Yeah, wow. Why did I wait so long to read this? Okay, so technically, I listened to it via audiobook and I don’t regret it because the narrator, Khristine Hvam, is <i>fantastic</i>. I feel as if I say this about all of the audiobooks I’ve listened to but I mean, they are great and Khristine adds such unique voices to each of the characters that in some cases, I was genuinely freaked out.
Title: Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #1)
Author: Laini Taylor
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release date: September 27, 2011
Length: 418 pages (hardcover)
Genre: Young adult, urban fantasy, paranormal
Synopsis: (from Goodreads) “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 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 beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery 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?”
First off, world-building. Fan-freaking-tastic. There’s nothing else. This book is so unique. I couldn’t find hardly anything wrong with it. I love the characters, too. I love how the story progressed, how the plot developed, and wow, that plot twist about Karou! I bow down to Taylor’s fantastic writing skills because listening to this book was like listening to some of the greatest poetry. It wasn’t bogged down by descriptives or too flowery language.
I loved how the story revolved around an ancient struggle between demons/monsters and angels. How it’s just a small blip in time but has such a dramatic effect on Karou and the angel, Akiva. (Also, unique names and I don’t even mind!) I don’t even mind the romance between them because it’s a deeply-rooted romance that connects the two by their very souls. It was so heartbreaking to read and truthfully, my only complaint is how many of the chapters were overtaken by the story of Karou’s past and Akiva’s connection to her. I almost forgot about Karou and the human world completely, and I can’t figure out if that was a bad or a good thing. I mean, I liked how it opened to a brand new world that seemed very…Egyptian with its mixture of beings which were part animal and part human.
I liked all of the characters in this book, too. I’m excited to keep reading the series and see how the rest of it will play out. Of course, I hope for a happy ending but even at this rate, I don’t even know if it’s going to happen because there’s like a ton of ancient stuff happening and intertwining here, lol.