Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone, #1)


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 Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Who Recommended it to Me: No one in particular.  I saw it at a  bookstore and had heard good things about it in general and it looked good so I bought it. 
Who I Would Recommend it To: People who like the weird stuff.  This book is also for people who are looking for something completely different than the average Young Adult Book. 

My review:
Most reviews go from beginning to end.  Most everything goes from beginning to end, in fact. And yet, in this review I'm going to start with the end and work my way up to the beginning. 
     The end of this book positively blew me away.  It was stunning. Spectacular.  A piece of very valuable writing, almost.  Laini Taylor should be incredibly proud of herself.  The plot of this book is a masterpiece, and it was simply breathtaking. Laini Taylor is amazing at describing things.  You have to be very descriptive and very creative to write this book, and it's apparent that she applies to both.  
   So this isn't exactly the end of the book but more like three quarters of the way through, there is a big chunk of the book devoted to Madrigal.  I was surprised that it was my favorite part of the book.  I liked Karou a lot but there was something about Madrigal that was very interesting to me.  Although, technically *spoiler alert* they're the same girl :) For some reason that I don't know I just really liked reading about her.  And I wasn't expecting that because I was really enjoying reading about Karou and her several languages and blue-not-dyed hair and her mysterious tattoos.  
  While I appreciated both Madrigal and Karou, I did not, however, appreciate Akiva.  I like fictional heros to have a little bit of a personality. To me he seemed really wimpy and annoying all through the book.  I almost like boys better when they are sarcastic or stubborn with a sweet inside.  Akiva just seemed way too perfect, as did Karou and Madrigal which is my only complaint on them.  Along with a lot of other things that was something I didn't like about Akiva. 
   There were a few parts in the middle of the book when I said to myself, "Why am I reading this? I'm deathly bored and I'm skipping whole paragraphs at a time" (I had to go back and reread some of it because I missed important parts). But as I always try to do with books, I kept going and ended up really enjoying the book when I got to the part about Madrigal.  I expected to be skimming through that part to but to my own surprise I was hanging on to every single word and was proud of myself for doing that.  I think it taught me something about reading: stick with a book because while books might have their slow parts, they might get better.  This one definitely did. 
  The only other complaint I have about this book are the names.  I like that Karou means "hope" and a lot of the other names have special meanings and stuff, but to me they just seemed obnoxious (or as I almost always say without thinking, "obnoxtch"). Karou seemed like it should be a guy's name and Akiva seems like it should be a girl's name.  Sometimes names in books bother me and this was one of them.  I did like the name Madrigal though; it fit her. 
  Now to the beginning of the book.  I liked the way it started out, with Karou flipping through her sketchbook with her friend Zuzana (who I absolutely loved! She was hysterical! Probably my favorite character).  It helped me not get confused later in the book. 
  So if you're asking whether I would recommend this book to you, I would say "yes" because this is something definitely worth reading, a literal masterpiece.  Two thumbs-up for Laini Taylor!


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