Thursday, September 29, 2011

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

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?

Wow! This is such an amazing book. And set in Prague? Too cool. I've never been there, but I sure want to visit. Especially after reading this book!

Karou is awesome, and so is her friend, Zuzana. It’s refreshing to see such a good friendship. And the petty eyebrows thing! It made me laugh out loud. :) Actually, I loved all the little things Karou did. She's a master of subtlety, and she's so good at using it to her advantage.

The way Karou dealt with her ex-boyfriend felt authentic. She discovered he was a sleaze bag and left him, refusing to go back even though she's still attracted to him. I loved that! Huge thanks to the author for not turning him into a love triangle. I'm so sick of them.

The plot is solid, with plenty of mystery. I loved discovering everything right alongside Karou. I'm not usually one for flashbacks, but this story is built on them. And they were expertly woven in, giving us the necessary information at exactly the right time. There were a couple flashbacks toward the end that I got impatient with because I wanted find out what was happening in the present, but still. I don't think I've ever seen flashbacks handled so well.

The interaction between Akiva and Karou is interesting and done well. The build-up between them is gradual, and the twist at the end is truly painful. I cannot wait until the next book comes out!


Bleuette said...

The summary really caught my attention - I really want to read this one! Glad to hear there's not another love triangle - you're right they really do get irrating after a while. Thanks for the great review!

Tere Kirkland said...

I also grew impatient near the end, but only because I was dying to figure out what was going on. Can't wait for the sequel!

Kelly Hashway said...

Great review. I'm very intrigued.

Tabitha said...

Maria - love triangles make me twitch. I'm glad to see authors not using them. This book is fantastic, so definitely give it a try!

Tere - same here. I was loving the book so much that I wanted to know how it was all going to pan out. Which I totally did not see coming, btw. Brilliantly executed!

Kelly - it's a great book. Definitely give it a try if you can!

Anonymous said...

I'm interested in reading it now, as well, esp. with your rave review on use of flashbacks which can be tricky. Thanks!

Natalie Aguirre said...

Great review. I just met Laini at a book signing last night. She is so nice. I can't wait to read my copy of the book.

Sorry I haven't been around as much. My daughter is on the high school swim team.

Bookish in a Box said...

Karou sounds like a refreshingly strong MC. I can't wait to read this!

Katja Weinert said...

I really enjoyed the ex-boyfriend take. This book was hugely imaginative. I keep wondering at some of the reviews on Goodreads which say it's overwritten. I think it's beautifully written. If anything the writing makes me more critical of some other YA books that I've praised in the past. Great review.