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Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #1)
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Group Reads > April 2019 - Daughter of Smoke and Bone

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Gary | 1471 comments This month we'll be reading Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James.

Don't forget to use the spoiler tags! :)


message 2: by Matthew (new)

Matthew Williams (houseofwilliams) | 156 comments Is this an April Fool's gag?


message 3: by Babydoclaz (new)

Babydoclaz | 3 comments LOL


Gary | 1471 comments Matthew wrote: "Is this an April Fool's gag?"

Nevah!


message 5: by Matthew (last edited Apr 01, 2019 01:31PM) (new)

Matthew Williams (houseofwilliams) | 156 comments Let me know when May rolls around ;)


Gary | 1471 comments OK, now that that's done:

This month we'll be reading Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor.

Don't forget to use the spoiler tags! :)


message 7: by Yoly (new)

Yoly (macaruchi) | 794 comments Aww and I was already on chapter 3 of Fifty Shades... oh well...


Gary | 1471 comments Yoly wrote: "Aww and I was already on chapter 3 of Fifty Shades... oh well..."

We should start up a buddy read thread.


message 9: by Yoly (new)

Yoly (macaruchi) | 794 comments Gary wrote: "Yoly wrote: "Aww and I was already on chapter 3 of Fifty Shades... oh well..."

We should start up a buddy read thread."


If Amber joins the buddy read, I would do a re-read... That book was terrible.


message 10: by Gary (new) - rated it 5 stars

Gary | 1471 comments Yoly wrote: "Gary wrote: "Yoly wrote: "Aww and I was already on chapter 3 of Fifty Shades... oh well..."

We should start up a buddy read thread."

If Amber joins the buddy read, I would do a re-read... That bo..."


In the meantime:

This one's a reread for me. I've read the second in the series, but haven't got round to #3 yet or... book #2.5 (because it's a trilogy made up of four books.... We've had that conversation before, so I'll not belabor the point.) It'll be interesting to revisit it.

Probably the best paragraph in either the first or the second book is this one:
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. Baroque cupolas were the soft green of antique copper, and Gothic steeples stood ready to impale fallen angels. The wind carried the memory of magic, revolution, violins, and the cobbled lanes meandered like creeks. Thugs wore Mozart wigs and pushed chamber music on street corners, and marionettes hung in windows, making the whole city seem like a theater with unseen puppeteers crouched behind velvet.
Taylor dips into some pretty uses of the language from time to time throughout her prose, but that's a whole rhapsody of foreshadowing and world building right there.

I'll not spoil anything, but you might want to come back to that bit about a third or a fourth of the way through to see how neatly she was setting the scene there. Some folks might find her prose a bit much here and there, but I'd suggest you just go with it and see where she's going because there's a reason for her occasional florid flourish. When talking about < things that shall not be spoiled > there's really not a lot of other ways to go.


message 11: by Gary (new) - rated it 5 stars

Gary | 1471 comments Twitter, BTW, thought we should read Daughter of the Forest:



message 12: by Amber (last edited Apr 08, 2019 11:01AM) (new)

Amber Martingale | 659 comments Yoly wrote: "Gary wrote: "Yoly wrote: "Aww and I was already on chapter 3 of Fifty Shades... oh well..."

We should start up a buddy read thread."

If Amber joins the buddy read, I would do a re-read... That bo..."


Not a chance in Hell. I don't read crappily written erotica, even when it's NOT treading on the edge of porn territory. That said, if you did a buddy read of Fifty Shades of Chicken... (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1... ) I MIGHT be interested.


message 13: by Yoly (new)

Yoly (macaruchi) | 794 comments Amber wrote: "Yoly wrote: "Gary wrote: "Yoly wrote: "Aww and I was already on chapter 3 of Fifty Shades... oh well..."

We should start up a buddy read thread."

If Amber joins the buddy read, I would do a re-re..."


Oh man that book trailer, lol

http://www.fiftyshadesofchicken.com/

I also found this one on Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/50-Shades-Coq-...

It seems people had a little too much fun with this 50 shades thing...


message 14: by Amber (new)

Amber Martingale | 659 comments Tequila Mockingbird reminds me of Hickory Daiquiri Dock... .


message 15: by Matthew (new)

Matthew Williams (houseofwilliams) | 156 comments Oh, thank God! I am so relieved, I think I just peed a little....


message 16: by Gary (last edited Apr 08, 2019 02:27PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Gary | 1471 comments I'm at about the halfway point in this reread, and I'm noticing a lot of subtle uses of language from Taylor. That example I gave above in post #10 is still the best one overall, but there are a lot of little ones here and there. It's the kind of thing that I really admire in a writer; those tidbits of vocabulary that shift from simple storytelling to stronger, more meaningful art, if you will.

(I've been doing a lot of thinking about art as a thing recently, so it fits in neatly with that.)

I'll try to post up a few later. I should have made better notes....

