Review: Night of Cake and Puppets by Laini Taylor

Posted by Jessi (Geo) on December 16, 2013 | 9 Comments

Review: Night of Cake and Puppets by Laini TaylorNight of Cake and Puppets by Laini Taylor
Series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone #2.5
Published by Little Brown (11.26.2013)
Genres: Romance, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Format: eBook, 89 pages
Source: I own it
Buy on Amazon

5 Stars

In Night of Cake & Puppets, Taylor brings to life a night only hinted at in the Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy—the magical first date of fan-favorites Zuzana and Mik. Told in alternating perspectives, it’s the perfect love story for fans of the series and new readers alike. Petite though she may be, Zuzana is not known for timidity. Her best friend, Karou, calls her “rabid fairy,” her “voodoo eyes” are said to freeze blood, and even her older brother fears her wrath. But when it comes to the simple matter of talking to Mik, or “Violin Boy,” her courage deserts her. Now, enough is enough. Zuzana is determined to meet him, and she has a fistful of magic and a plan. It’s a wonderfully elaborate treasure hunt of a plan that will take Mik all over Prague on a cold winter’s night before finally leading him to the treasure: herself! Violin Boy’s not going to know what hit him.

My thoughts

I think it would be impossible not to love anything that Laini Taylor wrote. She’s so talented at stringing sentences together beautifully, even magically, that she can make even the most mundane things seem interesting!

I have scuppies in my pocket and lust in my heart. Tonight’s the night.

love Zuzana. She’s hilarious! She’s tiny but fiesty as hell, and she’s got heart as big as her attitude when it comes to the people she cares about. Also, she’s just a little deranged. She didn’t get the nickname “rabid fairy” for no reason! I loved her crazy inner dialogue – she would go off on these hilarious tangents, and her sarcasm had me cracking up. I couldn’t tell you how many times I giggled out loud!

Who is this sack of slush masquerading as me? It’s intolerable. If Karou can sally forth to track down the most awful people in the word and steal wishes from them, then I can meet a damned boy.
I am a rabid fairy. I am a carnivorous plant. I am Zuzana. And violin boy’s not going to know what hit him.

I love vengeance like normal people love sunsets and walks on the beach. I eat vengeance with a spoon like it’s honey.

I got a kick out of some of her terminology, like “lipless dinkmonkeys” and “drooling slugboys.”

This is one of the few stories with alternating POVs where you can clearly tell who was narrating. The difference between Zuzana and Mik’s voices were clear and there was definitely no confusion! I loved that they were both thinking the same things and didn’t even realize it. While she was justifying that she wasn’t creepy stalking, he was doing the same. They were both interested in each other but didn’t realize it.

The romance was so sweet! While it may have been borderline instalove, it worked. They were perfect for each other, and it was easy to believe that it was a cosmic meeting of love at first sight (okay, maybe not that drastic). It worked! And it gave me the warm fuzzies that I rarely find in a romance. Also, it really captured what it feels like to have a crush on someone new and to not know how to approach it, or if they feel the same way.

Is this too drastic? I should have just had faith in the normal way: ferocious blushing, time passing, hoping and pining, always alert for some sign of interest until an exchange of small talk can occur. And maybe over more time small talk turns into shuffling toward shared coffee…or maybe the blushing just goes on and on and nothing ever happens, drastic or otherwise, and then it’s like in a TV show where they string the sexual tension between two characters out for too long and you stop caring and it all just turns to dust?

This tangent really embodied the frustration of chasing someone new! I also loved Mik’s tangents. They weren’t as crazy as hers were, but they were still amusing!

That’s what one does when one wants something. One seizes it. Well, maybe not all things. Cats, for example, do not respond well to seizure. Probably girls don’t, either.

Also, the lovey dovey scenes were swoony. Taylor is great at writing a romantic scene without making it gag-worthy (because that’s how most are for me).

It’s like losing gravity and falling into space – the moment of pitching headlong when the endlessness of space asserts itself and there is no more down, only an eternity of up, and you realize you can fall forever and never run out of stars.

Somehow it’s beautiful and not cheesy, which is difficult to achieve! This was a cute feel-good story, and was a great addition to the series that I adore so much! I can’t wait for Dreams of Gods and Monsters!!

Favorite Quotes

Music. Close your eyes and it’s a rosebush blooming in time lapse so that its shoots and blossoms flow outward in a swift choreography of growth and collapse, twine and coil, release and fade. Close your eyes and music paints light vines and calligraphy on the darkness within you.

You know how some people think cool equals bored, and they act like they’re alien scientists who drew the short straw and ended up assigned to observe this lowly species, humans, and they just lean against walls all the time, sighing and waiting to be called home to Zigborp-12, where all the fascinating geniuses are?

There are boys you look at and want to touch with your mouth, and there are boys you look at and want to wear one of those surgical masks everyone in China had during bird flu. There are a lot more bird-flu boys at large.

“I will do just as you wish,” said no cat ever.

Overall Assessment

Plot: 4/5
Premise: 5/5
Writing style: 5+/5
Originality: 5/5
Characters: 5/5
Pace: 5/5
Feels: 4/5
Cover: 5/5

Overall rating: 5/5

Previous Books

daughter of smoke days of blood
Jessi (Geo)

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9 responses to “Review: Night of Cake and Puppets by Laini Taylor

  1. I only read The Daughter of Smoke and Bone and I couldn’t really get into it, so I never continued the series. I’m glad that you loved this book just as much as her other books; being able to distinctly write two different characters without it coming off as cliche or forced is definitely a considerable feat!

    Fantastic review, Jessi! <3

  2. Omg isn’t this the best novella you’ve ever read, ever?! I can’t believe how good it was and I’m still in a bit of book hangover from it. I can’t wait to reread it next month for Reread January eeee!

    I’ve been trying since I read this to think of a couple in fiction I like better than Mik and Zuzana and I totally can’t. There are all sorts of dreamy book boyfriends, but Zuzana takes this relationship to a level untouchable by any other I’ve read. I LOVE THEM.

    I think from the novella itself, the romance can come off a bit as instalove. But in Daughter of Smoke & Bone I got the feeling Zuz had been pining away over Mik for a while before she even let on to Karou about it, and then fought with herself over doing something about it for a while longer. I could have misinterpreted, but that’s the feeling I got. Either way they are lovely and perfect together!

  3. Oh my god, just reading those few lines you wrote has me wishing I have an eReader to read this one! Zuzana sounds like her normally amazing self. <3
    Especially with this line: "I am Zuzana. And violin boy’s not going to know what hit him."

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