Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Daughter of Smoke and Bone - Laini Taylor [Review]

This review contains spoilers.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Title: Daughter of Smoke and Bone
Author: Laini Taylor
Publisher:  Little Brown Books
Series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone #1
Release Date: September 27th 2011
Pages: 418
Rating: ★★1/2


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?


Unfortunately, I am not really enthousiastic about this book.

The first part of the book I found great. We meet Karou, she seems like a normal girl, while actually she lives with monsters. She does not know what she is herself and even not who the monsters are. They have brought her up, and she accepts them and does not ask questions.
Her whole world is beautifully described and we follow Karou on several errants to interesting places. Her whole world of monsters seemed very interesting and I wanted to know more about it. I liked Karou's character. She was funny and strong, the ideal heroine it seemed.
I did think it was a bit irritating that Karou did not know anything about her world, it left the readers in the dark for a very long time and I do not like that. But it did keep me reading and  entertained. 

Then she met the angel Akiva. I found their romance weird and it kind of ruined the book for me. They are enemies, but they are both drawn to each other without reason. One time they fight each other, the other they are sharing their life stories. I could not really get into this romance, since I did not understand why they were even attracted to each other in the first place.
Akiva was a strange character. He did not come over as loveable and I did not really understand why he was so interested in Karou. I also did not understand why he was not careful to hide his true nature from humans, is that not a very important thing in most stories? I was definitely not intruiged by his character. 

I liked the book up until the wishbone thing. After that it just became boring. The whole part where the history of Mandrigal and Akiva was explained I just wanted to skip, I was more interested in Karou. The worst part was that this was in the middle of a big reveal, so frustrating!

The main thing I did not like about this book was the way things were revealed. The reader first gets a little glance and than after about 10 pages of building suspense we finally get the answer. This was very frustrating, you do not want the read a boring story about Mandrigal when they are revealing something major about Karou. And because you want to know the secret, you read too quickly and skip important things. I guess that's why I found some things confusing and not seeming to add up. Of course revealing everything immediately is not good, but you can also build suspense too much.

I do think the whole world of monsters and demons was beautifully described and had much depth. With the writing as such was nothing wrong.

So I liked the first part, but the romance and the story of Madrigal ruined the rest of the book for me.

I'm not sure whether I'd recommend the book. I know many people liked this book, so I guess you should just find out for yourself if you like it! The book had a lot of potential, but it did not fulfill it. I don't think I'll read the second book any time soon, maybe some day.

Stars: 2.5 out of 5 


  1. I couldn't agree more. I felt like the beginning was pretty good and then things just went downhill. I didn't care for the romance either.

  2. Oh my goodness, I was beginning to think there was something wrong with me that I couldn't get into this story and ended up putting it on my DNF list. There have been so many rave reviews, I'm glad to see you and Sarah weren't that impressed either.

    Great review.
    Erin @ YA Book Crush

  3. I've been seeing this for quite some time now but I didn't like the blurb as much so I never added it to my TBR list. Thanks for sharing your review. :)

    Andrea K. @ Books and Bindings

    P.S. Followed you on Blog Lovin! :D

  4. I thought I was the only one who did not like this book too:) I'm glad to see I'm not!


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