Review: Night of Cake & Puppets by Laini Taylor

Saturday, April 5, 2014 11:00 AM
Title: Night of Cake & Puppets
Author: Laini Taylor
Published: November 26, 2013
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Series: Daughter of Smoke & Bone #2.5
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Pages: 79
Source: Purchased
Rating: 5 stars
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
“It’s not stalking if you don't follow them home, right?”
― Laini Taylor, Night of Cake & Puppets

Synopsis
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. (Goodreads)
My Thoughts
Usually, when it comes to novellas, I'd rather just skip them and stick with the actual series. I've never been one for concerning myself with the side characters and their POVs because they are secondary characters and I believe they should remain that way. I'm much more interested in the main storyline. I'm also not a huge fan of alternating perspectives, even though there are some cases where it does work. Yet I was willing to ignore all that for Night of Cake & Puppets. Why? Because it was written by Laini Taylor, the author of Daughter of Smoke & Bone and Days of Blood & Starlight, and her writing has yet to disappoint me. And, oh boy, did I make the right decision.

Night of Cake & Puppets invites the reader to join Zuzana and Mik on the night of their first date, and it is oh so adorable! For once, Taylor focused entirely on reality, with a little magic thrown in, and normal concerns like dating instead of the ongoing war between the angels and the chimera. Of course, we heard all about Mik and his swoon-worthy musical skills in the other books, but at last, we have the chance to read about the whimsical, magical night when they finally talked and first started dating! It was wonderful to experience the date from the POVs of both characters, as it allows the reader to witness the full range of emotions both Zuzana and Mik feel in such a short span of time. Fear, excitement, delight, affection, lust, humiliation...these two lovebirds are complete nervous wrecks until they find each other and realize how blind they had been up until that point.

Zuzana just might be my favorite character in the Daughter of Smoke & Bone series, which made Night of Cake & Puppets all the more enjoyable since we get to know her even more. I just cannot get enough of this quirky, hilarious, feisty little spitfire who protects her friends with a vengeance but quails in the presence of her crush. And Mik is just as sweet and wonderful as ever. He may not have planned this spectacular night, but he doesn't let that stop him from improvising. After only getting to know him through Zuzana's lovesick babbling and then his occasional appearances, we finally learn more about him and realize why Zuzana was so infatuated. I don't blame her! Now I completely understand after reading about their romantic first date.

In Night of Cake & Puppets, we're not only given a closer look at how sweet Zuzana and Mik are together, as we also see the strong bond that Karou and Zuzana share. Even though Karou is no longer in Prague, she still lends support through text messages as Zuzana makes it through this nerve-wracking but exciting night. As I've mentioned in earlier reviews, I love when there's an equal focus on both friendship and romance, and Taylor has definitely found a nice balance of both in her series.

Night of Cake & Puppets was a quick read, but I did not finish unsatisfied. While this novella was just a small piece of a larger plot line, it didn't feel incomplete. It could easily stand alone as a touching, heartfelt novella for any interested readers who have not read the rest of the series. It was an uplifting quick read that will have you feeling all warm and fuzzy. After reading this, I am now craving more from Taylor! I probably should have waited to read this until Dreams of Gods & Monsters had arrived at my house, so I could have started reading the final book right after. At least it won't be that long of a wait!




6 comments:

  1. Right?? This was so freaking CUTE! It's so hard for me to decide which character is my favourite because I love so many in this series, but I do think Zuze is right up there for me, as well. Love that Rabid Fairy! I also agree with you about novellas, but I knew I wouldn't feel the same when it came to a Laini novella. Only a few more days until Dreams!!

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    1. I cannot wait! I preordered it, and I am soooo excited! But also nervous about how the series will come to an end. Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. Your first paragraph = my thoughts exactly.
    Yay! I'm so glad to hear that this one is a novella done right. I'm actually not too big a fan of Zuzana from the first two books (don't hate me) because she seems just *too* out there and unrealistic. But hopefully my opinion will change somewhat after reading this novella?
    I own a copy of this novella as well, but I am holding off reading this until I already have my copy of Dreams of Gods & Monsters in my hands, which will be any day now! :)

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    1. I always like the oddballs :P My favorite HP character...I'll give you three guesses. Yeah, it's Luna. And I could never hate you :D But I'll judge you forever for that comment. Haha jk

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  3. I'm thinking of saving this for after Dreams of Gods and Monsters, in case it's as heartbreaking as DoBaS! Haha

    I'm not a big fan of novellas either, but for someone like Laini Taylor, I will gladly make an exception. It's nice to know I won't be disappointed!

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    1. Yes, I will make exceptions. I also plan to read Leigh Bardugo's novellas at some point. She's another favorite and I'm sure she won't disappoint :)

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