Synopsis: 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?
From the first page, I knew this book was different. From the synopsis, I really had no clue what this book was going to be about, but trusting the opinions of many book bloggers, I picked it up anyway. For those who don't know, Daughter of Smoke and Bone is the story of Karou, a girl who is unknowingly associated with an ancient war between angels and chimaera. Oh, and she might be in love with the enemy.
The mood of this book was very dark and mysterious. Laini Taylor's writing was fantastic. It's lyrical and poetic, though not similar to the writing of Lauren Oliver. More like Erin Morgenstern. Sometimes, I found that Laini's passages were too descriptive and I'd find myself skimming things. Nevertheless, she is still a brilliant writer. Her writing is kind of open ended. You think that Laini is hinting at this particular thing, but you're never sure, and then you find out later in the story. The story itself is really just many layers woven together to create one book. Laini really makes the story come to life through her writing.
Karou, the main character, might just be the best protagonist ever. She's very different and unique. She's a fighter and she's curious. She just wants to know all the secrets, and as a reader, I wanted to know as well. Karou was strong and admirable. Although Karou was a character I was fond of, I thought that Laini Taylor's secondary characters fell flat. The chimaera in Brimstone's office, Karou's friend Zuzana, they just didn't really leap off the page.
Although I highly enjoyed this book, I had several problems with it as well. First off, there was insta-love. Yes, I suppose it's justified later, but I still didn't like it. Also, no matter how unique Daughter of Smoke and Bone was, one thought kept encroaching throughout my reading experience. The thought was this: It was similar to Passion by Lauren Kate. The multiple lives thing and the experiencing past lives... Yep, not the most original thing I've read.
Speaking of experiencing past lives... I really didn't like reading about Madrigal. I didn't like how big the portion of the book about her was. The first three quarters of the book, I freaking LOVED. But then when it came to around pg 300, I wanted to skip it or maybe just put it down. I couldn't bring myself to care about Madrigal. It was so abrupt and... I don't know. I was just waiting for the story to turn back to Karou.
The ending was killer. Laini Taylor, whyyy? :(
So this review is way too long. And it sounds like I didn't like it. But I did. A lot!
Daughter of Smoke and Bone is an utterly fascinating and very well-told tale that captivates readers, pulling them into Laini Taylor's fantastical, detailed world.