Book Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Posted July 23, 2012 by Debby in Book Reviews

Book Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini TaylorDaughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
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
Pages: 432
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased

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?

5 Stars

“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.

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5 responses to “Book Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

  1. I agree with everything you said in this review but the last part.

    This isn’t in my top 5 books of the year. It’s easily number 1. I am obsessed.

    Laini’s prose is supernatural. Whenever I talk about her writing, I say she must have been born to fairies in a pile of pixie dust with a pen in her hand, because her prose is completely out of this world. I also like how you touched on the backstory reveal. I’ll admit, I was a little sad to leave Karou and Akiva’s present at first, but it didn’t take me long to get wrapped up in that story, too. So it was almost like getting two amazing stories in one.

    I love Akiva. I’ve argued with friends about who gets dibs. Heatedly. I’ve read and reread Akiva-heavy chapters. I even love his name, for goodness’ sake. I’m also contemplating getting that very first “Once Upon A Time” quote tattooed on my forearm, complete with that feather colored the same shade of blue as Karou’s hair.

    If it seems like I’m fangirl gushing, it’s because I am. This novel has cast a spell on me, I am convinced of it.

    • Haha, in December I’m going to compile the top books I read this year, and I’ll be curious to see where this one ends up. I don’t think it’s number 1 though, if only because I read The Hunger Games for the first time this year. *I know, I’m so late, don’t shoot me*

      That is a BRILLIANT description of Laini hahaha. It wouldn’t surprise me if that is exactly how she was born. I can’t wait to read more of her novels, they’re basically ALL on my to-read list now. If only I had more free time.

      Wowww a tattoo, that’s quite a sign of obsession then xD It is such a beautiful quote though, I don’t really blame you. And yes, Akiva is wonderful. Sadly none of my friends have read the book yet… I’m pushing though. They should. Soon.

      I think it’s impossible to not have fangirl feelings about this book, it’s just pure brilliance. xD

    • Hunger Games was one of the books I was actually ahead of the hype on lol. I absolutely adore it, but I’d still say I like DOSAB better.

      I’ve been on a tattoo frenzy lately – not actually getting them, but getting excited over a new idea for like a week then tossing it for a different one – so that may never go from my mind to my arm, but I think it’d look really cool if it did. My only hesitation would be that I already have a quill feather pen tattoo on my shoulder, so I don’t want to overdo the feather thing.

      Haha just remember to be full of I-told-you-sos when they finally read it and finish.

    • Haha, I’m late to so many of these books – I didn’t really get obsessed with reading til this year – due to The Hunger Games actually xD For me I think it beats DOSAB just because my all time favorite genre is dystopian fiction, and THG knocked that out of the park. A lot of the themes also resonate with my own life, so I have a really tight bond with it, haha.

      LOL that’s so funny. But it’s good to take the time to think about if you really want it – it’s so permanent.

      I will, definitely! I bought a copy as a present to one of my best friends but we just had exams and everything so everyone’s been super busy. But she’s promised to start reading soon, and then I’ll finally be able to fangirl about it with her xDDD

  2. Well, I had heard so many great things about this book and its sequel, and now yet another 5 stars review… I’m not sure I’ll be able to wait till the final book in the trilogy comes out to read them all back to back!