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Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #1)
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Laura | 8 comments Mod
Post is about the WHOLE BOOK.


I read this book for the first time back in 2013, and I remember it just being an intense pleasure and not being able to put it down. (Wow, my review was glowing and gushing!)

That being said, I have been listening to the audio just recently and while I still find the story and characters intriguing, I was a bit disappointed because I felt that my knowledge about some of the characters and "reveals" prevented me from enjoying as strongly this time through. The first time, I was being pulled forward maddeningly by the teases that lead to each new revelation, and then devoured deliciously the new information. This read through, I was not pulled quite so strongly, and so did not feel so fully.

I think that Laini Taylor's language is at times a bit much, but at other times (mostly when I'm really into it) I like her turns of phrase and I think she is poetic. Perhaps the excessive adjectives would bother me more in print? Sometimes that is the case, personally.

Regarding Akiva:
I know it says right in the description that there are star-crossed lovers, but I remember feeling the first time through and on this time too that the love between Akiva and Karou was too insta-love. Yes, this feeling was redeemed upon the reveal of Madrigal and the whole how they fell in love the first time, but I still would have liked a BIT more development for Karou, because it was her "first" time around.

Even reading the bits as Madrigal and how she and Akiva find each other... I felt and understood her thoughts on Thiago (repulsion) far more clearly and strongly than her feelings toward Akiva. In the whole dance scene during the festival, she does a fantastic job of going from good to bad between what she views are her two choices. But while I understood that she was having flutter-y feelings for Akiva, it was a big jump for them to be lovers two scenes later.

As a reader, I like both Karou and Akiva, and of course there were swoon-y moments toward Akiva, but I think his character is really so much of a mystery in this first book, it's not until later in the book and second book that I came around to appreciating him as more than the love interest. Karou as well was so spunky in the beginning, I liked getting more of her character as time went by. Her trials, sorrows, and Madrigal helped flesh her out both literally and in my own interpretation of her.

Regarding the magic and world-building:
I LOVE LOVE LOVE the worlds here: multiple universes with different species and problems and magic/forces! Obviously there are parallels between Erritz (sp?) and our world, like the animal and human aspect is similar to races here and the stratification among the angels is like classes here, but still: really liked Karou's discovery of the non-human world!

The Magic is intriguing, and though we get bits here and there, the magic is really more of a player in Akiva's character and in future books. The role that the teeth play was so cool, and I think this was a pretty neat and unique idea!

One complaint from me is the wishes: the wishes are all Karou really knows about magic in the beginning, but she understands their power and uses them to achieve her goals (i.e. FLYING). BUT THEN wish magic basically drops out of the story. Once she is in the other world, the wishes are no more. Maybe Karou doesn't know how the magic works to make the coins to grant wishes, which is fine, but even one or two sentences about this would have pretty much solved my griping. Really, this entire wish aspect (which I thought was really cool and I remember loving to try to guess at what the teeth had to do with the wishes) the wish aspect is dropped by the end of the first book, and don't come back through the second, and at least not in the first few chapters of the 3rd book where I am now.

That's it for now, most of the reviews online are super positive.
Would like to soon post a review about the second in the series: Days of Blood and Starlight, keep an eye out!

message 2: by Lindsay (new) - added it

Lindsay Collett | 5 comments You summed up my feelings quite well! I loved that Karou had an ex, and that Akiva wasnt her first ... well, for Karou anyway, kind of. Because I get tired of the virginal, inexperienced woman and worldly man thing. I like Akira but I'm not super swoony over him, but I'm happy with that!

The insta-love was a downside, but once Madrigal was revealed it didn't bother me as much. Although M and A definitely had some insta-love going on.

Love the world building, and the author's poetic language. Sometimes that overt flowery text bothers me, but Laini does it so well!

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