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Karou manages to keep her two lives in balance. On the one hand, she is a 17-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....

Title : Daughter of Smoke and Bone
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781444722635
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 418 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Daughter of Smoke and Bone Reviews

  • Wendy Darling
    2018-12-06 11:28

    3.5 stars Once upon a time, a fantasy book came unto the young adult world and set it aflame. Long-time fans of the author swooned. Mainstream publications wrote cryptic but positive impressions. And many readers declared that the book was leaps and bounds above all other young adult literature previously published.It's always a little tricky reading a book that arrives with a crazy amount of hype, even one that's not accompanied by the lavish praise that has been heaped upon this one, as the pressure to love it can be pretty intense. The story of a tattooed, blue-haired orphaned teenager named Karou caught up in an ancient war between angels and demons sounded amazing, however, and I was completely drawn in from the very first page. Karou is a young art student living in Prague, except that the fantastic figures she draws are actually of demons that she has known. She meets them in her strange teeth-collecting errands whenever she's summoned by Brimstone, a beast who has been a father figure to her as long as she can remember. The first half of the book is simply mesmerizing, with vividly imagined details and the promise of a complex and stirring story. Karou has hamsas tattooed into her palms, she can fulfill small wishes with a necklace with unusual powers, and she dashes through magic portals on her errands to land on the streets of Marrakesh and Paris. But it's a life she has to hide from her best friend Zuzana and everyone at her school, and things get more complicated when black handprints begin appearing on doorways all over the world. Is something brewing in the otherworld that will affect this one?For me, all that promise remained unfulfilled, however, as the narrative diverted sharply once Akiva, a gorgeous and impossibly perfect angel, appears in the story. He is strangely drawn to Karou, and follows her from place to place until finally they meet in an apparently earth-shattering fashion. “He was the most beautiful thing Karou had ever seen. Her first thought, incongruous but overpowering, was to memorize him so she could draw him later.” Here is the beginning of where I lost interest in the story, as most of the remainder of the book revolves around their overpowering romance, and eventually, why they may not be able to be together.Readers who find the romance compelling will probably enjoy this book better than I did, but I found it hard to get invested in two such blindingly beautiful and perfect beings for whom there is apparently no other equal--I mean, of course they're going to be attracted to each other! How could they not be? One of the things I found so odd about their relationship is that it seemed to lack any sort of realism or depth; as cartoonishly ridiculous as Karou's ex-boyfriend was, the way she handled him and the dialogue there was at least smart and funny and likably grounded. When Karou and Akiva first meet and all throughout the subsequent chapters when they have their first kiss and so on and so forth, it's written as if the earth is moving and the stars are aligning...but I'm afraid the earth simply didn't move for me. I might have felt differently if their compulsion towards each other was based on something stronger than just physical attraction, but the majority of what I read was about their stunning beauty and their unearthly perfections. Even the promise of "wait, wait, you'll see why they're so drawn together" didn't pay off for me, because I predicted that well ahead of time and (view spoiler)[even back then, their immediate attraction was mostly based on their physical appearances and the a certain amount of unexpected behavior. My good friend Stephanie points out that being in the middle of a war certainly adds an additional element in such meetings, but(hide spoiler)] I would like to have seen more time given to any possible number of layers to a relationship, including admiration for how the person behaves in an extraordinary way, noticing subtle and lovely details about someone's personality, uncovering meaning in someone's words, bonding over shared situations, etc, etc. None of that happened here. Much of the earlier extravagant detailing (except in reference to their relationship) and humor is abandoned in the second half, and things get further derailed when we get thrust into yet another type of story involving a girl named Madrigal. It isn't until the very end that the book finally gets back on course and we get some decent action scenes and some attention paid to the overarching storyline. Even then, I guessed what Akiva's big secret was, however, so I never really regained my initial enjoyment for the book. The ending was also a typical cliffhanger that is written in a way designed to leave readers in the maximum state of shock. I can't say that I admire that much, and I do think it's possible to write an open-ended conclusion in a way that doesn't feel like you've been...well, pushed off a cliff. And told to wait for another year to see if you'll recover from the fall.While I certainly acknowledge and even respond to some of the author's imaginative worldbuilding, I can't really say that I went into raptures over it. I can't deny that the book is very well-written and I can appreciate the opulent touches and occasional flights of fancy...but unfortunately, this wasn't writing that I personally found to be particularly deep or moving or meaningful. That's just my own taste, however, since I know many of my friends have loved the writing and story much more than I did. I think in the end, it just comes down to what you respond to as a reader, and I'm really disappointed that I just didn't love this as much as I wanted to. Still, the book is significantly better than most of the YA that's published right now, and it does hold the promise of a fascinating story that will hopefully get back on track in the sequel. I just wish that it wasn't another book that allowed, yet again, for a moony-eyed, long-fated romance to take over the life of another smart and seemingly level-headed heroine.

