Thursday, August 9, 2012

Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #1) by Laini Taylor
Pages: 417
Publisher: Little, Brown & Company in 2011
Series:Daughter of Smoke and Bone
Source: Library
BUY: Amazon -- BN -- Book Depository 

Goodreads Description:
Around the world, black hand prints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged stranger 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 otherworldly 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:
Right, so I loved this book. Loved. It.

I loved Taylor’s characters, the romance, and mostly the writing. The characters in this book were so incredibly vivid. Karou’s blue hair, Akiva’s fiery wings, Brimstone’s scars, Zuzanna’s small figure, and even the white wolf was terrifyingly real. I felt like I had been transported directly to where the characters were, and like I could easily have portraits of them hung in my apartment. Each character’s beauty and flaws were absolutely captivating to me.

On top of writing lovable characters, Laini Taylor’s imagination and creativity of Elsewhere filled me with jealousy. I wish I could grow a fox’s tail and wolf ears so that I can be a Chimera too. Oh yeah, the Chimera are the beautiful and potentially dangerous creatures that occupy Karou’s other world. For lack of a better term.

Here is a book filled with love, danger, and friendship. In a perfect blend of joy and grief that made my heart wrench for each of the characters and wonder about them long after I finished reading.  The two worlds that Karou traveled between created the lure of the novel. I couldn’t help but hope that the world of Brimstone, Karou’s guardian and Akiva, Karou’s lover could be real; that one day I might see an angel with wings of fire or a beast of many designs. Sigh. I guess I’ll just have to pretend it’s real.

Another thing that I truly enjoyed was the romance. I’ve read a lot of reviews that were extremely critical of the romance in this novel, but I personally loved it. I thought what Taylor did was unique. I wish I could tell you, but you’ll just have to read it to find out. Yes, the romance was a bit gooey at times, but it worked. The romance wasn’t over the top in that I couldn’t believe the lovers were disgustingly ignorant of what love really is. Maybe I enjoyed it so much because I’m totally gooey in love with my boyfriend that I can relate to their feelings of overwhelming need for each other. So, if you’re not a fan of flowery love, then maybe you can just skip those parts. Although, I recommend that you don’t. This book has so much more to it than Karou’s romance. (Oh, and to my boyfriend, if you’re reading this I apologize for writing about you on my blog. Unless you loved it, in that case I’m not sorry one bit).

Lastly, my favorite bit of this novel was the writing. I am an enormous fan of a good metaphor. I love metaphors, and this book is full of them. The writing is so well crafted that I can actually empathize with Karou, whom I actually have very little in common with. You know, not having a beast guardian who collects teeth and opens portals all around the world. However, Taylor has a way of simplifying some of Karou’s complications so that I really could relate with her, and she did so with some very beautiful language.

I give this book a five out of five fantastic foxes. It is full of new adventures, ones I've never dreamed of. I wanted the characters and their worlds to be real, and have thought about them even after I finished the book. Also, the writing is simply beautiful.

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