Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #1) by Laini Taylor: review

Goodreads rating: 4.43
Hardcover, US, 420 pages
Published September 27th 2011 by Little, Brown & Company
ISBN: 0316134023 (ISBN13: 9780316134026)
Characters: Karou, Akiva
Setting: Prague (Czech Republic)

Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil's supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she's prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages--not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she's about to find out.

When one of the strangers--beautiful, haunted Akiva--fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

I really REALLY liked this one, but as always I set myself up for something that overshadows anything I've ever read. This time, I was only barely slightly minutely disappointed. Laini Taylor is an absolute genius and I can't wait to meet her this month. Sometimes I wonder how they come up with these ideas and what's going on in their lives at the time. I feel an ache to interview this author in particular. Taylor creates such a rich world that it was almost too hard to keep up. Almost.

Karou was an interesting character. We don't really know he she is, and evidently even she has no clue as to who she is! That creates for quite a mystery. The beginning was a little long, though as an author I understand character development. It makes me wonder what roles Karou's friends are going to play in the next one, or if they'll be there at all.

There's so much I want to say, but I don't want to spoil anything. This is one of those books where things are better left unsaid if you haven't read it. If you have, you know what I'm talking about. I'll give you a clue: this book involves Seraph and Chimaera. They're at war with each other, but when their worlds intertwine, it's disastrous. And Karou is in the middle of it.

Akiva isn't one of those love interests you swoon over. It's made clear that he's beyond gorgeous and he spills a few things about himself and is obviously very loyal to Karou. But I don't feel myself falling for him. Maybe he'll become more real in the next one, but despite a few scenes and their undeniable connection, I wasn't all that attracted to him.

This one was so hard for me to review. There was a point where we get to see into the past for a good chunk of the book, and I honestly had to put it down. I was so caught up in the moment with Akiva and Karou, and then we're thrust into the past for over a hundred pages. It's not that the past wasn't interesting. In fact, it was the best part of the book. But i was so caught up in one story and then I got flung into another. It was all interconnected, but it killed the mood for me for a couple hours.

Definitely HIGHLY recommended! I haven't ever seen story-weaving like this (although I'm expecting some crazy interwoven plots in Cassandra Clare's books) and Laini is a magnificent writer. It's worth every penny, my lovelies!


  1. I want to get this one so bad!! I stare at it every time I'm at the book store, but I'm banning myself from buying :( Glad it's good! Can't wait to get it!

  2. Well unban yourself woman! 'Cause this one is pretty awesome!

  3. I was not sure i was going to like this book but I was was really good.

  4. I agree, I'd love to interview her (and she has pink hair. Awesomesauce)! I couldn't feel anything for Akiva either, but I absolutely loved the part he played in the history. That was by far the best part, I was so darn confused as to who/what Karou was for the first half that it was a relief to finally get the whole background. I loved the purpose of the title!

  5. I've seen this book around a lot. I want to read it so bad. Though the idea that it goes into the past for 100 pages is a turn off. I don't like things to interupt a story when I am already into it.

  6. I've heard such amazing things about this one; I fear I'm setting myself up for disappointment with all the hype, like you did. :/

  7. This book is amazing. The flashbacks was my favorite part too and i didn't have a crush on Akiva, he was too flat in my view. I love reading the unique settings and storyline of this book. Great Review!

  8. I really, really need to get to this book. I keep telling myself that I will and it just hasn't happened yet. Hopefully soon! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  9. I've been meaning to pick this up I just haven't had the time recently. Thanks for preparing me for the time thrust!

  10. I super loved this book, too! And you're right about Akiva:)

  11. Thanks for the great review! I'm reading this book right now and just got to the party where we are flung into the past, and you're right it was a little disconcerting. But so far, I'm really loving it! :))

  12. Great review! I am behind the buzz and haven't read this one yet, but I just got a copy this weekend and I can't wait to read it!!

  13. ive heard soo much about this book and ommgg I cant wait to get itt! so excited

  14. Funny enough, I had no idea what this book was about until just this second. And now I want to read it. Why? Because she has blue hair growing out of her head. That is awesome.

  15. Thanks for letting us know about the shift to the past without giving away any spoilers. This is on my TBR list and I have been careful about what I am reading about it.

  16. I would've bought this it it wasn't so expensive. *pouts* anyways, I also read great reviews from other bloggers! So I hope when I get to own a copy of this, it won't disappoint me!

  17. This has been on my to-read list forever now. Thank you for this review. That's a pretty darn good rating you gave it!


  18. I thought it was awesome. I have tried like heck to get more people to read it, and it's been a hard sell. not sure why. It's got a beautiful cover and she really knows how to write a great book.


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