  • Kat Kennedy
    2018-12-03 13:27

    Do you remember that Taylor Swift song about Romeo and Juliet, Love Story? It's lyrics go something like this:I'm a pretty little girl who knows nothing about literatureSo I sing a song about starcrossed loversWhose only problem is that Daddy doesn't approveBut it's all good because we get married anyway.Just like that cliffnote's story about Romeo and Juliet!Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeyyyyy!We have a tendency with YA literature today, to have stories with the super duper happiest of happy endings where everything works out and true love's only real complications are external difficulties, and self-esteem issues for the girl.I'm trying to think of the perfect example here and because this review is full of cheap shots at easy targets I'm going to go with...TWILIGHT!Come on down, Bella and Edward!Now, don't get me wrong. There's nothing wrong with happy endings and butterflies and rainbows and kittens. They're lovely, lovely things and in the hands of an accomplished author, they do well. There's also nothing wrong with having a relationship that's troubled by only external forces. Once again, in the right hands it's fine. I'm not being a miserly old Grinch here. Okay, maybe a little bit, but moving on! The problem is that in real life, relationships are usually impacted by internal factors. So when you base your story on perfection that can only be tainted by evil people trying to destroy your true love, and twist the story to finally reach that happily ever after, then what you sacrifice is often the very real, almost-tangible, relatable emotions that a more realistic, thoughtful storyline could bring.And also, Romeo and Juliet is a TRAGEDY, Taylor Swift. Thank you, Kieran Culkan. You're a fresh breeze amongst the stagnant world of apathetic performers.Now what I love about Laini Taylor, other than everything, is that this woman is made of fairytales. I swear she's like woven together by sweet kisses and dewdrops. She's been sung into being by blind minstrels bathed in moonlight. She's wrapped in gossamer and shrived in pure white swan feathers. You know, all that magical shit. She's that. The woman is magic and she writes magic. If anyone could take Romeo and Juliet, mate it with a YA paranormal romance and produce a love child that people don't want to drown at birth - then it would be Laini Taylor.This book is powerful, emotive, heart breaking, anguishing!What I'm saying...the point I'm trying to make here...the truth is... Laini Taylor kicked my heart in the ass.And I LIKED it!This review can also be found on my blog, Cuddlebuggery Book Blog.

