My rating: 5 of 5 genies
Genre: YA Fiction, Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Adventure, Angels & Demons
Published: September 27, 2011
Publisher: Little, Brown & Company
Purchase At: TheBookDepository.com or Amazon.com
Goodreads SummaryAround 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 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?
Laini Taylor is extraordinary. My gosh, this woman is a freaking genius! I think I have an official author crush. Her prose is delectable, polished as if some fine jewel made for royalty. Guys, she used words I had no clue the meaning of and occasionally had to look up, just because I had this urge to soak up as much of her brilliance as possible. This book cannot be called YA fiction without some hint of insult because there is no age restriction for a novel this good, everyone should read it. Everything was so perfect.
Why You Could Like This Book
If you love starcrossed lovers, your nose should already be ten feet deep into Daughter of Smoke and Bone's pages; I do not mean that Romeo and Juliet B.S. but real star-crossed lovers made of depth, sacrifice and substance, you have got to meet Akiva and Karou.
I am going to marry that man someday. Not Tyler, Akiva. Akiva would all but be my hero if not for one tiny detail...he effs up pretty majorly. Not that anyone can blame him, what went down was ridiculous, but I feel a little twinge of sadness because his actions ultimately ruined things a little between him and Karou. BUT NO SPOILERS! I will give nothing away, safe to say that this is romance and adventure and history all at its finest. While reading, I kept thinking how mythic the story seemed, as if Laini Taylor's imaginings were real and my reading it was just a recap on the history. She writes with a distinctly poetic flair, and the reader cannot help but tuck a little into themselves, sip a little of their warm drink and hang on for the ride.
The plot isn't anything I would have expected and even if the first few chapters fail to impress you, keep reading. Keep reading because there is more to come that is worth seeing. The whole cast of characters; Brimstone, Kishmish, Zusana, Issa, Twiga, Yasri and even Thiago feel like something out of an epic. Their relationship with Karou proves as even more profound when by 3/4 of the novel Laini Taylor lets lose the mother of all epiphanies and it all comes together. The end is somewhat the beginning of this story, and I mean that in the best way. It could be the beginning of interest if the stunning backdrop and side-story did not capture you before, or it could be the start of a second love if everything mentioned was already enthralling; I believe that I am of the second sort, I was already in love, but learning more of Karou and Akiva made me fall even harder in bliss.
Akiva is the avenging angel, and dayum does he make it look good. But on second thought, maybe I'll marry Tyler too, it never hurts to have options!
What You Should Watch Out For
The insta-love aspect is a very tricky one to manage because there really is more going on than meets the eye. So, my only advice in this case is to forget about it. Forget that there is any insta-love and take it just as love, because at the end of the day that is what it ends up being. On any other occasion I probably would be the one pointing out that people who just meet cannot be in love...but they haven't just met. So there, that is the only tidbit of spoiler I am willing to divulge; Karou and Akiva are meant to be, and I would hate for anyone to pass up on reading about them just because of some wrong misconception of an insta-love troupe being in place.
Other than that? There is graphic violence, deep sensuality and death within these pages, younger readers should be advised to read with extreme caution. I was heavily pleased and Daughter of Smoke and Bone is indeed a new favourite! I'm jumping on the bandwagon and have great plans to purchase the second book as soon as it releases. 5/5 genies!