Friday, 4 November 2011

Book Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor


Released:  September 2011
Publisher:  Hodder & Stoughton
Review format:  ARC paperback
Source:  UK Book Tours - with thanks!
Pages:  418
Series:  Daughter of Smoke and Bone #1

Featuring necklaces made of wishes; an underground shop dealing in teeth; magical tattoos; a wishbone on a cord, DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE is a thrilling story about Karou and her secret life as an apprentice to a wishmonger. Karou manages to keep her two lives in balance. On the one hand, she is a seventeen-year-old art student in Prague; on the other, errand-girl to an inhuman creature who deals in wishes and is the closest thing she has to family. Her life is surrounded by mysteries she is desperate to unveil.
Synopsis from Goodreads
In Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Laini Taylor manage to create an intoxicating and imaginative fantasy story. Karou is an art student in Prague, but her family are nothing like her. They are Chimaera - weird looking creatures with special powers and big secrets.

Karou, with her blue hair and artistic talents runs errands for her strange family - usually to collect teeth. She was a pretty amazing character and I really enjoyed reading about her extraordinary life in our world, and behind that door in the shop.

The banter between Karou and her best friend, Zuzana was laugh out loud funny. Both the girls were really amazing, but my favourite character was Brimstone, one of Karou’s Chimaera family. Brimstone collects teeth and it is he who frequently sends Karou out on errands to collect the teeth from all kinds of oddballs. Then we meet Akiva, a Seraphim and deadly enemy of the Chimaera who is obsessed with Karou.

The more I read the more intrigued I was about what was happening in the story. Up until about ¾ of the way through the book, I had so many questions in my head and no answers. And then, the answers are about to start coming ...

At this point, literally just as you think you’re going to find out what’s going on, the story changes to another character and another world - Madrigal and the land of Eretz, and for me this got quite frustrating. It took me a good while to settle back into the story, but when I did I really enjoyed the Chimaera character, Madrigal, about whom this second part is about. Her story was beautiful, of forbidden love and battling enemies and traditions many moons old. But all through this, I was also desperate to get back to Karou and her world.

By the end of the book I was mostly satisfied and pretty much in awe of this world Laini has constructed. The buzz this book has created in the blogging world is amazing. Everyone seems to love it, and although this book definitely has the wow factor and it is pretty amazing, it wasn’t my favourite read of the year.

My rating: 4 stars


Cliona said...

This sounds so good, I really want to read it!

Liz. R said...

I loved this one! Not my favourite of the year, but it's definitely up there. Glad you enjoyed it - I loved reading about Karou's world. Great review :).

Oliver Bliss said...

Was just looking for inspiration for my holiday later this month, might have found a winner here Thanks x

Avery said...

"...although this book definitely has the wow factor and it is pretty amazing, it wasn’t my favourite read of the year."

Amen! I couldn't connect to Akiva whatsoever, which dragged the story down for me (as did the last half of the book), but overall I thought it to be amazingly imaginative!

Ailsa said...

Every review of this I see makes me want to read it so much! Darn book buying ban and hardback books! I think this one is going to have to wait for me until it's in paperback, but I really want to read it!


Kate said...

It sounds so confusing! Still, I'm glad you enjoyed it :)

Small Review said...

Oh wow, this is the first I'm hearing about the switch to the new character and I'm so glad you mentioned that. I don't like big unexpected changes like that, so I'm REALLY glad you've given me the heads up on it. Thanks!

A. Knight said...

I loved the first half of TDoSaB, like could not stop turning the pages. The latter half disappointed me, so I couldn't enjoy fully. Four stars seems fitting(:

- Asher (from Paranormal Indulgence)

Miss Page-Turner said...

I loved Daughter of Smoke and Bone and am so glad you grew to like Laini's world:)