  • Cait
    2018-12-02 13:45

    As a P.S. in order to understand this review better if you haven't read the Fallen series, please check out my thoughts on the other book that I will be discussinghere.This book is like some sort of weird alien. When I finished Daughter of Smoke and Bone I wasn't quite sure how to handle it. Whatareyou, Daughter of Smoke and Bone?In the synopsis of Daughter of Smoke and Bone, it tells you that this is a story about how a "demon" falls in love with an "angel." So one would think that this is about Heaven, Hell, God, etc. That is one of the best, most amazing, lies that I have ever heard.What do I mean by that, you ask? That because this book is nothing about that. Laini Taylor has stripped that idea to its bare bones and has changed it; morphed it in such a way that it's it own genre. And it isn't just about the mythology; it's about love, growing up, truth, prejudices, and overcoming hardships. I can tell you right now that this book basically has nothing to do with angels and demons, and I couldn't be happier about that then I ever have been my whole life. Taylor also inserts quotes and tales that further the story arc and characters. Almost everything that's said, thought, and described, has a point to it. They can make you laugh, cry, and, most importantly,think : "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'"“I don’t know many rules to live by,” he’d said. “But here’s one. It’s simple. Don’t put anything unnecessary into yourself. No poisons or chemicals,no fumes or smoke or alcohol, no sharp objects, no inessential needles—drug or tattoo—and… no inessential penises, either.”*gigglesnort* “Karou wished she could be the kind of girl who was complete unto herself, comfortable in solitude, serene. But she wasn't. She was lonely, and she feared the missingness within her as if it might expand and...cancel her. She craved a presence beside her, solid. Fingertips light at the nape of her neck and a voice meeting hers in the dark. Someone who would wait with an umbrella to walk her home in the rain, and smile like sunshine when he saw her coming. Who would dance with her on her balcony, keep his promises and know her secrets, and make a tiny world wherever he was, with just her and his arms and his whisper and her trust.”*ooohhs and awwwws*Okay, just one more..... Until a few days ago, humans had been little more than legend to him, and now here he was in their world. It was like stepping into the pages of a book -- a book alive with color and fragrance, filth and chaos -- and the blue-haired girl moved through it all like a fairy through a story, the light treating her differently than it others, the air seemed to gather around her like held breath. As if this whole place was a story about her. Happiness. It was the place where passion, with all its dazzle and drumbeat, met something softer: homecoming and safety and pure sunbeam comfort. It was all those things, intertwined with the heat and the thrill, and it was as bright within her as a swallowed star. *melts*This woman is themasterof the golden rule of show and not tell. I never felt slowed down by pacing, bad-confused, oranything.Her writing left me with only good feelings; Laini Taylor is a master story teller and I will never see her as anything but. She carries you through all of Karou's emotions; in the beginning you feel just as angry as she does, then just as guilty about it when you know the whole story.That'swhat I like to call a true author.One night while I was reading this book, I was laying in my bed thinking about the plot, characters, and what Taylor's overall theme ( because, you know, that's what cool people do at night; think about the books that they just read) and it all of a sudden hit me: This book is everything Lauren Kate tried to do in her Fallen series, and failed. Laini Taylor, however, pulled it off with such a finesse and flair that made me fall in love with Daughter of Smoke and Bone even more than I would have already. The first thing that I'll talk about in this review that Taylor pulled off about a million times better than what Kate wrote was with Akiva; the main love interest in this story. First off, Akiva actuallyisa badass "angel" with wings that are literally on fire, amber eyes, can burn things with a touch, and has killedmanychimera without mercy because he believes they are the one who's killed his only love. Daniel, on the other hand?He sparkles fucking purple when his wings pop out.But that's not all we get to see with his character. Lauren Kate has a big problem with her books and Daniel with him being cold, unavailable, and not telling Luce anything that's going on with her life. Once Kate had him integrated with that personality, she didn't seem to be able to get Daniel out of that vicious, and very annoying cycle. He wouldn't and still doesn't stop doing that no matter what Luce every says to him. When Akiva began to do the same thing (ie. closed-off facial expressions, not talking/looking at her. etc.) I thought,oh no here we go again.When Karou tells him to stop; if he loves her then he'll stop doing this to her. Then, heactually listensand stops because, guess what, hetruly doeslove her even if it hurts him in the long run; he's willing to put Karou above himself(gasp!) And, when the truth does come back and hit him in the face when Karou figures everything out, he knows to accept the consequences andlets her go.Hell, he even gives her the opportunity to kill him; he knows what he has done to her and others that he loves is unacceptable. And that'sawesome!That, right there, is what I call a man.What Daniel does, instead, by putting himself and his shame first rather than Luce blows up in his face. When she does find out, he's so desperate to cover his own ass that he chases her through time and space.That's just lame. And Akiva is anythingbutlame.Thisis how you write a tortured character in it's finest. As I stated earlier, he has a genuine pain and soul that someone could say one-hundred percent is a tortured one. And insta-love? Pha. Don't let the beginning fool you because that isn't what their love is. I won't spoil it for you all, because, well, that's just something that if I told you and you haven't read this book would take out some of what makes this books so special, so you'll have to find out for yourself. I will give you one revelation that I came across, however. It really willblow your mind!Are you ready? Okay, here goes!GASP!Then there was Karou, who is the most badass person that I've ever read about and is absolutelynothinglike Luce from the Fallen series. Again, Kate tried to make Luce "independent" but she just ended up coming across as an idiot who threw herself into danger and put everyone around her in danger. Karou, however, ooooohhhhhhhh Karou. She's everything that I wanted in Luce but never received. Karou is as funny as hell:Well,” she mused, “I know there’s only one person you really love, and his name does start with a K. But I can think of a better place for it than your heart.” She took up her pencil and, on her last drawing of Kaz, inscribed a K right over his classically sculpted buttock. She actuallyrealizesher mistakes and what certain ex boyfriends truly wanted from her: Kaz just couldn’t fathom any girl willfully depriving herself of his charms. And what had she done but strengthen his vanity those months they’d been together, gazing at him starry-eyed, giving him…everything? His wooing her now, she thought, was a point of pride, to prove to himself that he could have who he wanted. I mean, come on, how much more can you ask for than that! A badass girl with blue hair, tattooseverywhere,and has so many braincells wedged up into that brilliant head of hers that I think it's going to explode with all of the smartness that she's spouting out of her mouth. This is a character that I can root for and stand behind all the way through a series, and that's exactly what I plan on doing; I can assure you all on that one. And then there were the fallen angels; what Lauren Kate's series was all about. I have a question for you all. Do youhonestlythink that God, after all that they had done and betrayed him; whom they are supposed to love unequivocally, would have left them in their perfect forms, sparkly and/or wings made out of pure fuckinggoldand just let them wander around the Earth? Maybe I'm just a cruel, violent, person, but no.Hellno. Laini Taylor and I must have been on the same wavelength, but she did the total opposite of that for the fallen "angels" His face was bloated and purple, but bloated as its face was, its features held an echo of long-ago beauty...But the key to its true nature was at its back. From its shoulder blades protruded the splintered remnants of wing joints...Time had curved his spine, and his flesh, pulled taut, seemed to snag on every ridge of vertebrae. His legs dangled uselessly behind him That, my dears, is a fucking ugly angel whoreallylooks like he got punished; he's not just wandering around sparkling and glowing. He actually looks like a disgusting, miserable, wreck. And then there's all of the smaller characters; none are just added because Taylor needed room. They all had something very important:purpose.Karou's best friend Zuzana and her musician boyfriend were amazingly written, adorable, and hilarious characters (if you didn't burst out laughing when Zuzana said "Oh, hell. Must. Mate. Immediately." then you're lying to yourself). The ballerina/puppeteer play was incredibly written and had my heart in my throat. Karou's chimera sister and her chimera "family" were also incredibly well-done and funny. Thiago was one of the biggest bastards I've ever read, and I already talked about Akiva so I don't have to tell you all that he's totally swoon-worthy for all the right reasons. I could really picture everyone and sympathize with every pain and joy that Karou felt.Basically, this book is everything I wanted in not just Fallen, butmanyother books that I've read over the years, and I rejoice in the fact that there are capable people out there whocanwrite YA novels with an actual point and purpose. Thank you, Laini Taylor, for restoring my faith in the ability of authors. I guess I have just one thing left to say:Because I will. And I do.