The other thing I'm finding interesting is that I'm also reading Proven Guilty right now, and they make for a good compare/contrast within the "urban fantasy" genre. They are both urban and they are both fantasy. In both cases we have a magic system and worlds behind the mundane world, but I'm finding them quite dissimilar other than the superficial categorization. As far as genre goes, for instance, Butcher's work is a kind of not-quite-gritty, hard-boiled detective story in urban fantasy form, while Taylor's is an Epic Romance (capital E, capital R) pretending to be YA in urban fantasy form. Chicago versus Prague. Vampires versus angels. Then there are the differences between the leads. Male versus female, of course, but also Harry Dresden is very knowledgeable about his world. Karou's background is an amnesia story; she knows very little about the "real world" she inhabits.

Sometimes reading two books of the same genre can be unpleasant because they trip over one another. Not in this case.


message 17: by Yoly (new)

Yoly (macaruchi) | 794 comments I'm on chapter 18 and I'm bored :(
I was enjoying the first few chapters but after Akiva showed up, it got boring very fast.

I'm not giving up yet, I'll give it a few more chapters.


message 18: by Gary (last edited Apr 16, 2019 07:13PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Gary | 1471 comments Yoly wrote: "I'm on chapter 18 and I'm bored :(
I was enjoying the first few chapters but after Akiva showed up, it got boring very fast.

I'm not giving up yet, I'll give it a few more chapters."


I had to put it down for a couple days. Real world stuff, not anything to do with the book.

But, yeah, Akiva is not my favorite character either. Aside from little things like Taylor's penchant for waxing rhapsodic about his widow's peak* and his physical perfection, there's not always a lot there other than some somewhat stereotypical ideas. He's rather defined by being a sort of Romance novel Übermensch. Literally. He's a "war angel" as it were, whose most defining characteristic is his abject dedication and loyalty, which doesn't really make for that well developed a character study opportunity. Manly men take the pain! Manly men are emotionally detached! Manly men have unreserved and abject, even suicidal loyalty to a "lady love" who is mystified by the profundity of that worship, and maybe somewhat undeserving it.... He's not exactly the romance novel stereotype personified, but he ticks an awful lot of those boxes.

If this book were called "Son of Smoke and Bone" (which kind of would work, now I think on it...) and it was told from his POV then the story would be that he's a killing machine for love. Hi-jinks ensue.

To be fair, he's not the protagonist, so it follows that his personality would not be as developed or interesting as that of Karou or even Zuzanna, for instance. But to be fully fair, I'm not so sure that Taylor would do well if we were to ask how well she depicts male characters. They do all seem to be one note characters, even when that note forms a chord. There aren't a lot of male characters other than Akiva who get a lot of attention in this installment. For instance, Thiago (view spoiler) but he's not exactly the most rounded supporting character.... It's not entirely legit to cite the tertiary characters as un- or under-developed (they are, after all, tertiary) but Kazimir is a one-note character (as is Svetla) and Mikolos (Zuzanna's bf.) Brimstone is probably the only other male character that gets much attention, and he's meant to be a more or less stereotypical father-figure. Again, somewhat emotionally unavailable, authoritative, powerful but ultimately swayed by the protagonist's somewhat inexplicable fundamental goodness—which we must take as read as often as not.

But it does beg the question: why is Korou/(view spoiler) attracted to him? I mean, in the context of the novel, she's this embodiment of a hope. His attraction to her is all well and good. She's the developed character, even if her development might be a little shaky here and there. However, other than physical perfection and abject loyalty, what has Akiva got to offer as a character? Physical perfection and abject loyalty aren't anything to sneeze at, mind you, but the character could be replaced by a really tough greyhound, personality-wise. Maybe a greyhound with monkey tail and the eyes of a moose... since the characters are all broken up animal crackers in this book.

But to be absolutely totally fair, the book is called Daughter of Smoke and Bone not Son, and she was going for a kind of epic, high Romance (in the capital R sense of the word) and using many of the romance (lower case r) tropes to fit that strategy, so all these objections might be kind of the point.... If he's a stereotype, Taylor is playing with him as one as part of her whole "'angels' are bad, 'monsters' are good" over-arching plot/theme.

* I have a whole rant about this. Is a widow's peak sexy? I mean, any particular hair arrangement can be sexy or not from what I can tell. One of the most magnificent heads of hair to ever exist has got to be this one on Kyle MacLachlan during the Twin Peaks era:



Seriously, what the hell is that? Mink? Sable? It looks like the product of some multi-generational eugenics effort to develop a coif that could keep its wearer warm and cozy in any climate while simultaneously sustaining him through his scalp with energy obtained by solar absorption and feeding him nutrients gathered from the air. It's the exact opposite of that parasitic, piss-colored demon spawn on Trump's head, which at this point is sucking the life energy away from an entire planet....

But put Kyle's 80s hair on, say, Brad Pitt and he'd just look like a schmuck.


message 19: by Amber (last edited Apr 17, 2019 02:45PM) (new)

Amber Martingale | 659 comments PMSL while ROFLMFAO! Especially the "parasitic, piss-colored demon spawn on Trump's head, that at this point is sucking the life energy away from an entire planet...." line about Agent Numb Nuts, which is what my half brother and I BOTH call Trump. I USED to call him Agent Orange... .

