Friday, July 12, 2013

Book Review -- Daughter of Smoke and Bone


Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone, #1)Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor
My enjoyment rating: 4 of 5 stars
Hangover rating:  4
Source: Personal copy
Genre: Fiction, fantasy, YA, dystopian
Objectionable material: Sexual illusion, but it was faint at best; I don't remember any language.
Ladies of Literature book club July pick


Summary: Around 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 grown 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 thoughts:
 
Totally. Out. Of. My. Comfort. Zone.

I feel like the Mikey commercial of the 70’s – she tried it and she liked it!

Seriously…I would NEVER have read this without prompting from my friend, Heather.

I don’t read books like this. Angels? Monsters? Teeth? Parts? Wings?

Hats off to author, Laini Taylor, for creating such an otherworld experience, and having it feel authentic. Her imagery of the “chimaera” – these monster-animal-human-like creations – is vivid, and seems almost plausible.

The relationship she builds between Karou and Akiva is like any other star-crossed/Romeo & Juliet love affair, fraught with passion, angst, longing, pain, desire. I too would run off with an angel if he looked and acted like Akiva! However, if the guy I was into was half goat, not so much.

And I think where her story was brilliantly executed – is with the character’s relationships (or lack thereof) – whether it was Karou & Brimstone, or Karou & Kaz, or Madrigal &Thiago, or Zuzana & Mik – all unique, different, emotionally charged, potent, dangerous. And, well, normal. Or as normal as can be.

I don’t do sequels unless your name is Harry, but I think I will be queuing up part 2 of the Smoke and Bone series, Days of Blood and Starlight.