Hm. I got 150 pages into this and stopped to take stock, and found too many correlations between this and Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke & Bone to keep reading without looking up some other reviews to see if I was the only one. And… I’m not. And the reviews indicated more points of similarity, and not just with Taylor’s work, but also with Cassandra Clare’s. So I took a deep breath and started reading again, but sceptically, which was probably enough to harm the book right there without the surfacing of other similarities.
Let’s look at them, shall we? The doorways. The Ala and her likeness to Brimstone. The two races locked in battle, without a clear cause or end. The warlord (Thiago/Altair). Animal aspects (though this time for both races). Love surviving reincarnation. A Romeo and Juliet set-up. The two main characters wanting peace. Even the tone of it, the desire to conjure magic in mundane human spaces, it all seemed so familiar.
I wanted to like this, I really did. I had it on a list of anticipated books, and I even bought a copy, despite having originally got a review copy. It’s like, jeez. You start a story in a library, you wax poetic about books, and then you betray me like this? I like to believe that the author didn’t intend for all these similarities to be here, but they were, particularly as I’m just about to read the final book of Laini Taylor’s trilogy, and the story so far is fresh in my mind. I feel played by this book.
It’s not badly written, and for that, two stars. It’s just… not the breath of fresh air it was hyped to be.