And yes, widow's peaks CAN be sexy. Count Dracula has a widow's peak...and really, who but Dracula is the sexiest vampire undead?! https://www.google.com/search?q=dracu... Bela Lugosi and Sir Christopher Lee were probably the sexiest versions of Dracula... .


message 20: by Gary (new) - rated it 5 stars

Gary | 1471 comments Amber wrote: "PMSL while ROFLMFAO! Especially the "parasitic, piss-colored demon spawn on Trump's head, that at this point is sucking the life energy away from an entire planet...." line about Agent Numb Nuts..."

I elaborated a bit, but that's how it's been described:




message 21: by Yoly (new)

Yoly (macaruchi) | 794 comments TIL about widow's peak. I always called it "Eddie Munster's hair" 😛

But this book is definitely not my cup of tea. I abandoned it. Around 40% (I was listening to the audiobook, and I know I wouldn't have gotten this far if I were reading the ebook) I realized this was torture and I really didn't care about what happened to Karou (or anyone, really). I hadn't felt this way about a book since Ancillary Justice.

I know I'm picky with fantasy, and even more picky with Young Adult, so I'm not really surprised I wasn't enjoying this. I thought with the high praise this series has gotten I would at least tolerate it.

I'm not a YA hater, I loved Twilight (yes Amber, I did), but for some reason this book got boring fast. We can't enjoy them all I guess.


message 22: by Amber (last edited Apr 18, 2019 11:16AM) (new)

Amber Martingale | 659 comments Yoly wrote: "TIL about widow's peak. I always called it "Eddie Munster's hair" 😛

But this book is definitely not my cup of tea. I abandoned it. Around 40% (I was listening to the audiobook, and I know I wouldn..."


Now you know why I avoid that entire "genre," Yoly.

We all know that the movies are never as good as the books, but if the movies are THIS bad, how much WORSE are the actual books? (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0gugB... , https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_hp_x... and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qPUZo... )


message 23: by Yoly (new)

Yoly (macaruchi) | 794 comments Amber wrote: "Yoly wrote: "TIL about widow's peak. I always called it "Eddie Munster's hair" 😛

But this book is definitely not my cup of tea. I abandoned it. Around 40% (I was listening to the audiobook, and I ..."


Lol, well in their defense, that first Twilight movie was pure trash. The book was better :P

Those trailers are awesome!


message 24: by Gary (last edited Apr 20, 2019 10:10AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Gary | 1471 comments Yoly wrote: "But this book is definitely not my cup of tea. I abandoned it. Around 40%..."

Did you get to The Big Reveal?

Yoly wrote: "(I was listening to the audiobook, and I know I wouldn't have gotten this far if I were reading the ebook) I realized this was torture and I really didn't care about what happened to Karou (or anyone, really)."

This is actually the third time I've read this book. (I think I've given it plenty of attention at this point....) After reading it the first time, I gave it a year or so before starting in on book #2, but found myself a bit lost in that book, so I decided to back up and give #1 another shot first. I mention it because I tried the audiobook and found the edition that I got hold of somewhat obnoxious. It was from the library, so I don't recall who the narrator was, but I recall her voice being that of someone who seemed to think she was reading a comedy or something very frivolous and it gave the text a really annoying tone. Everything just comes off cutesy and bubbles. She would lilt in weird, unpredictable places making it seem like she was reading something meant to be read to kids. I wound up quitting the audio at about that same 40% mark, maybe a bit less, and went back to the unadulterated (ununadult?) text.

You might want to give the text version a shot.

In any case, I don't think the problem with my reading of book #2 was my own fault. The story does introduce a bunch of other characters and we follow our leads around in fits and starts. I found it made for a somewhat haphazard read as most of those secondary characters aren't—by that very nature—particularly developed, so their stories wind up reading more like filler than plot.


message 25: by Amber (new)

Amber Martingale | 659 comments Yoly wrote: "Amber wrote: "Yoly wrote: "TIL about widow's peak. I always called it "Eddie Munster's hair" 😛

But this book is definitely not my cup of tea. I abandoned it. Around 40% (I was listening to the aud..."


Yes, they are. Here's two others I particularly like: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_89Xh... and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zb5IH...


message 26: by Yoly (new)

Yoly (macaruchi) | 794 comments Gary wrote: "

Did you get to The Big Reveal?"


I didn't, or at least I don't think. In the last chapter I realized I wasn't even paying too much attention, so maybe I did get to that part and didn't even notice. I did read a plot summary online to see what I missed, and that made me even more glad that I stopped listening when I did. I also read that it ends in a huge cliffhanger? That would've made me very angry.

My problem with the book is basically that it is the mix of two genres I'm very picky about. I enjoyed the first few chapters were I thought the story would be something else but when it turned to what it really was, I found it boring and lost interest.

It was a disappointment that I didn't enjoy it because I had it on my to-read for years after reading reviews saying it was great. Just not my kind of thing I guess.


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