Review

Review | Night of Cake and Puppets by Laini Taylor

Too adorable. TOO. FREAKING. ADORABLE. 91koCtNYOEL._SL1500_

Summary

Ever wonder what really happened the night Zuzana and Mik got together? Karou mentions it briefly in Days of Blood and Starlight, but it isn’t exactly descriptive.

After crushing on the violinist for months, Zuzana has a plan. She’s going to talk to him tonight.

But only after she sends him running all over Prague.

Plot

This is a little fairytale. Definitely a fantasy, but an adorable fantasy. (You know, the same way August Rush is a fantasy.) This would obviously never work in the real world, magic excluded.

But for what it’s trying to accomplish (that is, a cute little sketch about Mik and Zuzana) it does it well. I like the idea of the scavenger hunt. I like Mik’s response.

I also like that flashback to when Zuzana and Karou were just starting to become friends.

Characters

Zuzana and Mik. I love these two. Enough said.

Okay, maybe I should be a little more specific.

What I like about Zuzana is her crazy eccentricity, which ironically gets shut down whenever Mik is around. It’s relatable to anyone who’s felt that way (because hell if I know), and it’s a exaggerated on purpose.

Mik gets much more depth here, which I appreciate since he’s got very little character development in the main series besides being freaking adorable. Yes, he’s still rather adorable here too, but his utter dorkiness comes out here. And I’m surprised to how receptive he is to magic. He’s a dreamer, he wants magic to be real. And I didn’t really get that vibe from him until this novel.

Oh, and Kaz makes an appearance. Go away, Kaz.

Writing

This is probably the biggest problem with the book. Zuzana’s voice is a little annoying.

Granted, this is the girl who, upon seeing Akiva for the first time, muttered out, “Oh hell. Must. Mate. Immediately.” Followed later by, “Mate! Seed!” Which makes me laugh because it breaks tension.

But as much as I love Zuzana as a character, I have trouble reading her narration. She’s just a little too…boy-crazy. Or kiss-crazy. Or just crazy. To some point, it was entertaining and refreshing, but a few times it would slip into, Whoa, TMI girl. TMI.

I like Mik’s voice though. And what Taylor does well for both of them is articulating their overwhelming emotions. Usually, she does this by saying things blatantly:

I do that awkward thing you do when you get good news in the company of strangers and you look around at them, grinning like an idiot, and they look back, not grinning like idiots, and you almost have to tell them, to tell someone.

But I think that’s just Mik’s voice. And that’s completely fine. (Not to mention also really entertaining to read and easy to relate to.)

Themes

I think this quote sums it up:

Life doesn’t need magic to be magical.

(But a little bit sure doesn’t hurt.)

Final Verdict

 After reading the second novel in the trilogy, I wasn’t sure if I could dive head-in to the finale. As much as I love the series, the amount of drama, action, and overall content is physically draining. This is a welcome break from the heaviness of Days of Blood and Starlight. After reading this it was like my reading faculties reset in order to read Dreams of Gods and Monsters. 

Recommendation: Read. Looking for a short teenage modern fairytale? Look no further. Whimsical, adorable, and fun, this novella should definitely be read by fans of the trilogy.

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