TITLE: Daughter of Smoke and Bone
AUTHOR: Laini Taylor
GENRE: paranormal romance, fantasy
PUBLICATION DATE: Sept 27th 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?
I found it quite intriguing. It didn't take my breath away or anything, but the blue on the cover is exactly what I have in mind when imagining Karou's hair.
Whoa. That was something different. While at some point it became rather clear and straighforward tragic romance, it sure kept surprising me. I wasn't really convinced at first - the weirdness of it all, the created world reminded me a bit of magic realism, which is one of my least favorite genrs out there. But, thankfully, it's not the case at all.
Besides, half of the book happens in Prague. I've been to Prague two times, each time really sick and with high fever, so it's all like behind thick fog for me, but I remembered the details through Karou's eyes.
Karou is one of the best female lead characters I've read in a while. She can manage on her own and her badassery is showing (the scene at the bearded guy's shack was one of my absolute favorites!), even if she can be quite helpless at times.
Akiva is described as "so beautiful to the point of overdoing it" and I had to smile at that. He's troubled, he's got some problems with trying to be funny, which in turn IS funny - I'm not the one to fall for perfect angelic main characters, but this time, I couldn't help it. ;)
Other characters - Zuzana (you know, the bickering bff type, but I appreciated her awesome sense of humor), Brimstone (LOVED the guy, another Gandalf type but not quite) and even Thiago (our bad guy) were really well executed.
Nonlinear narrative was refreshing, but a bit confusing at times. While I appreciated that it's not first person POV, I was kind of lost sometimes. Especially when it became clear to me that the narrator is omnipresent. It hopped from Karou to Akiva to other characters almost from sentence to sentence and it took me a while to get used to it.
But it's not a disadvantage of course. The writing flowed nicely, and, what I appreciated a lot, there was humor present. It made me laugh out loud a few times, which happens rarely when I read paranormal romances these days. Yay!
A must-read! I added this book to my favorites and I can't wait for DAYS OF BLOOD AND STARLIGHT, which is a confirmed title of the sequel.
4.5 stars out of 5.