Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Book Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Daughter of Smoke and BoneTitle: Daughter of Smoke and Bone
Author: Laini Taylor
Pages: 420
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Date of Publication: 29th September 2011
Source: Publisher
Synopsis from Goodreads: Featuring necklaces made of wishes; an underground shop dealing in teeth; magical tattoos; a wishbone on a cord, DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE is a thrilling story about Karou and her secret life as an apprentice to a wishmonger. Karou manages to keep her two lives in balance. On the one hand, she is a seventeen-year-old art student in Prague; on the other, errand-girl to an inhuman creature who deals in wishes and is the closest thing she has to family. Her life is surrounded by mysteries she is desperate to unveil.

My Thoughts:
This book has a lot of hype surrounding it, so I went into reading it thinking it was going to be one of the best books of the year. And it was really good, awesome even, but it just didn't quite live up to the hype. Very, very nearly, but just not quite.

The idea of the book was amazing. Really it was. The whole character of Karou fascinated me, with her blue hair and her amazing drawings. I was intrigued by her little 'errands' and I wanted to learn more about her life as a child, growing up with Brimstone and Issa in the shop, collecting teeth. I wanted to know more about her, because she was such an interesting character. She wasn't really believable, but it didn't matter, because I could imagine her anyway. And some of the things she thought of - the wishes especially, (with Kaz at the beginning, with the itch? ;) ) had me laughing out loud, or chuckling to myself. She was very loyal to her 'family' of chimaera in the shop, as she would go on errands, sometimes blindly, or sometimes to place she hated or previously been hurt in, just for them, because they asked her to. I admired her bravery and her determination, and I loved everything about her.

And then there was Akiva. He's the perfect villain at the start, he's mysterious and you don't really know what he's doing but you can guess he's dangerous, yet you can't stop wondering about him, and thinking about what he'd be like if you were to meet him. And then we get to know him a little, and you can't help but fall for him as you learn more and more about him. I also liked how every few chapters, there was a chapter based around him and his thoughts about Karou, and it gave us another view of her, almost as an outsider would look at her, in the beginning, at least.

One of the reasons I only gave the book 4 feet out of 5 was because for me, the beginning and a little bit in the middle were rather slow for me. It wasn't that it was bad, but I just think it was a little bit of an information overload. A lot of worldbuilding was packed into not a lot of pages, and it just confused me because I was being told so much about so many things and they all got mixed up in my head... (maybe that was just me) ;) And then about a third of the way in the plot started picking up, once everything was explained and I started to understand the world that Laini Taylor had created.

Overall all though, Daughter of Smoke and Bone is an awesome book, and I can't wait for the next book in the series. I think that the story will carry on in a really good way, and that this series has the potential to be AMAZING. While this just missed out on being one of my top 2011 reads, I'm sure you'll still enjoy it, if you're a fan of paranormal YA, or if you just want something with a very well thought out plot and amazing characters. So, when it's released on 29th September, go and buy it, because you will NOT be disappointed. And also, the UK cover looks absolutely GORGEOUS ;)

*Thank you to Hodder & Stoughton for sending me this in exchange for an honest review! In no way has this affected my opinion of the book.

My Rating:
I give it 4 feet!

2011 Debut Author Challenge #22
2011 Paranormal YA Reading Challenge #39
2011 100+ Reading Challenge #68


  1. Slow can work for me if it is leading somewhere great, and this sounds like it is! Fabulous review! :)

  2. I actually had never heard of this one. Fab review.

  3. Awesome review!!! I adored this, I get what you mean about all the world building but personally I really liked that. Can't wait for the sequel either

    The Cait Files

  4. The UK cover is really pretty isn't it. I can't wait to read it. Loved your review and I'll push through those slower bits (I'm a B for putting them down at slow bits and not picking them up again) seeing as I know it's going to get better.


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