Thursday, 7 June 2012

Book review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone, #1)
By Laini Taylor
Publish Date: September 27th 2011
Publisher:  Little, Brown & Company
Number of pages: 417
Purchase:  Bookdepository , Amazon UK

Goodreads’ description:
"Errand requiring immediate attention. Come.

The note was on vellum, pierced by the talons of the almost-crow that delivered it. Karou read the message. 'He never says please', she sighed, but she gathered up her things.
When Brimstone called, she always came."

In general, Karou has managed to keep her two lives in balance. On the one hand, she's a seventeen-year-old art student in Prague; on the other, errand-girl to a monstrous creature who is the closest thing she has to family. Raised half in our world, half in 'Elsewhere', she has never understood Brimstone's dark work - buying teeth from hunters and murderers - nor how she came into his keeping. She is a secret even to herself, plagued by the sensation that she isn't whole.

Now the doors to Elsewhere are closing, and Karou must choose between the safety of her human life and the dangers of a war-ravaged world that may hold the answers she has always sought

My review:
I loved Karou from the start. She’s smart, artistic, friendly, funny and has a backbone. I like her best friend Zuzana just as much. They’re both wonderful and believable characters.

The character development here is not that significant. Karou finds out who she is – and was. That’s pretty much it. I actually like her better at the beginning of the book.

The story captured me from the start and I had to stop reading when I couldn’t keep my eyes open anymore. I wasn’t bored for a minute through the first 200 pages. Then we meet Akiva, her love interest. Beautiful, perfect, dangerous, forbidden Akiva.  And they fall in love just like that. BAM! They look at each other and then they can’t live without the other one. I can’t feel the chemistry between them at all. They just love each other – fact. The chimeras – whom Karou grew up with – are in war with the angels. After just meeting Karou, Akiva chooses her over his angel family. Yes, there's a reason for that. He just found out who she is. Still don't like the guy.

I really like the non-human world in this story. You read about angels all the time, but chimeras have I never read a book about before. The magic here is different too. They use teeth to recreate fallen chimeras. Brimstone – the chimera that raised Karou – gives her small wishes as payment for errands.

And the setting! Not in America! Karou lives in Prague, Czech Republic. She meets Akiva in Marrakech, Morocco. It’s refreshing to hear about other countries than American – or England. It makes her day so different than most Americans teenagers in novels – apart from the magic world of course.

The writing in this book is beautiful and very describing – perhaps a little too describing at times. It was one of the things that captured me from the start. I like the mix of beautiful writing and modern dialogue.

If you like angels, new unique worlds and creatures you should read this book.

I’m looking forward to the sequel. I hope I’ll like Akiva better in the next book. 
4/5 happy stars from me!

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