Sierra's Reviews > Daughter of Smoke & Bone

Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor
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Apr 11, 12

bookshelves: favs, urban-fantasy, angels
Read in December, 2011

I spent a good five minutes searching through a thesaurus to find the perfect word to describe this book. Awesome, breathtaking, sparkling, and even awe-inspiring didn’t quite fit the bill. In the end I doubt any one English word can sum up all the passion, imagery, and emotion in this book.

First off, the locations; Laini Taylor did a spectacular job detailing all the different locals Karou, the main character, visits. I especially liked the mystical and slightly magical descriptions of Prague. I seriously want to know if the crazy Poisson Kitchen is a real restaurant. A favorite hang out of Karou, the restaurant is filled with old statuary wearing, of all thing, WWI gas masks. The description of the place brought to mind the restaurant from Cynthia Leitich Smith’s Tantalize; both have that slightly ghoulish and yet fun aspect. Overall Taylor provided plenty of details bringing the scenery to life. I only wish she had included more details about the world Akiva comes from.

As for the characters, each one is vivid and bursting with life and vitality. I was honestly shocked at the level of emotion Taylor was able to portray through her characters. I especially liked Karou’s friend. The dialog between Karou and her friend was hysterical; I am definitely adding Laini Taylor to my “writers who can actually write worthwhile banter” list. It’s just sad that so many writers think they are being all cool and witty in the dialogue but in actuality the words are cringing on the page. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked Akiva’s character. In the beginning he definitely has that bad boy, supernatural appeal that is so common in this genre, but through our glimpses into his thoughts and through his actions he morphs into this sweet, gentle guy. I could say more but I don’t want to give anything away.

The plot, always the take it or leave it aspect for me, was a mixture of old and new. Taylor took the well worn Romeo and Juliet theme and made some alterations. The twist with teeth is really ingenious, and quite frankly I didn’t see it coming. Some people might complain that the latter half of the book is merely a bunch of flash backs and there is no real climax, but I thought the story was well paced and organized. But I do have to admit Taylor does dump a lot of information on her readers at the very end, I guess in an attempt to tie up all the loose ends.

Overall a phenomenal book, I would highly recommend to anyone old, young, girl, boy that likes fantasy.
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