Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Daughter of Smoke and Bone, by Laini Taylor. The GoodReads summary:
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?
Honestly? This book wasn’t at all what I expected. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed it--it just wasn’t what I thought it would be. Well, I mean, the first half was. But the second half? I did not see that coming. Ug, I’m trying to find a way to explain this without spoiling anything, but it’s harder than I thought. But basically, there are kind of two stories going on in the book, and the second story caught me off guard because I didn’t realize there would be a second story or that it would involve so much fantasy.

And now that I think about it, not that much really happens plot-wise in the main Karou story. Not that I’m complaining--I liked the book the way it was, but I think it was more about learning information and setting the stage for the next book.

I loved how unexpectedly amusing this book was. It’s not really a humorous story, but Karou is just funny. I’d be going along, getting drawn into the intense stuff happening and then Karou would say or think something that had me smiling so hard.

I actually kinda feel like what made me like the book was a collection of small things rather than any overarching thing about the book. Like, more than just flat-out loving the book, it’s more that there were so many little elements that I liked that it all added up to me enjoying the book. Does that make sense at all? Anyway, here’s a quick list of the things I adored that I can think of off the top of my head:

-Karou’s blue hair
-Making little wishes with scrupies
-Zusana’s marionette ballet
-Akiva’s eyes
-EVERYTHING about Akiva
-How by the end, the title makes sense

Overall, I definitely recommend this book. I’m maybe not as in love with it as everyone else seems to be, but I did like a ton of things about it, and I’ll definitely be reading the sequel when it comes out.


  1. This ones been on my radar for a while and I'll admit the premise sounds really unique and interesting. But I'm a little scared that I'll be the one person who doesn't enjoy this one and I'll have to write an unflattering review :( I really love the names of all the characters in this one though.

  2. Maybe the hype was just too much? That sometimes happens for me, where I end up liking something, but the hype of everyone else LOVING it just made me disappointed that I wasn't so in love with it, too.

    I still really want to read this, though! I'm very intrigued by it. Good review!

  3. I have this one on my TBR list as well. I know what ya mean about trying to write reviews and sometimes it is so hard to explain your feelings without giving away alot of the book. I find myself in the same situation plenty of times! lol

  4. Karou's blue hair IS pretty awesome! I loved all the details in this book. I also found a few parts a bit drawn out but I loved it regardless. Awesome review! :)

    Xpresso Reads

  5. Yeah I totally agree! This book was very unique! Karou and Akiva are soooo awesome together. BTW don't you just love the names of all the characters?!?! Great review :)


  6. I can't wait to read this book! I'm glad to know that it wasn't what you expected so that I hopefully won't be as surprised when I finally get around to reading it. Great review as always :)

  7. I really loved this book but I've heard others say the switch into high fantasy threw them. I love high fantasy, so I was OK with it. I agree that this book had so many little details that conjured up some pretty wonderful, striking images. I'd also add that the language was truly lovely to read.


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