Series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone #1
Published by Hachette Audio on 9/27/2011
Genres: Paranormal Fiction, Romance, Young Adult
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Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.\r\n\r\nIn a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.\r\n\r\nAnd in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.\r\n\r\nMeet 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 hairactually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.\r\n\r\nWhen beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery 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?
“Wishes are false. Hope is true. Hope makes it’s own magic.”
Holy-smoking-hot-angels, Batman! Laini Taylor, where ya been all my life?! I’m totes late to the Daughter of Smoke and Bone bandwagon, but let me tell you, I ran behind it, grabbed onto the back rails and swung myself aboard with gusto! This book rocked my socks! It was amazeballs! I don’t even know what to say! The characters! My gosh, I was a fan of them all. All equally fleshed out, Taylor writes characters that, even though this is a fantasy novel, made realistic choices. Karou, an enigmatic art student, is the most mysterious of them all (besides maybe Akiva, super-dreamy hero to this story – I hope), and it felt like a compulsive need to know more about her and where she came from. Karou is unapologetically selfish and flawed – she is Brimstone’s errand girl and in payment she earns wishes that she spends on sometimes spiteful or frivolous things – and I loved that about her, because she knows and accepts this about herself. Sometimes it’s worth a few wishes to make your ex-boyfriend itch in the right place and the right time. And from the moment I met Akiva, I loved him. So unloved, so tortured, so starved for someone to notice him, and he and Karou lock eyes. It was like seeing salvation for me as a reader. Akiva has so many demons in his closet, so many regrets and heartaches, and I hurt for him. Szouszanna (am I spelling her name right?) was epically funny and serious. She is Karou’s anchor to the real world (if there is such a thing) and her snark and wit lent a brevity to situations that sometimes needed it. She also was a hard character, in that she has very high expectations – and holds people to them. I really liked her so much! Gruff Brimstone and loving Issa…and all the others. They just came so alive in my mind. The world-building! Taylor was absolutely masterful at weaving the past and present together, to bring it all inline and weave it like fabric. She is amazing. I don’t even know what else to say. It felt like I was on the streets of Prague, or in the Chimaera city, or as a soldier in the Emperor seraphim’s army of angels. The story has a Romeo & Juliet feel to it, if Romeo & Juliet was actually an awesome fantasy story with a good plot about the doors to ‘Elsewhere’ being sealed off from access so that not even Karou can access them to see the family of chimaera who raised her from an infant human child. Karou’s desperation to reach her adopted chimaera family becomes the reader’s mission, too. Laini Taylor’s prose in Daughter of Smoke and Bone is like beautiful poetry. Every single line is like music. Not only is the plot thrilling and exciting, but it tickles the ears, too. Daughter of Smoke and Bone is…amazing perfection.
Khristine Hvam is also amazing perfection and has assured that I will listen to books two and three. Her inflections, voices and accents were excellent. I could listen to her read a grocery list.