Saturday, June 29, 2013 15:33

Review 170. Laini Taylor – Daughter of smoke and bone.

8490112Title: Daughter of smoke and bone.
Author: Laini Taylor.
Pages: 418.
Published: September 27th 2011.
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Sort: Part one of' ‘Daughter of smoke and bone.’
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 colour. 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?
                                                                         Rating

The only reason this is not a 5 stars book is the rough start. Around page 50 I was afraid this was one of those “hyped-book-everybody-loves-except-me” like Anna and the French kiss. This changed when I reached pages 124 and boy, I was so wrong! I was hooked by the mystery surrounding Karou’s true identity and all the secrets. This book was rich and detailed.

Summary
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Karou grew up in the care of three chimaeras. Brimstone was her father figure and he sends her on errands to collect teeth. Karou has no idea why, but he gives her wishes in return. Wishes that can make her hair bright blue or give her annoying ex boyfriend itches in embarrassing places. Her world collapses when strange black handprints appear on all her magic doorways. On a normal day, she is thrown out of Brimstone’s shop. Confused and clueless, Karou ends up in the presence of the angel Akiva. Can Karou unravel her true identity and the reason behind the attack on Brimstone’s shop?

Review.
I was fascinated by Karou. She is a great character and I connected with her. How cool is it to have bright blue hair and the ability to travel to places by walking through a door? I loved the little clues we get about who she truly is and I was surprised about the climax. I’m not sure what I expected, but it wasn’t THAT. The romance between her and Akiva is so subtle. The attraction is always on the background and it served a purpose in the story line, exactly how I like it.

It was fun to figure out the meaning behind the teeth and the two different stories about the war between the chimaeras and the angels. This book is a bit more ‘difficult’ than some YA I’ve read lately: in the sense of a good story with much background and information. The author really thought about her story and the world she created.

So, if you decide to read this book and you have a ‘meh’ start like me: don’t give up! It’s worth it. The ending was great and I can’t wait to get started in part two.

author image

Mel@thedailyprophecy

Mel is a microbiology technician who is obsessed with Disney, fairytale retellings and fantasy. If she's not reading or blogging, she's either busy with gaming, hanging out with family or watching a TV show. She loves summer and bright nail polish. One of her dreams is to travel the world. She has found her Prince Charming and they are together for 7+ years.

52 comments:

  1. The beginning was pretty okay for me as well but like you, it got on with the plot and blew me away with the writing and characters.

    Fantastic review, Mel! <33

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  2. Oh it took me a while to get into this book too (I didn't give it 5 stars either), but I really enjoyed it in the end. The sequel is even better, in my opinion. I can't wait to see what you think of it, Mel! :) Great review as always.

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    1. Yes, I've heard many good things about part 2. I can't wait to get it :)

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  3. I honestly agree.the beginning was okay but i was hooked later on

    great review

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  4. I haven't read this but I'm definitely dying to cause I've heard so many people raved about this book! Sure hyped books can backfire but I'm just really curious and this book sounds like the type of books that I'd like. Awesome review!! :D

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    1. Sometimes, books deserve the hype they get!

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  5. Yeppp I definitely had trouble in the beginning (in fact I'm still having trouble with this series...hence why I haven't finished the 2nd book!) YES! I loved the subtle romance between Karou and Akiva as well<3333 Great review Mel! Glad you liked this despite a slow start!

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    1. Me too, I hope the next book is as good as everybody says :D

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  6. Oh, it's so good you liked this one! I agree about the beginning. While I was reading I kept thinking I wasn't going to enjoy it as much as everyone else, but I ended up loving it. My favorite part was the meaning of the teeth.... I was really curious.

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  7. Daughter of smoke and bone was one of my fave books this year too! I loved the whole concept mainly because Laini incorporated paranormal characters that have never been used before.
    Having Akiva helped too! ;)
    Lovely review,Mel-Glad to hear it didn't disappoint.

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    1. Haha, Akiva was a good part of this book :p

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  8. I also had trouble getting into this at first, but I persevered and absolutely loved this and Days of Blood and Starlight!

    Thanks so much for stopping by! Jen @ YA Romantics

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    1. I'm happy that I'm not the only one who had trouble with the beginning.

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  9. I was with you regarding the beginning. I actually told someone to kind of skip so many pages and then read (we both like our books clean). I know you haven't read the second one yet - things are still very crazy. I really don't know how it's all going to pan out in the third. I'll have to wait and see. :) Thanks for stopping by today!

    Tressa @ Tressa's Wishful Endings

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  10. I too had trouble starting this book. I'm currently reading Days of Blood and Starlight and the beginning is slow as well. I think it just takes a little bit of mind willpower to start and then you'll quickly be on your way. I really liked Daughter of Smoke and Bone though. It's so unlike most of the books out there in the YA world today!

