Monday, February 18, 2013

Review of Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Lani Taylor

Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #1)Around the world, black hand prints 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 one of the strangers—beautiful, haunted Akiva—fixes his fire-colored 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?

(Summary from GoodReads)

Daughter of Smoke and Bone was one of those books that got so many early positive reviews that I knew I would need to own the hardcover.  Of course, once I received a review copy, it took me quite some time to get to it.  A lot of people said this book has a slow beginning, but right away I fell head over heels in love with Taylor’s lush writing style and had to keep reading.  Unfortunately, the honeymoon period between Daughter of Smoke and Bone and me was short lived.

A lot of YA novels featuring any sort of paranormal elements will often get the same complaints attached to them, usually involving the writing style or romance.   I’m not citing any official statistic by saying that, it’s just an observation of mine and issues that I find arise when I read anything paranormal.  Part of the reason I started off loving Daughter of Smoke and Bone was that it seemed like it avoided these pitfalls.  About 150 pages in, though, I realized I didn’t like the direction it was going, and I barely finished the book.  I doubt I could be more vague if I tried, but it’s hard to say more without spoilers.

The narrative of this book isn’t entirely lacking in originality.  I’ve heard that the Days of Blood and Starlight is a very different book from this one, so I’m willing to try and it see if it takes a direction that’s more appealing to me.  Taylor has a lot of potential, but if this series doesn’t get better, I won’t read any more of the paranormal stuff that she publishes.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.


  1. I think I get what you're saying. I really liked the beginning of this book but then it went to part two and was more romantic and I ended up liking this a lot less than most other bloggers seemed to.

  2. This is one of the few romances that didn't bother me a bit. There was a basis to it that I wanted to explore.

    If it helps, though, the next book is very grim; hate, war, and doom doom doom...

    1. You've told me this before, though I worry that it will have too many of those elements for me to enjoy it. That, or the switch in tone will read as very contrived. I'll give it a shot because I love the writing.

  3. A lot of ya-loving friends recommended 'Daughter of Smoke and Bone' to me. But since I have a love-hate relationship with ya books mostly because of writing style and overused tropes, I still did not buy/read this one. Your review gave me hope that I may not be wrong that I am resisting flood of recommendations so far, although I have a feeling I will cave in eventually. :)

    1. Let me know what you think if you do try it. it's hard one to warp one's head around.

  4. Nice sharing. i like your blog. I am going to stumble it.Thanks.
    Yüz Germe



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