Release Date: September 27, 2011
Publisher: Little, Brown & Company
Series: Daughter of Smoke & Bone #1
Review Source: For review from Hachette Book Group Canada (@HBGCanada)
Synopsis: (from Goodreads)
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?
It’s almost nerve wracking to start a book that everyone in the blogging world seems to adore. It’s tough for books to measure up to the hype that’s been building for months, so perhaps some of those expectations coloured my reading of ‘Daughter of Smoke & Bone’. I think I can understand why people fell in love with this book, but it didn’t quite grip me like it seemed to grip everyone else.
There were definitely parts I did enjoy, though. I absolutely adored Karou. She’s funny and artistic and I identified with her feelings of loneliness and wanting to find a place to belong. Everything about her life and her background were completely fascinating, and I loved the way Laini Taylor wrote about Karou’s double life. Brimstone and all the characters from “Elsewhere” were intriguing, as was Karou’s life in Prague and arts school. I really enjoyed the first part of ‘Daughter...’ and I couldn’t wait to see where things went.
Unfortunately I found the way things went to be a bit cliche. Everything about this book was so imaginative in the beginning that it disappointed me when I basically predicted where the plot line was going. There were still some very creative aspects, but the larger plot began to bore me, especially the very lengthy flashback chapters that occurred toward the end. However, Laini Taylor certainly knows how to spin a beautiful phrase, and her lush, descriptive writing alone makes this one worth picking up. Those who usually enjoy paranormal tales of angels and demons will likely enjoy this one, as will fans of stories involving starcrossed lovers.
Pretty & memorable, but I love the UK version even more.
Find Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor on Goodreads, Book Depository, & Amazon.