Book Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone Series

This is a review for the Daughter of Smoke and Bone Series by Laini Taylor. ( 1# – Daughter of Smoke and Bone, 2# – Days of Blood and Starlight, 3# – Dreams of Gods and Monsters).

I didn’t hear of this series until 2014 when Dreams of Gods and Monsters had just been released. I was hanging around Indigo with my family when I saw the 1st book in the bargain bin. I hmmed and hawed over buying it, and I’m glad I went with my gut and did. When I opened the book, the first page just caught me.

Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love. It did not end well.

Ugh! How could one not be totally intrigued. If you haven’t read it and you’re a fan of fantasy YA book, give it a try! On that note, I’ve come to realize that my reviews have been full of spoilers lately and more summary based, so for this series I’m going to try to break that. This is a series that everyone needs to experience for themselves because the world and story line are so deep and require readers to form their own opinion. I would recommend this book to anyone who feels like they’ve been let down by YA books in the past.

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 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 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?

I truly believe this series wouldn’t be what it was with out leading lady Karou. She’s completely unlike any other heroine floating around YA land these days. She has tattoos, blue hair and (gasp) isn’t a Mary-Sue and/or snarky brat. She has a well developed character and back story, has good friends, an annoying ex and a double sided life that pushes her to her limits. What I love most about her is that even though she rises to the occasion and saves the day, she faces her challenges like any other human being would, complete with break downs, moments of weakness, incredible loss and redeeming victories.

What made me crazy-in-love about this series was the world building and Laini Taylor’s poetic style of writing. The world building just felt so complete and thought-out. Nothing was included just for the sake of shock and awe. After reading the series the thought of having an alternate dimension full of Chimera living their lives parallel to ours seems completely believable. If I could pick a fictional place to vacation this would be my first choice, next to Hogwarts! The world and species are so fantastical that I even over looked the standard insta-love trope.

Laini Taylor is a master wordsmith. Her lyrical style was so refreshing in a genre that is ruled by first-person narration and dialogue driven plots. I loved how she managed to change perspective between characters (sometimes mid-page) and never miss a beat.

With all the movie companies riding the YA band wagon, Universal Pictures did acquire the rights to make Daughter of Smoke and Bone into a movie (Wikipedia), but not much information has been released yet.  With rumors of stalling in the script writing, I hope it can pull through and wow us as much as the books did.

As for the covers, I wouldn’t expect anything less than beautiful for such a beautiful book. I did like the European covers better (pictured on the right.) I currently only have the 1st in hardcover, but I would like them all for my book shelves soon.

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