Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Published: 9-27-2011 by Little, Brown
Get the book: Amazon
Audiobook read by Khristine Hvam
Published: 9-27-2011 by Hachette Audio
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?
Design – Alison Impey Rating – 4/5
I like this cover for a few reasons. I like that the girl is wearing a bright turquoise feather mask. Karou’s hair is also a bright blue color, the flashback in the book tells of a masquerade ball, and the chimaera are creatures who may actually have feathers. So it’s a knockout in the content area. Visually, I’m not a huge fan of the fonts, but I do appreciate how the title lines up with the angle of the face. I like the black and white photo set off by the single vivid color, but I wish there wasn’t so much illumination on the side of her face.
I really like how they cropped the cover for the paperback. The addition of the red is creepy and I’m so glad they brightened up that eye:
This was the first full-length audiobook I ever listened to, so it was a little weird for me at first. I really liked this book. It had its issues, but I ended up loving it overall. Really, the last paragraph of the summary almost made me skip this one, but I’m glad I read it.
- settings – The settings were exotic, beautiful, and so well described. Karou lives in Prague (in the Czech Republic), but she travels to places across the globe, like Morocco, to collect teeth for Brimstone. The descriptions of the historic city of Prague were great and Elsewhere was filled with magical details. The places just added another layer of charm and mystique to the story.
- magical lore – The source of the magic and the slow unfolding of Karou’s understanding of it were so unique. Between the mystery of what really goes on in Brimstone’s shop, what the teeth are actually for, and the revelations of the flashback, the mechanics of the wishes and magic were great.
- chimaera + angels – The chimaera are these really cool creatures – each is completely unique and there’s a social hierarchy around which animal aspects someone has. The age-old war between the chimaera and the angels is really intricate and interesting. The origin of the members of each group was an important part of it as well. I liked the discussions about which side was the “good” side and how each side was convinced it was them.
- wishbone – I thought the story and the importance of the wishbone necklace was awesome. Akiva’s reaction to seeing that Karou had it, and the role it played in Karou’s life, were nothing short of epic.
- overdramatic – It was overdramatic at times. People meant to be together forever, fallen angels, and literal soulmates. Some of the descriptions, particularly of the lovey-dovey scenes, were filled with confessions of undying devotion and it was just overkill. The feeling like Karou was missing a piece inside of herself – all of that was very overdramatic and touchy-feely.
- done to death – The whole premise of “here’s a normal teenager who turns out to be some magical super important part of a huge ordeal” is something it seems like every YA book with even a hint of the paranormal is doing. Yes, I liked this book because it diverged from that more than some, but it was still the underlying idea. An idea that’s been done so many times. Why couldn’t Karou just actually be a normal teenager who got caught up in this other world?
- the ending – The ending smacked me in the face. It came on the heels of a lengthy flashback full of revelations and it just crashed into my emotions.
- emotion – There’s so much added expression and feeling behind a character’s words when you are actually hearing them. The narrator, Khristine Hvam, was great at voicing the entire range of emotions throughout the book.
- characters – The narrator made it easy to differentiate between all the characters – everyone had their own voice and way of speaking. From humans like Zuzana to the creepy Razgut and snake lady Issa, each voice fit the personality of the character.
- length – It took around 12 hours to listen to the entire book. That’s a really long time. A lot longer than it takes me to read a book, but that’s really my only complaint.
- Her pockets were always spilling out curious things: ancient bronze coins, teeth, tiny jade tigers no bigger than her thumbnail. She might reveal, while haggling for sunglasses with an African street vendor, that she spoke fluent Yoruba. Once, Kaz had undressed her to discover a knife hidden in her boot. There was the matter of her being impossible to scare and, of course, there were the scars on her abdomen: three shiny divots that could only have been made by bullets. – about Karou
- Wishes are false. Hope is true. Hope makes its own magic. – Brimstone