April 11, 2014

Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor

Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #1)
Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor
Series: Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #1
Source: Gifted
Publisher: Little, Brown
Publication Date: September 27, 2011
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 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?

"Wishes are false. Hope is true. Hope makes its own magic."

For lack of a better word, Daughter of Smoke & Bone was...interesting. I enjoyed the dark atmosphere, and the overall uniqueness (chimera!), but there were a few things that could have been better. For instance, the romance was just kind of meh. I wanted to like it, but I couldn't get past the "insta" factor, and for all the explaining involved with that, it was still instalove.

I liked both of the main characters, Akiva and Karou. But I definitely liked Karou more - she had more time for development, and she was a mysterious and highly interesting character. I wanted to know what her secret was, maybe even more that she wanted to know! Akiva was less likable, with his thundersome personality, and his lack of feelings. I don't blame the poor guy, but still.

There was a jarring sensation the first time that I read a chapter from Akiva's point of view (due to having read about eight from Karou's), so that may have had an effect on my overall opinion of his character. Really, I'm not sure what I thought of Akiva. I mean, I don't think that Karou should trust him. His character kind of makes me nervous!

Speaking of characters that make me nervous... Brimstone and Issa did too - but they did it in a good way, that actually made them my favorites. Brimstone... I'd like to see more of him, because his character has an obscene amount of power!

The writing was beautiful and descriptive, full wonderful world development and a few plot twists, but near the end it was just a little confusing. I blame it on the fact that it felt like we'd switched stories entirely. Very strange, but overall I don't think it hurt my enjoyment of the book. I'd recommend reading this one - and I'm interested to see where the next book takes this series!


  1. The whole switching stories was confusing, indeed. I just wanted to get back to the original story. And I wasn't a fan of the romance between Karou and Akiva. But I really liked the rest of the story (even if it has angels xD) because it's set in Prague mostly and chimaeras are pretty original too.

  2. Interesting is always good...unless it goes to SO WEIRD STAHP, haha. I'm not a fan of it hinting at an insta factor for the romance, but I love that you mentioned a "full wonderful world development" because sometimes authors forget that. Can't wait to see how you like the rest of the series, you're pushing me to start this :)

  3. Haha, I agree. It rarely ever gets to the "so weird stahp" point with me, though. It was a really awesome world - almost awesome enough to make the insta love okay! I hope you read it! I'd love to see what you think. :)

  4. I definitely thought Prague was cool, and the chimaeras are awesome!! But I really did think that the switching stories was confusing at first. And Karou and Akiva were kind of strange together, LOL.

  5. How come I didn't see this review sooner?God,I am a horrible friend aren't I?It's been ages since I commented here.
    Anyway,I read this book in January,but I haven't still posted the review.My handwritten one is waiting in my diary to be typed.
    I was amazed by the world building too.It was so intense and dark and amazing.I loved Taylor's writing style also.It was magical.
    I was disappointed at the romance too.I felt like there was more romance between Akiva and Madrigal than Karou.