Janina's Reviews > Daughter of Smoke & Bone

Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor
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Dec 16, 2013

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bookshelves: young-adult-fiction, urban-fantasy, art
Read from January 08 to February 12, 2012

Somewhere between three and four stars

I am very indecisive about my rating here. It depends very much on my current mood, so if you ask me on two different days, you might actually get four different answers. I loved so many aspects of the story, yet, I was also deeply disappointed by others.

First and foremost, I can safely say that I adored the setting. I have never been to Prague (although it is only a few hours from here), but should definitely redeem that. Even if real Prague is only half as magical as Karou's Prague, I still imagine it to be one of the most fascinating cities in the world. Laini Taylor's writing brought to life small and dark alleys, warm lamplight shining on snowflakes, colours and fantastic creatures that seemed so at home in a present-day setting with a kind of medieval charm.

The cast of supporting characters is beyond fantastic: Brimstone, his chimeara employees and the secret behind the teeth – Zuzana the puppeteer and her violinist – even Kazimir and his deliciously strange vampire tours. Karou balances on a thin line between artsy and a little too artsy, but I really admired her strength and her loyalty towards her chimeara “family”.

The biggest drawback undoubtedly was the love story. I never connected with Akiva, and found Karou's infatuation with him hard to understand. He always remained distant and colourless compared to the other characters, and his relationship to Karou was too clichéd – especially because the rest of the story was exceptionally different from other paranormals. There was no chemistry present between these two, and the story of star-crossed lovers has simply been done too many times. There was an explanation for the feelings arising so quickly between them, but it was an explanation I am wary about. It came with a transformation of the heroine's character that I'm not fond of and is the reason I'm awaiting the sequel with mixed feelings. Summed up, Karou's feelings for Akiva made me like her less and disrupted the picture I had of her at the beginning (view spoiler)

Despite all that, I have to admit that I've grown quite fond of and feel a strange protectiveness towards this book. I have to have it on my shelf, and only partly because I like the cover so much. My book collection just wouldn't feel complete without it.
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Reading Progress

01/08/2012
9.0% "Already in love with the setting. Just magical."
01/14/2012
25.0% "Hmmm. I hope this won't focus too much on Akiva. He sounds just like every other paranormal love interest out there. I want to know more about Brimstone and his teeth!!"
01/29/2012
40.0% "What is it with all those mythical creatures? Why do they always have to watch the heroine sleep??"
02/12/2012
81.0% "Definitely capturing, but I just can't warm up to the love story. I wish it had been left out ..."
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Comments (showing 1-11)




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Devyani i guess i'm going to be the last one on this planet to actually read this book -.-
let me know how you feel about it :)
while i cry in despair.


Kruti I'd love to see what you think of this book :). It's on my tbr shelf too.


Janina I'm stalling a little right now. I loved the beginning and I am still in love with the setting, but the love story just doesn't do anything for me. It's way too clichéd and I don't like how the heroine is slowly turning to mush ... ;).


Kruti Oh no, I know what you mean. I hate it when heroines start of so strong but then gradually get mushy, whiny and annoying lol. Hopefully, It's still a good read :)


Wendy Darling I had very similar feelings as you, Janina. It's so interesting to see all the different reactions to this book!


Elena I felt disappointed with the romance aspect as well. Especially Madrigal's part of story. It felt like a fairy tale thrown into the main story line.


Janina Actually, I liked Madrigal's flashback, but in general, I'm just not a fan of (view spoiler).


message 4: by ~Tina~ (new)

~Tina~ I couldn't finish this one and ended up giving away my copy:( Great review, Janina!


Susan I totally agree! I loved this book until Akiva came into the picture as a love interest! So glad to find someone else who agrees!


Becca I tried to explain my disappointment with this book, but I never was able to explain it as well as you just have. I agree with every single point. It was a fantastic book, but the love story didnt capture my attention and/or sympathy as well as everything else did.


message 1: by Ana (new) - added it

Ana I agree with every word!


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