Monday, November 5, 2012

Daughter of Smoke and Bone: review

Title: Daughter of Smoke and Bone (" " #1)
Author: Laini Taylor
Genres: modern mythology, magic, angels, blue hair
Rating: 5 stars!!
Source: bought hardback at CHB.
Summary: 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'm using the UK cover, because I think it's equally great and deserves some looking-at.

(If you want to skip my review, below it there's some cool info that might interest some of you...)

   Some of you may remember the "Stopped Short Sunday" post I did a while back on this book...yeah, so I did start it again! And almost a year to the day, in between--not on purpose. And now I'm sort of glad for the delay, because the second, Days of Blood and Starlight comes out this Tuesday!! Baha, now no waiting for a year to see what happens after that rather awful cliffy!

   Just a warning, I'm afraid this review won't be too intelligent sounding, because that kind of happens when I really like a book. It all just gushes out and the main message is: YOU GOTTA READ IT. :)

   All right, all right, I did let my prejudices get in the way of this "angel" book...because I really don't like angel books. Like at all. Besides two. NOW three. It was hard at first, because there is nothing to hint at the book's angelic nature until about page 203. That's where I had put it down. I really hate putting down books when I'm that far into it. Anyway, I am past that now. The reason I liked this angel book was because it was more of the mythology of the Seraphin (I think that's spelled right? No?) like how City of Bones works it, than the usual God influence and backstory. So there, maybe if you're like me, you'll give it another shot now that you know that.

   The first half of the book, and the second half, are so very different and awesome in their own way. I had no idea this story would turn out where it did. Where at first much of the story is seeing where Karou lives, her borderline strange life; wishes and teeth, art class, and oh look, an angel falling from the sky! Second part consists of mostly history of Akiva (the beautiful angel dude falling from the sky) and...someone else. I'll leave it at that. It's mostly back-flashes. Both parts are equally interesting.

   The plot of this book is underscored by a war going on between the chimera and the seraph. That means sides of course, but the way it's written, you really see both perspectives so that gives you, as the reader, some really unbiased views. I loved that,

   Her writing is soo beautiful to read, I just wanted to bookmark passages to go back to read over and over and over. My favorite one is that first long bit of dialogue Akiva says to Karou on page...210 (hardback) I believe. It's like swoonable and from pretty much that point on, I was hooked and couldn't really put it down. Also, the bridge scene...!!! *clutches heart*

   Magic, magic I am a big fan of magic/mythology all that stuff. There are so many mythological creatures and stories, and get the idea. Very well thought out and executed, original in it's own unique way!!

   The one thing I'll almost complain about...but won't quite because the second half of the book gives some the insta-love romance. If there's a dealbreaker in whether I'll read a book, it's that factor. But even though there's a little bit of that going on like instantly, I'll vouch for this being the only insta-relationship I absolutely adore. Just trust me and don't judge the characters too quickly (like I originally did) when you see it happening.

   The vocabulary is intelligent, and it impressed me that as a word-nerd I actually had to look a few pretty  sounding words up (about a dozen). Major kudos, because that doesn't happen too often. I haven't read anything else by Laini Taylor, so I now want to see how this compares to her other work.

   Unusual settings always capture my interest, and this one is in Prague. Yes, the Czech Republic. Now I haven't actually been there, but my dad has, so remembering his pictures, and reading the wonderful descriptions in here, made the world very three-dimensional to me.

   I really should shut up now, if you're even reading this far. Okay, review done! News below.

   This next Friday, the 9th, if you're in Phoenix at all, don't miss Laini Taylor at Changing Hands Bookstore for a talk and signing! 7pm people, you can't miss it. I will actually be volunteering at the event, so I get to talk to her and everything. ;) (maybe you'll see me, too...)

   The ever-difficult question: do I get my ARC signed, or the hardback to match the new second-book-hardback that I just have to buy?? So I'll most likely get my ARC of Daughter of Smoke and Bone signed, (not personalized) and crossing some fingers for swag, and boom, keep an eye out for that giveaway.

   I sure wish these reviews could count as part of my daily NaNo word count...



  1. This is on my to-read list but I wasn't too sure what it was about. Thank you for the insight, I'm very excited to get started on this book.

  2. Agreed agreed agreed! I love everything she writes, and have concluded that Laini Taylor is magic. :)