Hey everyone! How are ya? How was this fine Monday for all? I don't think I will be calling this a review. I think the term gushfest is more appropriate. Yeah, I like that. So anyway, let the gushfest begin!
Daughter of Smoke and Bone is the first in a series by Laini Taylor. Like another book I've reviewed, my personal description probably won't do this book justice, so I shall use the Goodreads one:
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 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?
Yes, that's more appropriate :)
The above is what my mind was like after finishing this book. I don't think I can find the right words to describe how I feel about this book. I'll try to, and pardon the brief language coming up. Oh holy shiiiiiiit, this book is above brilliant (language use over). It's an effing masterpiece of YA Paranormal literature, YA literature in general. Honestly, I'm still thinking about Daughter of Smoke and Bone, even as I'm writing this very review. This is a book that grabs hold of you, sucks you in and refuses to let go until you come out at the end feeling like you are a part of what has just happened. You also do not, under any circumstances want to leave this world. This is such an original story, with beautiful characters and breathtaking scenery. And that last quarter, especially that ending. Oh my good god, that last quarter/ending. One of the most shocking and brilliant things I've ever read. It's safe to say this is one of my favorites of the year, no contest.
Speaking of characters, I adore Karou. She's feisty, witty, determined and intelligent. She's also unsure, vulnerable, and insecure. I can wholeheartedly say she is one of my favorite protagonists. Despite her supernatural circumstances, Karou feels real, relatable. You become attached and root for her. You follow her journey with rabid curiosity. Now there's Akiva. Oh, so so sexy. You feel for him as well, even when you should hate him (and oh, you should hate him). But you can barely bring yourself to do so because he's just so amazing. Brimstone was one of my favorites, so was Issa. I loved how much Brimstone and Issa cared for Karou and wanted the best for her, even though some of their actions were questionable. You can see why Karou loves them so much. Zuzana was fabulous as Karou's best friend. She was absolutely hilarious and wonderful. I loved her relationship with Karou, it was so organic and real, like real best friends are in the real world.
What can I say about Laini Taylor? She's a freaking lyrical genius. Her writing style is absolutely gorgeous, pulling you in at the instant you lay your eyes on the first page. Ugh, Taylor's writing is one of the, if not the best I've read all year. The descriptions of Prague, of the other worlds, of everything, it all works so wonderfully. Laini, if you somehow see this, you deserve all the praise and recognition you have gotten for this slice of heaven you have created. My hat goes off to you my friend.
This book is utterly wonderful. It gives me hope for a watered down genre that Paranormal YA has slowly become. This is a shining beacon of goodness, and I can NOT wait until the second beacon to come out, whenever that may be (soon hopefully!!)
So, was this worth the crazy hype? Yes, yes, a thousand times yes. Daughter of Smoke and Bone deserves every piece of hype it has gotten, as does its author, who should constantly be showered with praise. If you do not find a way to pick this wonderful piece of literature up, you are sorely missing out.
I shall next be reviewing Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins (squeal!!!!)
Until next time, viva la literature!