part of the book was not easy for me at all. There were also some scenes which I found totally pointless but figured later in would have some importance. As far as I'm concerned, though, they really just ended up being pointless scenes an I'm still confused as I why the hell they were included at all. Now that I am done complaining, I'll tell you how much I loved this. There's action. Karou is preparing for a war with the seraphim, who are also preparing. Joram, the emperor, is drunk on his own victories and determined to conquer all. But Karou won't be so easily defeated, no matter how many setbacks she comes across. There's more action in this book than the last one, which I really appreciated. I also loved getting to see more of the culture of the different paranormals, something we didn't get to see so much in the first book. It made them much more reachable. So, though this didn't quite meet my expectations, it was still a wonderful second book and something that I thoroughly enjoyed. THE ROMANCEThere isn't a whole lot of romance in this book, although we can see Karou struggling with her feelings for Akiva. She wants to hate him, but she can't force herself to. And everything that Akiva does, he is doing it now for Karou. The chemistry that connects them is still there, and they both care for each other. Though they're at odds right now, I think there can be a redemption. THE WRITINGLaini really is a talented writer. Her prose is poetic. Gorgeous. The voices of her characters are unique even in third person, and her descriptions are peerless. I love the way the interactions between the characters are portrayed, too. She always chooses fantastic words as well, and her writing just makes otherwise boring passages into something spectacular. THE ENDINGThe ending was just as you'd expect it to be. A murderous, murderous cliffhanger that left me dying. You can't just end a book like that! Except it was ended like that. There was a twist at the end that I didn't see coming, and it started to go in a direction I didn't expect. However, there was one death that left me bawling my eyes out. And then there was hope. And then it was crushed, and I was left dying on the floor. WRAPUPDays of Blood and Starlight was definitely a second book, but it was incredible nonetheless. The story truly moves forward and Karou and Akiva really develop. I adored this, and will certainly be picking up the last installment eagerly. Now that I've read this series I can honestly say that I highly recommend it. It's something special, and should certainly be read. FINE. Read more of my reviews on Sparkles and Lightning!