Series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone #1
Published by Little Brown Books for Young Readers on September 27th, 2011
Genres: Angels & Demons, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
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?
“Are you really reading about angels, Debby?” Yes. I read a book about angels. I too thought it would totally not be my cup of tea. But Laini Taylor is a master storyteller, has the most beautiful prose, and creates a story I would think impossible not to love.
The prose was possibly the strongest point of this whole novel. The imagery, the descriptions, everything was so amazingly beautiful. Strong prose, I find, is a rarity in the YA genre, I don’t think I’ve encountered it this good before. It’s just an element that immediately sucks you right into the story. And it makes me want to visit Prague even more than I already did, the sense of wanderlust Taylor evokes is astounding.
This is a book that truly lives up to its hype. It has incredible world building and overall it’s an extremely original and creative novel. That’s why it’s not hard to love it even if the sub-genre of “angels” is something you don’t think would be your cup of tea. Hell, I think Taylor’s converted me: I’ll be trying out more angel novels from now on.
I find almost no weaknesses in this book. The plot was extremely intriguing. Karou was an awesome heroine, I really really love her. Akiva is extremely appealing. The romance was very addictive to read about. Zuzanna is such an awesome character.
My only issue with it is that the whole story leads up to this big reveal of ~important information~ – the back story. And it’s great. The build up and the back story are both positively great. But I felt like it really lacked this action-packed climax, and the reveal was spread over 100 or so pages, which made it drag and become less effective. Don’t get me wrong, I thought it was a great story, but I’d just gotten so attached to Karou, Akiva, and the present day setting, and then it felt like I was torn away from that – I wanted to continue that part of the story.
But honestly, this is probably on my top 5 books that I’ve read this year. An amazing and engaging read. I’m definitely recommending it to my friends, I don’t think you could regret reading it.