Anxiously Awaiting...

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Book Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Description from Goodreads:
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 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?

*Sighs* How can I describe this book? Could I compare it to a summer's day? I could. Will I? Hmmm...Should I? Well since you insist, Ok!
Oh, Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor,
Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Well I said I would so here I go!
(Allow me to apologize in advance
For what is about to occur).
Ok, now back to Daughter of Smoke and Bone.
Like summer you are awesome,
Except only more so.
Also like a summer's day,
you are very fun and enjoyable.
You are also super cool, super cool,
(but not temperature wise, personality wise).
But you are more sunny than summer,
But in a metaphorical, nonliteral way.
Your sunshine is eternal,
again in a metaphorical way.
I can visit your warmth any time I want,
I need only to flip a few pages.
So long as I can reach you,
So as long as I can read you,
So long lives this,
and this gives life to me.
You are eternal summer,
eternal sunshine.  
There! That wasn't so bad, was it? Feel free not to insult me. Well if the horrible wannabee sonnet wasn't enough to let you know how much I enjoyed this book then I would like the guys from The Big Bang Theory to demonstrate the proper response to this book:

Thank you guys, that is all for now.

There is nothing like finding a book that is just plain...what's the word...
Yes, awesome, thank you little ponies! Helpful little ones, aren't they? So as we were saying: awesome. Daughter of Smoke and Bone is a beautiful, original, funny, compelling, unique, wonderful, fantastic, creative, interesting, beautiful (must be said twice), and lovely novel. And no, I am not finished yet. It is that good. It is so original that you can't be sure where you are going until you get there. Laini Taylor creates a world that draws you in and keeps you engrossed throughout the entire journey. You can't guess at the conclusion, you have to let the author guide you to it. I would describe this novel as an unveiling. It's is the dance of the Seven Veils--though this is more akin to a dance of sixty veils. As you read you get glimpses of truth, yet you reside in constant uncertainty.With every chapter you get to see more and more pieces of the puzzle, yet you have no idea what it's supposed to be. The mystery keeps you enthralled. You can grab bits of truth, but all you can do is stare at them because you don't know how to make them fit, well at least not until the author reveals what you have only been guessing at. In the end when the curtain finally falls and you see how everything fits together, then you say, "holly crap!"

Seriously, this book is an adventure. I am so glad I got it for myself (thank you, me!)(you are welcome, me!). I love all of the characters! I even like the ones I don't like because they serve a purpose in the story. Karou is awesome and her best friend is awesome and...everything is just awesome. I need to stop using that word, but I cant help that I am in a state of perpetual awe! Trust me, it all just works. If you really want a break from the normal, mundane, and typical, this book is for you. It stays away from the typical formulas and moves onto uncharted territory. Albert Einstein said, "Creativity is intelligence having fun." Well, Laini Taylor must be a hell of a genius and while writing this book she must have taken her genius to Disneyland and it obviously had a BLAST!

Taylor's writing is beautiful. My favorite quote involves advice regarding penises...don't be a perv! It is insightful AND funny! Yes, this novel seamlessly manages to mix comedy, with action, drama, romance, and FANTASY! The structure is a little different, there are some flashbacks that interrupt the story in moments where you are like, "what about the other stuff!?" But the flashbacks are necessary! So be patient and enjoy the journey.

I loved reading this book. ...

Then there is the ending. 
It left me...
Yes, dying. DYING for MORE; I am dying for the sequel. It left me hanging off a freaking cliff!
There is a moment where I was shocked and I hoped I was mistaken and hadn't just read what I had just read. I must confess, I got a little twitchy...
 But when I realized that there had been no mistake, I am sorry to say I allowed myself to be taken a very dark was a very difficult time for me...
...I don't want to talk about it.

But I have recovered.
Now I am just waiting for the sequel, Days of Blood and Starlight, which comes out November 06.
Days of Blood and Starlight

Is it here yet?
How about now?
still no!
Damn! I guess I'll keep going with this review...

Daughter of Smoke and Bone is a beautiful fantasy, but there is a cliffhanger, so November 06 better hurry on up because I NEED to know what happens next! I love how I don't think I can begin to guess what direction Laini Taylor will take me. I just have to put my trust or her talent and creativity and believe that it is somewhere beautiful. And believe me when I say I believe!

I got an "exclusive extended preview" of Days of Blood and Starlight from the Little, Brown, and Company booth at SD Comic-Con. It is seventy-six pages of pure teasery! Already I can see that this sequel is going to be amazing and as a result, my condition has been worsened. Like a shark who has tasted blood I am in a frenzy, but alas I cannot satisfy my need until November 06 gets here. So instead I will attack anything chocolate. That's right! Laini Taylor you are responsible for the death of any and all chocolate beings I come into contact with between now and November 06, for shame! But in all honesty, though I have great need for the sequel I am not in despair (or a frenzy, I apologize to all chocolate beings for getting excited and going too far with my threats). I have hope. HOPE. I think Laini Taylor manages to center her whole novel around that one thing: hope. She manages to transmit hope onto to the ending and ultimately unto the reader. It's all about hope. It is in every chapter, every sentence. Hope.

I will end my review by saying, Daughter of Smoke and Bone has earned a spot in my bookshelf next to my Neil Gaiman books. I know, that is big.

And with great hope I look forward to Days of Blood and Starlight.

 Now here take some awesome Free Samples of Daughter of Smoke and Bone:

“It is a condition of monsters that they do not perceive themselves as such. The dragon, you know, hunkered in the village devouring maidens, heard the townsfolk cry 'Monster!' and looked behind him.” 

“Hey! My body may be small, but my soul is large. It’s why I wear platforms. So I can reach the top of my soul.”

“I know it's not easy for you, living this life, but try to remember, always try to remember, you're not the only one with troubles.”

“Have you ever asked yourself, do monsters make war, or does war make monsters?”   
“...You are not just going to vanish like this, Karou. This isn't some goddamn Narnia book.”

“Like mold on books, grow myths on history.” 

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