Alcieta's Reviews > Daughter of Smoke & Bone

Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor
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's review
Aug 04, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: well-written
Read from August 04 to 06, 2012

3.5/5. I've been hearing the hype for a year now. It didn't sound like the kind of book I'd enjoy, but intrigued all the same, I picked it up one day in a bookstore and read the first chapter. I know; reading only the first chapter isn't a great way to analyze any book, but when I snapped it closed and replaced it on the shelf, I determined that yes, the book was popular, but not my thing.

Then recently, a favourite author of mine rated it five stars here on Goodreads. My curiosity flared up yet again. I thought, "You're kidding me. She rates it five stars, how can I not read it now?" So, with a sigh, I bought the paperback on my next visit to Chapters. (laugh)

I read it in three days with a sort of jumbled, airy feeling. I mean, for one, I am intensely drawn to any book that is extremely well written. I feel like stressing the extremity of this, because you could feel Laini Taylor pouring out herself with this book. The writing was that good. She is a very talented lady, her writing is worth reading to the point you imagine yourself enjoying anything she wrote, like a science textbook? Anyway, my favourite part of the book was the elegance and beauty in which it flared to the pages as written word. I loved it. The writing alone accounts for 3 stars, I think.

Now, the story... oh no, the story. It was unique. Different. This is always a good thing. But I don't know if it struck out at a certain point for me, or if it was consistent the entire time. I didn't like it. I have a few reasons why, but the main factor that diced my enjoyment was probably the chimaera. The wondrous, beautiful chimaera! I felt like Laini was beating me over the head with what she wanted me to feel for them. Sorry man, when you say chimaera I think of exactly what you described, and it ain't pretty. It's practically gory. I can't easily emphasize with a character that is a chimaera, though I tried. I did.

And, I'm sorry... was I the only one that thought Madrigal and Akiva being together was a little creepy? Probably. You can't do sensual with a chimaera, but Laini did anyway. I'm honestly grateful she didn't describe Madrigal's 'nights' with Akiva. It's disappointing enough to even find that kind of thing in teen novels. You can't escape it - their love is soo right, it's perfect! It glows pink. Yay. ...It left me with a bad taste in my mouth. Frankly, I couldn't stop seeing Madrigal as rather whorish, and that put me out a little, too.

Anyway, negativity aside, this was a fabulous novel. I got lost as it slowed three quarters of the way in, but other than that, it was easy to keep reading. I liked Karou a little bit, though I liked her better before she turned 'devil'. Though this story so drastically blurs the lines of what's really good or evil, which is what you expect when you pick up a book about 'angels', but the chimaera kept being referred to as devils. And the seraphim - surprise there. Blurred lines. So neither good is good nor is evil evil. When reading a book like this, it's easy to just turn my head off to stuff like that and give a kind of mental shrug. Someone is just telling a story.

In the end, props to Laini for a well written book in a sea of... badly written books. I certainly quoted it enough anyway, keeping my notebook right beside me...

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Quotes Alcieta Liked

Laini Taylor
“Happiness. It was the place where passion, with all its dazzle and drumbeat, met something softer: homecoming and safety and pure sunbeam comfort. It was all those things, intertwined with the heat and the thrill, and it was as bright within her as a swallowed star.”
Laini Taylor, Daughter of Smoke & Bone

Reading Progress

08/04/2012 page 25
6.0% "Man, this book keeps attractive descriptions. Unfortunate then about the distasteful matter of the story. Not garnering interest as of yet. Certainly as turn-off, though! Here's why I'll keep reading: "The falling snow and the early hour conspired to paint Prague ghostly, like a tintype photograph, all silver and haze.""
08/04/2012 page 25
6.0% "And here's another: "It was a city of alchemists and dreamers, its medieval cobbles once trod by golems, mystics, invading armies. Tall houses glowed goldenrod and carmine and eggshell blue, embellished with Rococo plasterwork and capped in roofs of uniform red." Too elegant and alluring! I hate that I must keep reading for the writing style alone."
08/04/2012 page 100
24.0% "So far, I'm only reading for the style of writing. Certainly hope the story dusts off its cracked and dry rot and begins to shine. Though I doubt it. Another quote: "In her, too, curiosity was a perverse fire, stoked by any effort to extinguish it.""
08/05/2012 page 200
48.0% "And my addiction to the writing style continues! The story still hasn't gotten good. *taps foot* Original, but not my cup of tea."
08/06/2012 page 365
88.0% "I don't know how I am even following what's going on anymore. Miraculous. This book, if anything, is getting a little boring..."

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