Saturday, 7 February 2015

Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Daughter of Smoke and Bone

by Laini Taylor

5 out of 5

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 grows 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 actuallygrows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery 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?

Karou spends most of her time in far flung countries, bartering for teeth for her father-figure Brimstone.  She is always disappearing, putting strain on the few friends she manages to keep in the mundane world.
Finally Karou starts to discover more about Brimstone's world, about teeth and wishes; and about herself.

I loved this book.
Karou is entertaining, and very down-to-earth.  She knows that her other-place friends are unusual; she knows that it is not normal to travel the world in a blink and have to dodge bullets, or drag tusks across foreign cities.  But she accepts her life, trying to balance it with normal friends, growing up and other desires.
Her interaction with her ex-boyfriend, and all of her "petty" choices are hilarious.

Everything becomes a little bit more real, when Brimstone is showing strain, and Karou is attacked by a mysterious stranger. Karou fights back to find the truth, and to find those she considers her family.

The only parts I wasn't so keen on, was the insta-love.  I know, it's all about soul-mates, but one minute they're fighting, the next they can't live without the other.  And ok, perhaps Karou held back a little, but Akiva jumped straight in, in a way that I felt blurred the lines with his previous love for Madrigal.
Yes, I know the truth, but I couldn't help but feel he'd picked up his Madrigal-shaped heart and plonked it on Karou - kinda like having to wear someone else's shoes.

I was also a little jarred by the sudden shift into Madrigal's story.  It was a great story, with amazing world-building; but it just felt wedged in there.  And as the story went on, it almost pushed Karou into the shadows, which is a shame for such a fun character.

Anyways, I will definitely be reading the rest of the series, which my friend has kindly leant me paperback copies for!

Goodreads link

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