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October 08, 2011

Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor - Juhina

Title: Daughter of Smoke & Bone
Author: Laini Taylor
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Angels
Rating: ★
Synopsis (via Goodread)
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?

My Review:

I'm scared even saying this but I hated this book. Every blogger i follow and love has given it more than stellar reviews, some even went and boldly said it is their best debut Novel of 2011 . But.... it's not for me. I tried enjoying it, and getting into this world  of angels and chimaeras but I just couldn't bring myself to care enough to get invested. 
When I read the beginning i was very confused, the names, the settings, all are foreign to me. I usually read books set in atleast an english speaking country but i got used to it, and to the weird names. I'm going to be totally honest here and say that i did not appreciate all the details written for everything in the book. It made me sort of detached from the characters. I was also confused, VERY confused. What are chimaeras, brimstone? who is Karou and what's the deal with the teeth? i know ive said before i like mysteries but this just frustrated me. How was I supposed to continue reading a story I did not get AT ALL? But after 100 pages i started enjoying it, really enjoying it. Bits and pieces of the puzzle came together and i was happy, i can just mark this as a slow starting kind of book so everything was good. 
Then the flashback. The 60 page flashback that basically ended this book for me. I am NOT a fan of flashbacks, especially if the story could live without it (and believe me this could) but 60 pages? happening exactly after a critical point of the story? I didn't need to know the detailed past life of the protagonist since i've already found out most of these information from Akiva's flashbacks (boy, many flashbacks here) and what i understood from what i've read so far of the present. Yes the flashback did clear up a few unclear points but it didn't need to take 60 long pages. 
The ending, I literally gasped out loud at the end. I was devastated since i might not have connected with the protagonist but there was a character i connected with, and its Brimstone. I have hope that the second book would be less confusing and more bearable to read so I will pick it up (at least to read the synopsis and see what i'll be getting into).


  1. Thanks for the honest review. I really liked this one, though I have to admit that I'm not a fan of flashbacks either. I also got a little confused at the beginning.

  2. thanks for taking the time to read it! im not a fan of flashbacks at all either

    - juhina

  3. Hm... I agree with you on flashbacks (usually I just skip over them because they tend to not add much to a story). I did like how this one made more sense of the insta-love between Akiva and Karou, but their romance didn't really suit my taste. It looks like we share similar opinions about this book overall.

  4. While I didn't think this was stellar, I did enjoy this book. I had read Laini's Lips Touch Three Times and her MG series before this. So I'm well versed in this writing style. I do get that detachment from the characters as well.

  5. The first half of the book is fast paced, creative, and extremely exciting. All of a sudden it turns into a happy, slow paced annoying love story. Then it just ends. Just because an author plans on writing a sequel does not excuse only telling half of the story.