Title: Daughter of Smoke and Bone
Author: Laini Taylor
Series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone, #1
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Publisher: Little Brown (Imprint of Hachette)
Date Published: September 27th, 2011
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.
Daughter of Smoke and Bone is an incredibly unique tale that takes place in a very different world. It’s definitely not your typical young adult paranormal. It has it’s own flavor and style that is really hard to define in a review. It’s one of those books that has lots of mysteries, which are thankfully mostly solved within it’s own book (they don’t leave you waiting for the sequels for the answers). But I won’t give any of those away because most of the fun in this book was the discovery of answers to questions that you are bound to have throughout the story.
I really liked the main character, Karou. She’s a very independent girl and I loved that about her because that’s how I am. I liked that even though there was some romance, the story wasn’t all about the romance. There was more to it than just that and it made the bigger story more interesting. Don’t get me wrong, when we’re introduced to the love interest in the book I was definitely swooning. Especially during the masquerade ball near the end. I loved the parallels between Romeo and Juliet during that scene. Very cool.
Now where the book felt a little weak was the beginning. Since this is such a different kind of world it was extremely confusing at times and took awhile for me to grasp some of the concepts and the creatures. Some of it I’m still a little foggy on. But, I’m sure more of that will be cleared up in the next book. Once I got a handle a bit on the world and Karou’s past, a lot of it fell into place for me. There were some things I was extremely surprised by and were totally unexpected — in a good way. So once it got past the halfway point I was a lot more into the story.
Overall this is definitely a unique one. It’s a tough one to sum up without giving things away. But I can tell you that you’ll probably get a few surprises and by the end of the book you’ll be craving the next one.