Review – Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor

Title: Daughter of Smoke & Bone
Author: Laini Taylor
Series: Daughter of Smoke & Bone #1

Next Book: Days of Blood & Starlight
Source: Library

Description from Goodreads:

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?

Review

Daughter of Smoke & Bone was another book that I didn’t really know much about. I didn’t know what to expect or what it was really about, but I had seen several people read it and enjoy it, so when I saw that my library had the audio book available for an MP3 download, I decided to give it a chance, and I’m glad I did.

Daughter of Smoke & Bone starts off as a fairly normal story, other than the fact that Karou has blue hair. However, that’s easily accomplished with a bottle of hair dye. She’s an art student living in Prague, and has a jerk of an ex-boyfriend, who is still finding ways to annoy her and try to win her back (which is not working). While Karou is in an art class with her friend Zuzanna, we learn a little about the paranormal aspects of the story. You see, Karou was raised by, and runs errands for, chimaera. After being attacked by a winged stranger, Karou starts to learn a little more about the chimaera, and learns more about love and herself in the process.

I loved the characters in Daughter of Smoke & Bone. Karou was a kick-ass heroine, though she’s a bit naive sometimes, due to her chimaera “family” keeping her ignorant to a lot of what goes on in their world. Also, Karou doesn’t know where she came from. As far back as she can remember, she’s been with Brimstone and the others, and she considers them family, but obviously, as a human, she had to have come from somewhere. This doesn’t seem to bother her too much during the story, but it definitely makes for interesting reading, as I was dying to know more about who she was and how she came to live with monsters. Her friend Zuzanna is great. She is absolutely hilarious, and the dialogue between the two had me cracking up several times. They really have a great friendship. Then there’s Karou’s ex, Kas. He is unintentionally funny. He’s so full of himself that you can’t help but laugh when Karou turns him down time and time again. And Akiva. He’s really intriguing. He’s an angel, but don’t let that make you complacent. Taylor’s angels are nothing like any other angel I’ve ever read about. And his interactions with Karou were always very interesting.

The ending was great, if a bit emotional, and it had me dying for the next book. It definitely wrapped most of the necessary events and questions from Daughter of Smoke & Bone, but also had an open ending that was a perfect set-up for Days of Blood & Starlight.

I listened to the audio version of Daughter of Smoke & Bone, and I would highly recommend it. It’s narrated by Khristine Hvam, who also narrated The Iron King, which I listened to not that long ago. Her voices for the characters were great. She did male voices and accents, and they just sounded perfect, not overly done or unrealistic. I don’t have a ton of experience with audio, but she is definitely going up as one of my favorite narrators. In fact, I loved the audio so much that I rejoined Audible to get the sequel, Days of Blood & Starlight, in audio form as well!

Overall, I thought that Daughter of Smoke & Bone was a great read and a very interesting take on chimaera and angels, and I would highly recommend it.

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8 thoughts on “Review – Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor

  1. Brandy @ A Little of the Book Life June 14, 2013 at 12:43 pm Reply

    Great review! I loved this one when I read it, and I’m going to start Days of Blood & Starlight this weekend.

    I think Zuzana is probably one of my favorite secondary characters in a book. Funny, supportive, and allows Karou to be her and still always be there for her. I love that. I also loved the mystery of the story, how it unfolds and we learn a little bit at a time.

    • Mommy's Reading Break June 16, 2013 at 3:52 pm Reply

      Did you read Days of Blood & Starlight yet? I had to go right into it because I couldn’t stop thinking about the series. I just wrote my review actually, and it will be posting on Thursday. Zuzana is even better in Blood & Starlight, actually, and I LOVE her!

      • Brandy June 16, 2013 at 5:32 pm

        I am 112 pages in and loving it. I was super excited to see Zuzana kick it off… that whole scene was awesome and such a great depiction of their friendship. I am heartbroken for both karou and akiva and curious to see how that plays out in this one. I wish it were a quicker ready in a way, so I could learn them faster. Lol. But I love the writing and don’t want to miss anything, sometimes even going back and rereading a passage. 🙂

      • Mommy's Reading Break June 16, 2013 at 10:05 pm

        Yeah, Zuzana is great. I will warn you that the 2nd book is definitely darker, which is to be expected during a war, but Zuzana definitely adds some much needed comic relief. Can’t wait to see what you think once you finish!

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  5. […] Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor – This was a book that really surprised me. The description didn’t seem that impressive, but the story sucked me in. I listened on audio, and I loved it even more. Khristine Hvam does one of (if not the) best narrations I’ve ever heard! […]

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