Friday, October 26, 2012

Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Title:  Daughter of Smoke and Bone
Series:  Daughter of Smoke and Bone #1
Author:  Laini Taylor
Publisher:  Little Brown & Company
Pages:  417
Format:  Hardcover

Around the world, black hand prints 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 grows 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:  I was extremely happy to begin this book when I got it.  I had heard so many amazing things and I was dying to get my hands on it and find out what all the excitement was about.  Unfortunately, I was not nearly as taken with this book as a lot of other people are. 

This book and I started out on a bad foot in the beginning.  I was trying to get to know Karou and get a feel for who she was and what she was like but it was very difficult because of how vague her thoughts were.  I had to keep guessing what she was talking about, what was true, what wasn't true.  It became increasingly aggravating as the story progressed.  By the time things began happening to Karou, I was just getting a bit of insight as to who exactly she was and I didn't get a really great feel for her before the plot was moving.  I do understand why the author did this - a bit of mystery for the reader to keep us on our toes but I really just wanted to get to know our main character. 

I feel like it would have been helpful to know more about Karou especially when we were being introduced to her world.  It was so different and alluring and haunting but at the same time I felt like there was a lot of different elements brought to the table and it was hard to balance it all and learn all of the different words and continue to get to know Karou and other characters.  However, I feel like by the end of this book, the world was so wonderfully woven.  It was just beautiful and I really did enjoy the amazing descriptions and pictures Taylor painted in our minds as we were reading. 

The overall plot - though a bit slow in the beginning - was interesting and kept me engaged.  I always wanted to know what was going to happen next.  I don't think I stopped reading this book for two days straight.  Once I got my bearings and the plot swept me off my feet, it was quite hard to let go.  I also found our leading male character, Akiva, interesting.  I felt like he complimented Karou nicely.  I enjoyed the time they spent together whether it was just hanging out and talking or going on adventures. 

When I got to the end, though, things slowed down again for me.  I didn't enjoy the flashbacks at all.  I felt like it really made the story feel choppy and lose it's smooth pace.  While I understand the flashbacks importance, I definitely didn't approve.  I just couldn't help feeling like the author sort of dropped the characters and story line she had been building up and turned to a new pair of characters with different story lines.  And I didn't like how different Karou was in them.  I was just getting a feel for her and that all just unraveled after the flashbacks. 

Despite the problems I had with it, I still feel like this book was worth the read.  The plot was dark and mysterious and really made me want to keep reading and the characters, though a little hard to get a handle on, were interesting and fit nicely together. 

Three Cards

1 comment:

  1. Overly mysterious characters do tend to irk me a lot, but if the world building is good, then it doesn't affect me that much. I haven't read this one yet, I'm still waiting to buy the second book, but I'm glad that the story has good potential.


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