Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Published: September 27th, 2011 (Little, Brown Books FYR)
Series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone, #1
Buy the book: Bookdepository
Rating: ★★★☆☆ ½
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 grown 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 had this book on my shelves for nearly two years when I finally read it. And to be honest, if Debby hadn't recommended it, I'm pretty sure it would still be on my shelf, unread. But not because it didn't look good -- I just never felt like I was in the right mood to pick it up. But I finally did, and now I want to read book 2!
What I loved most about this book was Karou. She's feisty and awesome but also almost morbidly curious. She's vulnerable and slightly naive and the combination of all those things made her an interesting character. I liked hanging out with her; she made reasonable decisions most of the time and she was pretty straightforward, something that I can really appreciate.
However, I didn't like Akiva. Karou and Akiva didn't really have (great) chemistry in my opinion, but despite that you could tell they had some sort of connection, even though you don't know what that is.
The "big reveal" was a major letdown for me. I found it confusing and not making sense at all. I spent several chapters confused, flipping the pages back to see if there was anything that I missed (nope). That really took away from my reading pleasure and I would have liked that to be different. Now I just felt confused and after that I felt stupid because I didn't understand it. I understood it near the end, and it made sense, but at the time of the 'reveal'.. Nope. That just didn't work for me. Finding out about Akiva also didn't really surprise me as much as it probably should have.
Having said that, I really liked the world building and the teeth business, even though that was really kind of creepy. It fascinated me and I wanted to find out more.
All in all, I really enjoyed myself while reading this book. It didn't blow me away like I expected, but it was an enjoyable story and it has me curious for Days of Blood and Starlight, so I'll be reading that as well sometime. I'm pretty sure fantasy fans will adore this book, so don't hesitate to pick it up!