  • Tatiana
    2018-11-28 08:45

    As seen on The ReadventurerWhen I first heard the details of the premise of Laini Taylor's new book, for a moment I thought Laini must have read my review of Personal Demons. In that review I rant about how great story ideas are squandered away. You see, Personal Demons had a very interesting concept - a demon and an angel battling for the soul of a human girl. There are so many creative opportunities in the angel/demon lore, I thought surely the author would make something good out of it. I was wrong then - the story turned out to be nothing more than a cliche angsty love triangle extravaganza. But I am right now. Laini Taylor took a similar angel/demon idea and transformed it into pure magic. Karou is a 17-year old art student. She lives in Prague, paints and goes to school. She is trying to get over her good-for-nothing ex-boyfriend. But there is an air of mystery about Karou. She knows magic. She has a secret life. Karou is an orphan who was raised lovingly by a foursome of demonic creatures. She occasionally runs strange errands for them; and on one of the trips she is confronted by an angelic-looking Akiva who attempts to kill her. What happens next is best described by the book's own first lines:Once upon a time,an angel and a devil fell in love.It did not end well.There is nothing cliche about this story, trust me. Laini Taylor is a writer with talent and extraordinary imagination. What I loved the most about Daughter of Smoke and Bone was the world behind it. We all have read our measure of angel books and you will probably agree with me that the portrayal of angels in them rarely goes beyond wings, sexiness and some dark secret behind the "fall." But what if angels and demons are not what is traditionally/biblically accepted? What if you could get into the midst of their world, learn about their cultures, gain knowledge about their centuries-long war? What if the love between an angel and demon is forbidden and a taboo (maybe even by human standards)? Would you like to read about that? I bet you would.Lips Touch: Three Times is one of my most favorite books ever. If you liked those stories, I doubt Daughter of Smoke and Bone will disappoint you. This novel is equally dark, sensual, unsettling and a little twisted. The imagery is stunning. The language is beautiful, every word matters (there were a couple of slips into overwritten, I must say, but only a couple). And the love... well, it pushes boundaries, it transcends time and space. I am looking solemnly at the months of waiting ahead of me. Waiting for a copy of the book of my own to inhale every word of it again. And then for the next two books... But first, I will be waiting for this ARC cover to be changed to something that reflects the beauty of this story. I've been told to get over my cover grief already, but I just can't!

