Saturday, October 29, 2011

Review: Daughter of Smoke & Bone


Daughter of Smoke & Bone
Laini Taylor

Publisher: Little, Brown & Company
September 2011

Genre: Young Adult

From the publisher: 

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. 


     I'm not sure how to write this review without giving away the best part of the book which is its uniqueness. From the beginning, it captures your attention with a blue-haired art student who can make wishes on a string of beads and gets sent on mysterious errands to collect teeth. Even it's main location, Prague, is refreshing (having been there myself, I can say it is absolutely the gem that Taylor paints it to be). 
    You are quickly drawn into a world like no other with angels and monsters, magic and portals, and love as true and aching as it gets. 
    The writing was sharp without being pretentious. Reminiscent of e. e. cummings, with chapter titles like "Ache and Salt and Allness," and "Battle Not With Monsters," at times I felt like I was reading poetry instead of a novel.
    The only negative thing I have to say is that there are times where the voice of the writing isn't clear. In a few sections the time goes from present to past and back without a header to let you know where you are in the story. I figured it out within a few lines, but felt distracted from the story while I did. 

I received a copy of this book at the BEA in May and wish I had read it sooner! Excellent! 

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