Thursday, June 27

Daughter of Smoke and Bone: Book Review

Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Laini Taylor

Little, Brown & Company
September 27th 2011
Young Adult | Fantasy
Angel | Demon
Official Blurb - 
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?

Compelling and original.
A desperate frenzy powered my reading with this book. Frantically I was attempting to read faster in order to get more words and story in my head. Like a man dying of thirst who comes upon an oasis.
Not your traditional angel/demon book. Not religious or anything like you would expect. That isn't to say that Laini Taylor doesn't use your preconceived ideas to her advantage. Her writing is much like her character Karou. Tells you truth with a wry smile. Then lets you assume what you will. Time and time again your notions will mislead you. Laini Taylor pulls out surprise after surprise. I had to go back and re-read just to see if I missed the signs. Sure enough in hindsight they were all there. It was nice not to know where the story was going exactly. 
A delicious delight like a many layered dessert. So much emotion packed into the little characters. Not that they are physically little. Far from it in so many ways. 
A bit of a Romeo and Juliet tale. Drama abounds and tragedy follows.
In the midst of this world steeped in violence is woven the whimsical. A balance that allows enough hope to give you the power to turn another page. Surely all possibility of happiness and good isn't lost. The whimsical mostly all comes from Karou. Raised amidst violence she yet remains unfettered and untainted by it. She makes wishes silly and fun.
Cold not put this book down. Even after the last page my mind refused to quit this world. Visions of possible scenarios for the future filled my dreams.
Surely there isn't a more tortured soul than Akiva. My heart goes out to him. I wish for the best.

I can't wait until I get an opportunity to pick up the next book.

Language: Moderate
Sexual: Mild to moderate
Violence: Moderate to heavy
Moments Divine:
"Don't put anything unnecessary into yourself. No poisons or chemicals, no fumes or smoke or alcohol, no sharp objects, no inessential needles--drug or tattoo--and . . . no inessential penises, either."
"Inessential penises?" Karou had repeated, delighted with the phrase in spite of her grief. "Is there any such thing as an essential one?"
"Right? I know. How much does your life have to suck to want the Apocalypse?"
"It would have to suck so much that your bunny slippers are your only friends."
"It would have to suck so much that your dog wags its tail when you leave."
"That you know all Celine Dion's lyrics."
"That you wish the entire world would end so you don't have to wake up one more day in your crappy house--which, by the way, has no art in it whatsoever--feed your surly kids, and go to a mind-numbing job where someone is sure to have brought doughnuts to make your ass even fatter. That is how much your life has to suck to want the Apocalypse."
"Oh, hell. Must. Mate. Immediately."
"No, really," said Zuzana. "Right now. It's like, a biological imperative, right, to get the best genetic material? And this"-- she made spokesmodel hands at Akiva--"is the best genetic material I have ever seen."