Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by: Laini Taylor

5:20 PM

Title: Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Author: Laini Taylor

  • Publisher:  Little, Brown & Company

  • Publication date:  September 27th 2011

  • # Of Pages: 432 Hardcover

  • How I got this copy: Library

My Rating: 3/5 Stars

  • Goodreads/B&N/Amazon/YouTube
    Goodreads Summary:
    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?

    My Review: 
    þCompletely original plot & characters
    þTimeless Romance (Forbidden Love)

    After I finished this book I stared at all 432 pages of it and scratched my head.  No other book on this planet has left me with so many emotions, I'm not sure how to react right now.  I want to give it 1 star and 5 stars at the same time.  Let's start with the few things I actually really liked about it. 

    The character Karou was intriguing.  She is an art student with blue hair and works for a devil creature who is like a father figure to her and pretty much the only family she's ever known.  She's strong, independent, and doesn't take crap from her ex boyfriend who is gorgeous, but narcissistic.  I personally loved when she would banter with her friend Zuzana.  Although Zuzana's character had pretty much no purpose other than to show us Karou's character, I enjoyed their relationship.  Here is a conversation I enjoyed from page 164:

    "What?" asked Zuzana.  "Did you get me a present?"
    It was Karou's turn to snort. "You're like a kid when her parents come home from a party, checking their pockets for cake."
    "Ooh, cake.  I'll take cake.  But not pocket cake, because yuck." 
    "I have no cake."
    "Sigh.  What kind of friend are you anyway?  Besides the mostly absent kind."
    "Right now, I'm the mostly tired kind.  If you hear snoring, don't be offended."

    Besides the characters, I enjoyed the overall concept of the book that hope is stronger than magic and love can end war.  The world Laini Taylor created is ridiculously imaginative and wonderful.  Brimstone, Karou's father figure collects teeth and I thought the way he used them was very clever.  He is a character that is so secretive, but also kind and parental to Karou.  He was unlike any other creature I have ever read about.  He had different body parts of different animals.  He seemed so human I had to keep reminding myself what he looked like.  As much as I liked Brimstone, Karou was my favorite character above all.   Which is why halfway through the book when Karou's character is not really in it anymore I got angry.  We are seeing the story through another character's POV in a flashback sort of.  It was like suddenly I was reading a completely different book without my consent.  I had just spent 300 pages of my time growing to like this character and then BAM she's not there anymore. 

    Unfortunately, the plot dragged on and I found myself getting bored.  Not because the writing wasn't good.  It was fantastic, poetic, and flowed smoothly.  The author just wrote a lot and I found myself getting impatient.  For example, throughout the whole book Karou wants to know where she came from and who she is.  We find the answer to this on page 305.  Yes, that's right, two thirds of the way into the book.  Or how about right before she finds out who she is the author tried to build up suspense.  She added so many pages of random feelings, thoughts, and discription that after waiting 300 pages to find out we have to wait about five more just to see how Karou and Akiva are reacting.  It was all very frustrating and not in a good way.  

    By the end of the book I felt exhausted and kind of .  I felt like I just spent so much time reading something that could have been described in maybe 300 pages instead of 432.  I feel horrible saying that because I know it's an author's pride and joy, but I just didn't enjoy the length and I never want to lie in my reviews.  If it had been 300 pages I would probably be raving right now along with the other half of the world that loved this book.   

    Although the length was bothersome to me I did enjoy the characters and the main plot points.  There is a D of S&B book 2 coming out in November and although I will not rush to buy it I will probably add it to my to read list.  I want to know what is going to happen next for Karou and Akiva, but I won't lose sleep over not having the book the second it comes out.  It's worth reading, but just go into it knowing that it will not be a quick read.
    Read More Reviews of This Book:

    The Flyleaf Review      

Read more about this author:

“She had been innocent once, a little girl playing with feathers on the floor of a devil's lair. She wasn't innocent now, but she didn't know what to do about it. This was her life: magic and shame and secrets and teeth and a deep, nagging hollow at the center of herself where something was most certainly missing.” 

If you have read this please leave a comment sharing your thoughts 
(or even better a link to your review)

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