TITLE: Daughter Of Smoke & Bone
AUTHOR: Laini Taylor
SERIES: Daughter Of Smoke & Bone (#1)
PUBLISHER: Hodder & Stoughton
GENRE: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
RATING: 4.5/5 Stars
In general, Karou has managed to keep her two lives in balance. On the one hand, she's a seventeen-year-old art student in Prague; on the other, errand-girl to a monstrous creature who is the closest thing she has to family. Raised half in our world, half in 'Elsewhere', she has never understood Brimstone's dark work - buying teeth from hunters and murderers - nor how she came into his keeping. She is a secret even to herself, plagued by the sensation that she isn't whole.
Now the doors to Elsewhere are closing, and Karou must choose between the safety of her human life and the dangers of a war-ravaged world that may hold the answers she has always sought.
What I Liked:
- Laini Taylor has injected a lot of personality into every character that is in this book. I think I pretty much fell in love with them all, and they all had such a great dynamic with each other. I mean the conversations between Karou and Zuzana were just hilarious and they didn't even make up the main premise of the story. Really, there was some awesome characterisation stuff in this one!
- The concept of 'Elsewhere'. Karou's other life, her 'family' are just fantastic. The amount of thought that went into their creation was clear and I loved the world-building images we get, in particular, of Brimstone's shop and how his line of business works. Taylor has obviously really thought about exactly how she wants her other world to look, sound and feel and it was just wonderful to read.
- The romance was very heated. I like it when romantic leads have chemistry, and in particular, Karou and Avika seemed on equal terms, rather than one giving chase while the other plays hard to get. It was nice to read about them both being a bit unsure but both feeling an undeniable attraction.
What I Disliked:
- Towards the end of the book, Taylor jumps about a bit. This is entirely necessary, as it is the 'big reveal' that I had been waiting for, and yet because it jumped around time so much, I found my interest waning ever so slightly and the desire to just finish the book increasing. I don't think the ending was bad, it just felt a bit disorganised and confusing for me.
- Despite liking the chemistry between Karou and Akiva, I wanted a bit more of the romance stuff. I felt like they fell for each other just a bit too easily, I mean one minute they're fighting, the next they're having tea together! The big reveal at the end does go someway towards explaining this however. I think the next book will be better as it can focus a lot more on the present day story-line, and there might be a bit more development between the growing relationship between them. Fingers crossed!
I really enjoyed this book and it is easy to see why it has become so popular! The ideas behind the fantasy world are very original and I really embraced the whole concept, the characters and enjoyed the plot too. I was a little thrown at the end with the jumping about, and I felt that the relationship between Karou and Akiva may have been ever so slightly under-developed at this point (though definitely enjoyable to read). This series has a lot of good stuff and the potential to be awesome. I thoroughly look forward to the next book!