Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Read: September 2015
My Book Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
My Narrator Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance (Angels and Demons)
In my search of my local library’s very limited supply of YA audiobooks on CD, I discovered Daughter of Smoke and Bone. I think, had I read the book instead of listening to it, I would have had a difficult time getting through it (I’ll explain later). However, the audiobook was an addicting joy to listen to.
Karou is the quirky, mysterious heroine to this story. She’s an art student in Prague and seemingly normal—blue hair aside. However, she has a habit of mysteriously disappearing (much to her best friends annoyance), and she is, in fact, running errands for a demon. Karou doesn’t know anything about where she came from, all her life she’s lived with the demons and she’s accepted that’s just who she is. As payment for her errands, Karou is gifted beads that allow her to make wishes. She wishes for silly things such as her hair to grow out of her head blue or she wishes for someone to have an itch. While this story could have been taken very seriously and dark, Taylor has managed to pepper the story with humor. I really, really loved Karou’s character. She just came to life for me and I wanted to be her friend.
Taylor’s writing is beautifully descriptive, to the point where I would probably gloss over it when actually reading it with my eyes, but I loved the details while I had the story read to me. I’m gravely disappointed my local library does not carry the rest of the series on audiobook!
Much of the book is Karou going about her business, with little hints of what Akiva (an angel) is up to. When all hell breaks loose (get it? Hell? Demons? …..sorry) we’ve already seen the seeds planted, but it’s all a revelation to Karou. She is hit with tragedy, sadness, joy… a plethora of emotions all at once.
I don’t have a text copy of the book, so I may quote this incorrectly, but I believe the beginning of the book begins with a quote of: “Once upon a time, an angel and a demon fell in love. It did not end well.” This is truly a tale of Romeo and Juliet, but much more interesting than Shakespeare’s version. The entire world Taylor has crafted is brilliant, when all of the pieces came together in the end I had an “OHHHH!” moment. I never guessed that was where things were going, and I absolutely loved that’s where they went. (I’m avoiding spoilers here!)
I knocked half a star off because at one point we’re given huge chunks of backstory, which I normally hate. However, Taylor mostly pulled it off due to her beautiful prose and her incredibly interesting storyline.
This is a must read in my opinion, or even better, get your hands on the audiobook. The narrator is fabulous, the different voices she used for each character were brilliant.