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    1. Sometimes, books need a slow start before they really kick in.

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  11. I find it hard to grasp the world-building at first, it was a complex but well crafted. Thanks for the wonderful review :)

    -Dannielle

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  12. I love this book. I think the author really did a good job with the characters and the environments in the book. I almost didn't read it and to be honest I think I only picked it up because I saw a lot of bloggers loving it. So I had to pick it up. Sooooo glad!!

    Angie
    Angela's Anxious Life

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    1. All the enthusiastic bloggers definitely made me pick up this book :) That's why the blogging community is so awesome.

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  13. Awesome review. This is one of my faves. I listened to the audiobook, and just loved it.

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  14. Lovely review! I've heard great things about the books but I've been wary because, like you said, they were overhyped. It sounds like they deserve all the love that they're getting though!

    - Ellie at The Selkie Reads Stories

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  15. Yay, "Daughter of Smoke and Bone"! I was weary of the hype, but in the end, I loved it. If I hadn't already read "Daughter of Smoke and Bone", your review would've convinced me.

    Sydney @ Inquisitive Kittens

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  16. So glad you liked this, Mel! I enjoyed it plenty, too, and YES. Is Karou kickass or is she? ;) I always wished I was able to pull off having my head entirely blue. Probably not... The beginning was a little rocky for me as well, but I ended up loving it. Laini Taylor has a wonderful sense of imagination. Fab review!

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    1. Hmm, I don't think I could handle it either.

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  17. This is one of those book that everyone has read but me! Of course I'm planing to but when - well that's another thing all together. I'm glad you enjoyed!

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  18. Yay Mel! :D
    You liked it, you liked it! -dances around-
    I was like you when I started the book; like you it took me awhile to get into, but when I actually got into the book, I was amazed.
    Awesome review and wait until you get into Days of Blood & Starlight! :D

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    1. It's good to hear that more people had the rocky start :)

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  19. So glad you enjoyed it! I loved this and the sequel, plus the covers are gorgeous.

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  20. The sequel is great as well! So glad you liked it...and btw shhh..but I didn't love Anna & the french kiss either!

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  21. So I bought this book without knowing what it was about and now I'm SO HAPPY I did! I'm glad you loved it, and the concept sounds amazing and so unique. I also love that the main character has blue hair haha. (This is something I DID know.) Really different :) Great review, Mel!

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    1. Sometimes, buying book on a whim can be so much fun :D

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  22. This is one of my all-time favourite books- I'm so glad you enjoyed it! Great review.
    The next book is amazing as well- read it, read it!

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  23. Oh yay I really enjoyed this one too and I'm not a fan of fantasy, much, so that's saying a lot! I loved Karou isn't she amazing? I also loved the whole world building in this one. And kind of crazy for the reason for the teeth eh? I thought it was so imaginative! Glad you enjoyed it, Mel!

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  24. Ohh, great that you loved it sweetie :D I haven't started it yet, cause I don't approve of ending for book two; so waiting for the third one :D Hih. But I am excited :) But ohh. Slow start.. But still. Glad it picks up :) Think the characters sounds awesome. <3 Thank you for sharing Mel :)

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    1. How good of you. I also like to wait until a series is completely published, but sometimes I can't :p

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  25. I loved this book! Karou is a great main character and I also loved the secondary characters. Glad you liked it.
    Adriana @ Reading Fictional

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  26. Wow-we had like opposite reactions. I liked it from the beginning and then the love story started pissing me off the more I progressed (I can't switch from hating to buying the love story at the turn of a page!)

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  27. Yay! I’m so glad you liked this one, Mel! Laini Taylor is one of my favorite YA authors, and I really love how different her books are from a lot in the fantasy/paranormal genre. I’d also say that while book 2 is *completely different* from this one, I actually thought it was the more powerful novel. Hopefully if you get around to reading it soon, you’ll like it just as much! :)

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  28. Great fantasy book. Laini Taylor does such a great job with her world building. I cared about the characters. Very good story line.

    Maycee Greene (Anchorage Great Web Design)

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  29. Ahhhh I'm SO happy you ended up loving this one despite struggling a bit at the beginning. Just reading your review made me want to dive into this world again! I absolutely LOVE Karou - she is definitely one of my top MC's of all time! Akiva is awesome too and I loved the slow burn of their romance and the mystery behind it all. Ms Laini Taylor is officially one of my favorite authors ever! Her prose is just too perfect for words and her imagination just blows my mind. I loved the sequel just as much, maybe even a little bit more so I'm really curious to see what you'll think of it :D Fab review Mel ♥

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    1. Nice, I'm glad that everybody loves the second book as well, so it doesn't suffer from the second-book-syndrome.

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