Monday, October 24, 2016

Brittney Jenson
4/5 Stars

Daughter of Smoke & Bone 
by Laini Taylor
418 Pages
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (September 27, 2011)

"Daughter of Smoke and Bone" has some rich scenery, great characters, and a fun magic system.

Karou is a mysterious girl studying art in Prague.  Her hair grows out of her head blue, she speaks dozens of languages... not all of them human, and she runs errands for the devil collecting teeth.

But she has no idea who she really is, how she got in league with the monster to begin with, nor what she's supposed to do when an other worldly battled comes to her door in the form of avenging angels of fire.

This story was fun in a lot of ways.  Laini Taylor does a fantastic job describing the cities Karou visits.  They are vivid, colorful and make you want to be a part of them.  I felt kind of luke warm about Karou throughout the story, but I loved her sassy friend Zuzana and there was a lot of commentary that made me chuckle, for instance:

"Zuzana arched an eyebrow.  She was a master of the eyebrow arch, and Karou envied her for it. Her own eyebrows did not function independently of each other, which handicapped her expressions of suspicion and distain."

The magic system was also well done and interesting, not like anything I've read before and I loved that it had some definitive rules, so we as the reader could understand and expect how things worked which made the story richer for me.

Intalove/lust kinda kills it for me and there was an unfortunate dose of that.  The plot also jumped around a bit - leaping forward three pages only to catch right back up which I didn't work for me, but the writing was solid and the plot felt fresh.

And... I really liked the monsters.  Probably worth the read.


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