Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor: Review

Daughter of Smoke & Bone

Author: Laini Taylor
Pages: 424 pages
Release Date: September 27th, 2011
Status: first book of the

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept 

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 hairactually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

She runs errands for a demon names Brimstone, whom helped raised her, and travels the world to do her errands through a magical door way portal (think Narnia for a little while)She runs errands for a demon names Brimstone, whom helped raised her, and travels the world to do her errands through a magical door way portal (think Narnia for a little while)

When beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery 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 think you all better prepare yourselves for some 

(I love Doctor Who gifs :D)

Anyway, I literally just finished Daughter of Smoke & Bone and my mind is literally just reeling.

This book has a lot of characters, a lot of world building, and a lot of history/backstory to take in. I swear, after the first couple chapters, I was already on chapter 10 & I barely made a dent; I just had to put the book down to take it all in. This book took me about 3 days to read (and no it's not because of homework), because I just couldn't wrap my head around everything all at once. 

So here are a few things that you should know:

1) The narrator is Karou, a sixteen year old girl (remember that age, because I forgot halfway though the story)

2) She's humans, but was raised by demons all her life 

3) She's an art student in Prague

4) She has a stalker ex-boyfriend named Kaz and her best friend Zuzana is described to be short and doll like, and is ironically, a puppeteer in training

5) She runs errands for a demon named Brimstone, who raised her, and she collects teeth. 

6) There are two races at war with each other: the chimaera and the seraphim

And 7) The chimaera are hybrid creatures made of different creatures, while seraphim are angels that are trained from a young age to be soldiers for an age old war. The two groups used to live side-by-side together till the chimaera revolted; the war has been going on for THOUSANDS of years

Poinrs 1-5 are what I got from the beginning of the novel, and it gets a little awry (yet interesting) when Akiva, a seraphim (a type of angel), and his siblings Hazael and Liraz start leaving handprints on doors and all hell breaks loose in Karou's life.

There is so much world building, but Laini Taylor is able to make everything work, which I was so happy to see unfold before my eyes. 

This novel is everything that you could want in a YA novel: romance, adventure, mystery, and of course, witty dialogue, quirky characters and a badass protagonist (Karou is like a karate master guys, the girl is amazing).

The novel kind of goes back and forth between Karou and Akiva, and weaves present day Prague and Morocco with old memories to link together what really made Akiva and his siblings leave handprints on doors.

Daughter of Smoke & Bone just hits you with its craziness. That's literally what this book was for me. It just started getting crazier and crazier as it went on, but what I loved is that it didn't seem so crazy at the end; it made perfect sense.


It starts off normal: Karou has a stalker-ish, no good, older ex-boyfriend who cheats on her. Then it gets a little weird: she has blue hair, is sixteen & lives on her own in Prague, goes to a ritzy boarding school, and eats goulash in a graveyard with her best friend Zuzana. 

Laini then amps it up a bit: she runs errands for a lion, Minotaur like creature demon and collects teeth- teeth! And she can make wishes.

At this point, Laini throws in a bit of crazy in the stew: she introduces us to the seraphim, Akiva, and his siblings who are leaving hand marks on doorways. While out on an errand one day, someone burns the doors and seals Karou from the outside.

And then Laini throws the rest of the crazy in: Akiva starts getting some emotions for her which he recognizes from when he first fell in love with his first girlfriend, Madrigal, and decides to push them down by KILLING Karou. However, Karou is amazing and is able to prevent it from happening. He continues to stalk her (even after he slaughters her family) and then they have like a rematch! It isn't until his siblings arrive do we get a little more of the backstory, and we start going (much frequently) back and forth between memories and present day.

Spoilers are done. You can breathe now.

This book was amazing, despite the fact that my mind still isn't able to keep up with all the names and the terms.

Not only do I like the way she weaves it all together to make the story go from how the present goes to the past, and what happened in the past ties together with the present, but I just love the world!

It's a crazy, mysterious world that Laini has created; it's chaotic and there's soo much that WASN'T explained in this book that I'm really curious as to see how the next book turns out.

This book was a lot of world building and focused on Karou figuring out what she was more than what the whole war thing was about,  and what her whole destiny with Akiva all ties together.

There is a lot going on in this book that I know will exploded in the next book. 3.5 out of 5 stars to this book! I really recommend this series and if you're buying or borrowing it at the library, a little advice: get Days of Blood & Starlight at the same time, because I made the mistake of not getting it. Now I have to wait.

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