Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

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 otherworldly 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?

My humble thoughts: Quite honestly, I knew this book would be amazing before I even got it-- Laini Taylor is that good (plus, she has killer hair). In my opinion, it's hard to find a book that separates itself from the usual brand of YA paranormal out there. Not to say I don't like those books, but reading Daughter of Smoke and Bone is like breathing fresh air after being stuck inside a box all day. The writing is gorgeous, for one thing. Laini Taylor really digs deep inside her characters emotions, and never uses those boring cliches like 'she was as beautiful as the sunrise' or 'fear gripped him' to name a few. It's just so original and powerful. The story, too, is unlike anything I've read. We read about angels and humans falling madly in love all the time-- but what about angels and devils? The idea made me blink and wonder. The author plays it out perfectly, though. The storyline bursts with mythological lore and imagination, not to mention Karou, who is a fierce, intelligent heroine who isn't afraid to do what has to be done-- she isn't afraid of anything, really. Anyone who reads this would want to be friends with her (but I already took the title of Best Friend, everyone else will just have to be regular friends).

All in all, this book is definitely swoon-worthy. The foreign setting is lovely and realistic, the characters are wonderful, and the plot is fresh and absorbing. Definitely a re-reader, and a book I'll buy as a hardcover in October. I hope they do the cover with the mask, though-- I like it much better than this one I received.

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