Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Genre: YA, UF
Series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone #1

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?

Talk about original. It's refreshing and a new take on what's out there. There's a sense of angels and demons in here with talk of wings and deformity (though not in the sense that we are used to such as mixed body parts and etc.), but it's not the typical upperworld with wings = good, underworld with deformity = bad type of situation. For one, it's not a typical set up as in angels are from Goodness above and Demons are from Badness below. It's more like... different worlds that happen to be in different realms. And humans had a glimpse of it in the past and derived their own religion from it since then; hence the whole wings/angel thing from above and the whole deformed beings from below.

You meet two characters who are from different worlds, Akiva from above and Karou who's actually in-between because she's brought up by those who dwell below, but she lives in the regular mortal world. They eventually tell each other what they were taught about their world and why they are at war with each other. Then you realize... there's not a clear side of good vs bad or black vs white and neither side are "right". We're always told there's always shades of grey; the in-between. This book definitely shows that in this case.

Oh, the twists! I didn't predict what was going to happen at all. I don't run into many books that deal with ...this one Buddhism aspect of our souls/essence/energy never dying. If you've read the book, you understand what I mean. If you haven't, I stated it that way as to not give a spoiler. Readers are the biggest predictor-faces (what my hubby calls me) ever and when we're avid readers, it's easy to see where the book is leading us. So to give you a bigger hint will be giving it away. But wow, the ending and the real story with Karou. Definitely liked this book. It's just refreshing!

Anyways, I can go on and on. If you have not read this book, check it out! I haven't heard the biggest hype about it, but it certainly passed what I initially thought it would be like. Maybe the description didn't do it for me, but I didn't expect so much from this book (as in the case with Angelfall by Susan Ee and Shadow Reader by Sandy Williams - both of which reviews are coming!) So put this on your TBR/To-Buy/whatever-else list. If you are into YA, into the refreshingly new reads, I don't think you'll be disappointed with this. If anything, it'll be a nice read and a good way to spend your free time (whatever those are).

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