Reina's Reviews > Daughter of Smoke & Bone

Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor
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Apr 20, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: fantasy, ya-teen, urban-fantasy

A note before you read this review.

There are some spoilers. And if you are going to read this review to get excited about reading this book, I suggest you not read this review because its mostly about my complaints. I did though, give it three stars which indicates that I did like the book, but there were some issues I had with it. So yea, this review might seem steeped in negativity, but that's kinda how I rate the books I give three stars.

So I just re-read/skimmed a little to refresh my memory of what happened for the second book. And I am grappling to pinpoint what exactly about these books it is that doesn't completely enrapture me. I want to like so bad but there is something just a little off. And I think that it may just be that they are are little too... whimsical... That sounds weird. How can a book be too whimsical? I don't know, but its the best description I could give. Maybe its because I prefer books a little more dark and epic and intense. And maybe because I don't really feel a connection with the characters. I am indifferent to Akiva. Karou is okay, I preferred her in the first half of Daughter. I actually liked Madrigal though. Another reason I think I didn't so much love Daughter as much I feel like I should, is because it sort of morphed into a love story where I wanted more action and plot. And a love story with two characters with whom I don't feel like I know. It was like watching two strangers. I was detached. Okay, well I'll stop ranting and get to reading the second book, which I am hopeful for.

And a bit more world building and plot. I mean honestly, the second half of the book is just the back story of Madrigal and Akiva which I suppose is the mystery of the story, but thats in the past and this is Karou's story and she's in the present where the plot happens. The back story should have taken maybe two chapters. Though actaully, I found Madrigal to be a much more compelling character that Karou was in the second half.

As for my complaints about the plot... first off, the world of the angels was pretty nonexistent for me and therefore I am not left hanging at the end when there is a what other reviewers have called a massive cliff hanger. I have no notion of what the angel world is like and therefore dont really care or have any intruige. Liraz and Hazael are the only ties besides Akiva to that world, and frankly, they're not too fascinating of characters. And the war between the chimeria nad angels is because of what? They're constantly fighting just because they've been constantly been fighting since the beginning of time? Not compelling enough for me. So what exactly does the cliff hanger leave the readers dying to know? What happens next in the angel world? Well, we don't know squat about the angel world, and so I am not left with any gripping curiosity. There has to be something there for me to ponder over. And also, we're not left with a clear story arc of where the second book is going to go because this book is basically centered around the mystery of Akiva and Madrigal and who Karou is. And so, what I would imagine to be a plot element is the war and the reason for it, but as the war isnt really about anything...

Unlike most other reviews, I actually liked the first half of the book much more than the second half. Karou had much more of a personality and there was just more going on than in the second half with Karou and Akiva trapsing around and feeling an inexplicable attraction to each other. And I actaully liked Kaz. He's a fun character to see interact with Karou. KISHMISH!!! He was a cute little creature and I was very sad to see him go. Though, ehh, Zuzanna was just the typicaly peppy best friend.

Also, two RANDOM scenes which I guess were not extremely out of place, but...
- the scene with Liraz and Hazael, who are also, I felt really unecessary characters as they just appear once, and don't really add to the book. They could have just stayed in Akiva's narrative.

- I think Laini Taylor meant for the scene with Karou in North America visiting Bain to show Karou's badaasness and abitlity to fight, but I never really got that impression from Karou. She never struck me as a fighter, more of just a strong avarage female lead in YA fantasy fiction who dosent really do the any fighting. The scene was a tad confusing for me with figuring out who Karou is because it didnt really seem to fit her.

AND I didn't really buy the love story. Maybe Akiva and Madrigal's but not Karou and Akiva's (even though Madrigal and Karou are supposed to be the same soul). It just felt like Karou and Akiva's supposed love was just another one of those that in YA fantasy that goes from nonexistant to sofreakinginlove. They started out fine when Karou brought Akiva to her flat and they were just talking and Karou was a little suspicious and skeptical, but then the just skipped right to being in love and that was cheesey and unrealistic for me which brought down my liking of the story. And I know Karou is supposedly Madrigal in soul, I do not really see them as the same person. I think I liked Madrigal better.

Oh, and I dunno, I'm not particularily fond of the cover. But I will read the next book in the -series? trilogy?- which I think has an absolutly gorgeous title, Days of Blood and Starlight.
Do I recommend the book despite my numerous complaints? Sure, it was an entertaining book and I enjoyed it while reading it.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Angélica (new) - added it

Angélica The problem of plot, or the lack of it, was one I also found in Taylor's anthology Lips Touch: Three Times. It was either a boring one or nonexistent. Her writing is supposed to make up for it, as manyof the book's reviewers claimed, but I am, unfortunately, not a fan of unnecessarily flowery language. Taylor's writing is good, but it's simply not my cup of tea.

Reina Oh I KNOW, there really wasn't a plot- the backstory was the major plot and that isn't fully explained until the end. And I agree about the flowery language. I originally had in bold at the top "Less flowery writing and more characterization" but deleted it because I didn't want to take away from her prose which is actually quite original and lovely.

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