Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
420 Pages (Hardcover)
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
September 27, 2011
Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.
In a dark and dusty shop, a devil's supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.
And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.
Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she's prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages--not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she's about to find out.
When one of the strangers--beautiful, haunted Akiva--fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?
The plot of this book was very intriguing and unique. The whole premise of angle & demon may seem overused, but I assure you, it was not like that at all. This novel brought something very new to that tale, and I loved it for it.
I'm not going into plot, because honestly, it kind of confused me - and I think it is supposed to. I mean, the main character is confused and desperately seeking for answers, so then why should the reader be in any different of a position? I will say that it is full of surprises. If while reading you think "I know what is going to happen" and you actually do, then you have some sort of freaky super-power and I hope you use it for good.
I only have two real criticisms. Firstly, the names. The names tripped me up frequently. I am also sort of tied by how I feel because I see how they should fit. These are not really humans, they are creatures. Akiva and Izil make sense in that way, but I constantly stumbled over them and sometimes had to pause to remember who was who. The second thing is that I found the structure of the novel a bit confusing. I like how it was split into parts, but one part goes back and forth from past to real time without much of a warning. It didn't really seem to flow there for me.
Other than that, this is a freaking fantastic novel! Should you read it? I'd say yes. Very suspenseful, mysterious, romantic, hilarious and dangerous... Oh, now don't you want to see how those adjectives fit?