Marizabeth's Reviews > Daughter of Smoke & Bone

Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor
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Jun 05, 12

bookshelves: book-series, fantasy
Read from June 04 to 05, 2012

This novel was the first I purchased with my new Kindle (yes, I have joined the technological ranks of the bibliophiles). It was also one of the first I've read in quite awhile that was entirely void of typos, or at least, I didn't find any myself. I appreciate when an editor does his/her job well; finding errant words, misspelled atrocities, and other distractions in the text tends to warp my reading experience.

This story was mystical and, in a way, adorable. We meet our protagonist in the opening pages, and slowly become familiar with her fantastical real-life. Karou is a girl with a hazy past, a blurred present, and an obscured future. For someone with such undefined events in her life, Karou herself is painted in stark detail. We learn about her in a roundabout way, which is consistent with Karou's flippancy and brooding secrecy. Frequently, our knowledge of Karou is accrued as other characters try to pry information from her. Karou tells the truth, but her truths are so fanciful that she employs wry facial expressions so as not to be taken too seriously... the other world in which she lives is not one that many humans could accept in stride.

We follow Karou through a mostly normal day: art school, visiting favorite haunts with a friend, being summoned by a small creature comprised of multiple animal bits, returning to the odd store inhabited by monstrous creatures that employ her to run errands for teeth. You know, basic day-to-day stuff. For Karou, anyway.

As the novel progresses, strange scorched hand-prints begin to materialize on the doors used as portals between our world and the otherworldly shop; the doors Karou uses on her errands. Strange occurrences are happening around these doors across our world, and people are beginning to attribute the marks to angels. One such angel attacks Karou on an errand, and her world will never be the same.

Ripped from half of her world forever, Karou must make an unlikely alliance with the beautiful but lethal angel Akiva. Akiva, although a new acquaintance, is somehow familiar to Karou, and after a time, she seems like a ghost of another woman in another life to him. From two opposing sides in a drawn out war in a world removed from the one they inhabit now, Karou and Akiva struggle to uncover a truth neither of them could have prepared for: who Karou truly is.

I found the novel to be truly imaginative and charming. An intuitive reader can begin to unravel the mysteries in it fairly quickly, but the conclusion is still thrilling. Laini Taylor's whimsical half-world is moderately timeless and relatable. The real world is exotic and yet grounded in the characters. The other world is fantastical and yet understandable in its strife.

This is definitely a novel for fantasy readers, romance enthusiasts, and anyone just looking for a brief escape from reality. I would probably recommend that readers be 13+ due to some content (there is mention of penises in reference to Karou's art class and ex-boyfriend model, sexual innuendos, that sort of thing). The novel does solidify itself as more of a romance than a fantasy adventure about halfway through, and I imagine the second novel in the series will pick up with more of that storyline.
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Reading Progress

06/04/2012 page 235
56.0% "I started this last night. I must like it; I've abandoned everything else and am glued to the story..."
06/05/2012 page 417
100.0% "Devoured!"

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