Friday, May 24, 2013

5 stars: Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone, #1) by Laini Taylor

"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?"

Published September 27th 2011 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. 

I am so excited that I have had a winning streak with the last few books I have read! This one was such a winner. In fact, I can't stop thinking about it, and I wish I had the sequel right now! It was so imaginative. The world building was absolutely incredible... so much so that I did miss a couple things, because there was just so much of a back story to the world that was created and just so many details. It was just so vast. So much imagination! So vivid! You guys, this book has me using exclamation points like they'll cease to exist tomorrow! Same thing with the word "so." Sorry.

Excellent character development too! I absolutely loved Karou (she wished her hair to permanently be blue, so it doesn't need to be dyed unless she wants a different color), her family (the devils who raised her), her best friend Zuzana, and definitely Akiva. Akiva is said to be the most beautiful man (angel, whatever) that Karou and everyone she knows have ever seen. Plus, he's broody and has been through so much sorrow, you just want to give him a hug.

The story's opening hook is "Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love. It did not end well." I was seriously sucked in immediately. Those are perhaps my favorite opening lines ever. You may have noticed that when I review books, I say how surprised I was by blah blah blah, and you might think that's strange because blah blah blah is mentioned in the book's summary that I post. Well, here's a secret... I never read the full summary, because I don't like spoilers. Usually I'll read the first couple lines, or I'll just scan it, and sometimes I won't read the summary at all, because I'm going by word of mouth alone (and if I do read a summary, I'll make note that I MUST read the book, and then I'll make myself forget what it's about--I like to be surprised!). Oh yeah, back to what I was saying. I was surprised that the devil was the female and the angel was the male. Haven't you noticed that it's usually the other way around? That was a nice twist. Although, you can't really assume that she's bad and he's good, because that is so not true.

I really loved the pacing. The story is told in a perfect manner and it slides back in time to provide clarity about what is being discussed (back story for whichever thing). There are a lot of flashbacks and they improved the story, because if the author just told us what happened, instead of showed us, I really wouldn't have liked the twists. They needed explanation, and I couldn't think of a better way. Between the time shifts, perspective shifts, location shifts (even between worlds), I feel like the story was three dimensional, and I saw it from every angle. Plus, I feel like I went on an epic adventure. There was a cliffhanger though and still more questions that need answers, and I can't wait to find out what happens next. Right now, I just want to be back in the world of the book.

1 comment:

  1. I really liked this book, but it was so complex that when I went to read the 2nd book, I had no idea what was going on. I'm waiting for the series to finish, and then I'll read them all together.