Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone, by Laini Taylor

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

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

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?

What I Liked: This book is unlike anything I'm aware of on the market. The world, the twists on mythology...all completely unique. And I have a serious girl-crush on Karou. I want to BE her.

One of the most surprising things I liked about the book, though, were the "human" moments; mainly, the banter between Karou and Zuzanna. Real but zingy--think dialogue on Buffy or Veronica Mars. It endeared me to her, and made her three-dimensional, so by the time the real, honest-to-goodness scat starts hitting the fan, you really, truly care what happens to her.

What I Didn't: I only have one dislike, and it's less of a dislike and more of a concern. In the last quarter of the book, when the storyline moves to flashbacks (sorry for the vagueness, but I try to keep it spoiler-free!) the story loses some focus and starts flailing a bit, which is noticeable after Taylor's tight-as-a-drumskin narrative up to that point. It's a concern, but a minor one, because I'm sorry, but there is no danger of anyone putting the book down at that point.

Overall: All I have to say is, this is the best book I've read since I finished Anna Dressed In Blood back in August. It's been a long, thirsty dry spell...but Smoke and Bone finally broke it.

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