Series: Daughter of Smoke & Bone #1
Published by Hodder & Stoughton on September 27, 2011
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Young Adult
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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 grows 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 hairactually 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 beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery 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
Daughter of Smoke and Bone caught me by surprise. The first half of the book starts out with rich, luscious descriptions where I savoured every single word. Karou, blue haired and mysterious is an intriguing character. Her world of demons, art class and Prague is fantastical and it’s impossible not to get enamored with it. Not to mention Laini Taylor’s incredible writing and vivid scenarios, this is definitely someone who can write.
Halfway through however, Karou meets the love of her life(s), an impossibly perfect seraph named Akiva, and then blooms an incredibly sappy romance that overtakes the entire book. With barely any build-up whatsoever, Karou finds herself absolutely enthralled with Akiva and vice versa. My fascination with Karou dwindled at this stage; it seemed like all of the uniqueness of her character melted away into YA land of a perfect relationships.
While wondering what happened to such an incredible start, before I knew it, again the book switches genre quickly to high fantasy with the heavy involvement of sorcery, demons, and an age-old war between Chimera and Seraphim. After building up world where I clung on to every description, the book focuses on a time in the past, with mostly different characters. It tells the stories of these new people in such a fast-pace that you wonder whether you are even reading the same book.
A few shocking twists, and a huge punch in a gut later, there you have the end of the Daughter of Smoke and Bone.
Thank you Laini, for delivering one of the cleverest WTF experiences ever. Defin
itely one of the most unique literary experiences I’ve ever had, but I would have preferred to explore more of the first half of the book.
Rating: 5 out of 5