Monday, May 28, 2012

Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #1) by Laini Taylor
Synopsis (Goodreads):
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?
My Thoughts: This is one of those books that kind of sneaks up on you. It's beautiful and dark and incredibly imaginative. It took a few chapters for me to fall into Karou's character but once I did... whoa! Her world is full of grit and pain, light and hope. It's a study in contrasts and it works so very well.

The beauty of this story is the way it knots up the secrets of the past and then slowly lets us untangle them, thread by thread. Karou's origins are a mystery to her and the ones that raised her aren't talking. Her home is full of secrets - what does Brimstone do with the teeth he collects? What's behind the hidden door? - and her life is full of secrets she has to keep from her human friends. Akiva's brutal, bloody entrance into her life is both a curse and a blessing. He knows things about Brimstone's world that Brimstone will never tell her and yet he's not necessarily an ally to her or those that raised her.

The world building here is simply breathtaking. From the streets of Prague to the dusty market place of Marrakesh to the caged city of the chimaera, it's beautifully rendered and it sets the tone for the Karou's story. And the ending... Good gravy! The ending KILLED ME. I am dead dead dead. I saw so much of that coming due to those aforementioned tangled threads but the reality of what was done was absolutely jaw dropping. I'm pretty sure that I emailed a string of nonsensical curse words to my online partner in bookish crime when I finished that last page. It was heartbreaking and terrible and so, SO perfect.

The first thing I did once my brain kicked back on from the shock of the ending was to find out when book 2 comes out. November can't get here soon enough.

Books in this series
1. Daughter of Smoke and Bone - Hardcover | Kindle
2. Days of Blood and Starlight

Author Links
| Website | Twitter | Amazon |

16 comments:

  1. I've been back and forth over reading this one, but I think you just convinced me to get it :)

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    1. It took me a few chapters but all of a sudden I couldn't put the book down. It was awesome.

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  2. I laughed when I saw that email from you, but mostly because I had said you might need to, and then I woke up that morning with that email from you in my inbox. lololol.

    This book was all kinds of amazing, and since I've been to Prague, I can attest to Laini Taylor's ability to describe settings; I felt like I was BACK in Prague.

    My only true sadness is that we had the ARC and it is NOT as pretty as the finished copy.

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    1. I did get a little CRAZY MONKEY BALLS NEED TO DIE on you, didn't I? So sorry!

      Seriously, this book was awesome. I'm so glad I decided to read it during readathon week. LOVE!

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  3. I love this cover..nice review. I think i'll read it now!

    ~Shane @Itchingforbooks
    new follower

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  4. You have a fabulous blog! I’m an author and illustrator and I made some awards to give fellow bloggers whose sites I enjoy. I want to award you with one of my homemade awards: Creative Blog Award. There are no pass along requirements. This is just to reward you for all the hard work you do!

    Go to http://astorybookworld.blogspot.com/p/awards.html and pick up your award.
    ~Deirdra

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  5. I just finished this book last week and OMG. I adored it. I was super nervous because of all the hype but I'm so glad that I gave it a chance because it was SO worth it. A very beautiful novel. Can't wait for the second one to come out. Thanks for sharing your review. Mine will be out next week-ish :)

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    1. I was in awe of this book. It blew me away. I'm super, super excited for the 2nd book, now.

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  6. Your review makes me want to move this to the top of Mt. Read Me. :) Thanks for the awesome review!

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    1. Lol! Cooool. I was lovin' this book pretty hard, I have to admit!

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  7. I felt the same way. Through me off a cliff chicka.

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    1. There was flailing. And some subsonic screeching. It wasn't pretty.

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  8. yay glad to hear that this one is so amazing! I have a copy of this on my shelf and have been putting it off for far too long! I wonder if the second book is going to be at ALA!

    Thanks for the amazing review!

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    1. I honestly loved it and I'm so SO excited for book 2!

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