Sunday, August 4, 2013

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Me and author Laini Taylor at the Miami Book Fair in 2012
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? (from Goodreads)

Flo's Review
Here we go...I know I'm in the minority on this review. The reason I made myself finish the book is because I have heard so many good things about it, and I kept hearing several times that it was just the beginning that was slow and that I needed to give it a chance. And so I did. And I can understand where everyone is coming from with that opinion and thought process. 

I just felt this book was generally too long. I've said this before, but I think the period of the main character being like, "Oh I did this weird thing/this weird thing happened to me -- what am I?" should only go on for about two to four of those weird situations and then reveal what the character is already. I will admit that I think part of the reason this book felt so long and drawn out for me is because I was listening to it on audiobook. Maybe I would have felt it moved more quickly if I was reading it, instead of feeling like it dragging unnecessarily with no answers. 

START SPOILER: We don't find out who Karou is until waaay late in the book, and frankly, that just annoyed me. I did not particularly like the layout of telling the one story and then telling the other story after that. I felt the two maybe should have been intertwined throughout the book, going back and forth. Reading parallel, but then at the end you discover it's not parallel stories but really -- you know, what it is. END SPOILER.

Will I read Days of Blood and Starlight? I might, for two reasons. First of all, as you can see from the photo above, I met Laini Taylor and she was really sweet. Thus, I have a pretty shiny autographed copy of Days that I would hate to just ignore. Maybe it was drag since I'll be reading it. Also, now that we all know who Karou is -- including Karou -- I'm guessing the book will focus on action -- the war, and moving the storyline forward. This would alleviate what annoyed me about the first book.

I'm interested to hear your comments...


  1. Hm, you bring up an interesting point about audiobooks, which is why I have a hard time listening to one as a first-time read. I'm a visual person, so I like to see the words more than listen.

    And I understand where you're coming from as far as it going on too long, as I've stated that in my review.

    However, I couldn't help but be fascinated with the world that Karou truly comes from and the other characters there, especially Akiva, of course.

    I do feel the second book has more to offer, and hopefully by reading the actual book, you can enjoy it.

    And I so would love to meet Laini!

    1. Thanks for the comment! I'll give Days a try and let you know what I think ;-p

      Laini is super cool!