Review: Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #1)

Book: Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #1) by Laini Taylor
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company, 2011
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal, Angelology
Rating:heartheartheartheartHalfHeart
Source + Date Read: Purchased + Jan. 2013
Recommend: Those who like alternative women, art, eastern Europe with a healthy dose of paranormal love will enjoy this.
Book Pro’s: Taylor leaves no stone untouched, so there is something for everyone!
Book Con’s: Err… This is a good sign right? I can’t think of something that pissed me off.

Summary: 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?
Reading Challenges: Seriously-Series Reading Challenge + Feminist Reading Challenge
More Information: GoodReads

Cover:
I chose this cover specifically, and not the US version which I think is horrible. That is all, this is simple, dark, elegant and telling.

Setting:
Oh man, there are so many worlds to speak about. We’re first in Prague, then Morocco, Paris, then the world of the Seraphim (angels), and the world of the Chimera. Then we switch around some more.

Characters:
Laini Taylor is a whiz at developing her characters. Each individual had their own unique spirit and soul, some you liked and others you didn’t- but that was never the point, they’re so much like real individuals that you didn’t care what species they were or how they behaved, each spirit left you in awe.

Review:
First let me start with Some & Bone’s plot: It is sheer awesomeness. I read this book in one night, I started at 11PM and put it down at 5AM and sort of stared into the darkness till I succumbed to sleep. It’s a brilliant story complete with twists, turns, parallels to justice and this whole notion of colonialism and who is right or wrong. The Anthropologist in me was making some serious notes, and the book geek in me sighed at every twist, turn and beautiful description.

Indeed, there isn’t a part of this that I don’t like, though there were times when I felt like the chapters dragged a bit, we a bit stagnant- but that could have been my impatience to finish and see what was going on, rather than any dragging or lagging in Taylor’s writing.

The best part of the book is the sheer imaginative quality it has. Taylor truly creates a new world, one that is far from harmonious and it she raises issues about what is really and truly beautiful and what is ugly. Who is ever right and who is wrong? The Chimera were attacked first, their lands taken away from them because they were seen as substandard due to their mixed animal and human shapes, yet they retaliated back, they destroyed lives on Earth just to recover their armies. Who is ever right? Who is ever wrong?

Let me go on about this protagonist for a bit and then I’ll conclude: she is kick ass. Seriously. I was loathe to read another book with a semi-strong protagonist or bunch of women, that flutter between indecision, insecurity and false strength, but not Karou, she is the epitome of strong, in that she admits her weaknesses and insecurities and triumphs over them all. Her friends are sheer riots as well. Just lovely, it’s all just lovely.

In summary: read this book, ignore the crappy US cover and read it. Don’t let the cover stop you like it did for me, it’s worth a read, it’s worth the money spent on it.

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About Claire (BWB)

It's Claire (aka Quirky) from Bitches With Books, an online book blog that serves up a healthy dose of book reviews, lists + literary madness.
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8 Responses to Review: Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #1)

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  7. Lakeshia Artis says:

    So many books… So little time…. Great review

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