Holy Smokes. So, for the second time in the past few weeks it would seem that I’ve found a book that has basically all the things I love in it (also things that I didn’t even know that I needed and loved which was great). It was this, this was it. I don’t even know where this slew of morally off YA books are coming from but let’s keep it coming please, morally grey protagonists forever. The plot is rich and complicated and even though I frequently do my own summary I would actually rather not here just because it’s so complex and so great that I wouldn’t want to accidentally spoil anything for anyone. Karou, the blue haired art student is probably one of my new favourite YA protagonists. Oh, but she’s perfect. She’s morally grey and dry and elusive and she’s not earnestly trying at every moment to get the reader to like her (also this is a third person book so, points there), and I just adore everything about her because of that fact. She lives in Prague and goes to art school with her best friend Zuzana and spends her time eluding her rather wacky ex-boyfriend Kaz. Well, obviously that’s not all. Her sketchbook is full of half human-half beast creatures with stories; Issa the snake woman, “Giraffe-necked” Twiga, Yasri who was part bird, and then Brimstone - the best of the bunch with his rams horns and imposing figure. Everyone believes these to just be part of Karou’s fanciful imagination, but in reality they’re very real. Just, literally every part of this book delighted me. From the chimera (oh, which does mean that there are people with horns, you all do know that that’s my favourite thing and just chimera in general, oh man), to the later introduced seraphim (hey! This is quite literally one of the first YA books with angels in it that I actually adored that wasn’t dreadful with terrible angel lore!)The Seraphim are actually scary and actual warriors and very well done and I just really appreciate that. Just, everything about the world building and the mythology just did my heart good. It was just so expansive and dark and beautiful and terrible. The romance was stunning. Star crossed lovers is just one step down from evil!boyfriends for me so GREAT. The best things. I was worried about that aspect at first but it was handled so beautifully and the relationship was so complex that I just couldn’t help but adore it. I’m just really happy that this book exists. Like, it’s really hard to describe how this book hit me, but it really got under my skin in the best of ways and I just adore every bit of it.