  • Emily May
    2018-12-13 08:30

    Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love. It did not end well.Daughter of Smoke and Bone tells the age-old tale of forbidden love with a beautifully constructed mythological twist. Karou and Akiva are a Romeo and Juliet unlike any other and Laini Taylor has managed to encapture love, loneliness and desperation in a masterpiece of a novel that deserves to be read by anyone of any age who truly appreciates quality writing and story-telling.Karou is a 17 year old art student living in Prague. She gossips with girlfriends, works on her art and has a nightmare of an ex-boyfriend who won't take the hint. But behind all of this, Karou has a secret. She was raised by and frequently runs errands for a demonic 'wishmonger'. In this secret world, wishes are the currency and monsters will do anything for their ultimate wishes to be fulfilled. Living between worlds, Karou senses that she doesn't quite belong in either... then one day she runs into the angelic Akiva, who not only makes her question where she belongs but who and what she actually is.Laini Taylor, unlike numerous young adult authors, never patronises her readers and writes with a magical flair and sophistication that is a true rarity. Though she writes in a genre dominated by authors like Stephenie Meyer and Becca Fitzpatrick, her stories are richer, her characters more highly developed and interesting, and her style is just a true work of art. I cannot stress highly enough just how much I enjoyed this novel. The literary nerd in me was in awe of the author's poetic expressions, whilst the girl in me was caught up in the whirlwind of fantasy, romance and mixture of seraphim/chimaera mythology. I thought Lips Touch: Three Times was one of the best young adult novels I've read in a long time and the best paranormal romance I have probably ever read... but, Daughter of Smoke and Bone was even better in my opinion. I was thrilled to discover that we can expect a sequel and there's no doubt in my mind as to whether or not I'll be reading it.The thing that really struck me most was the way Laini Taylor uses old, often cliched, ideas like: forbidden love, the divine battle of angels and devils, fallen angels... and manages to turn them into something entirely new and extraordinary. I have never enjoyed a young adult book about angels. Never. However, this is not a stereotypical angel/devil story about good vs. bad. In fact, this novel shows how something can be perceived as evil by being different and how it's possible to be born and raised into the hatred of something else just because they are what they are. It's an incredible and touching story that explores prejudice as well as romance in a spectacular fantasy world.Everything the author writes is important and not one word is wasted nonsensically. That's what I love most about Laini Taylor, there's a sense in each of her novels that she mulled over every sentence and made it the best it could possibly be. It's something not done too often outside of poetry and it's marvelous to read. There's also a wicked sensuality amidst the darkness that's just irresistable. A truly fantastic read!Many thanks to Hodder and Stoughton for kindly providing an arc copy of this book for review. Please note: this had no effect whatsoever on my rating and/or review.

  • Zoë
    2018-12-14 07:29

    4.5/5The writing was mysterious and lovely and I really enjoyed this! Because of how mysterious it is, I'm really glad that I went into it knowing nothing. I was sufficiently confused for the better part of this book, but very intrigued, so it was more like putting together a puzzle than trying to run around blindfolded. I think the world is so original and I'm ready to see where this story goes! (Also, YAY for no insta-love!)

  • Etnik
    2018-11-28 12:49

    4.8 SMOKY STARS!____________________________________________“Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love. It did not end well.” ____________________________________________You can find the full review and more about this book on my blog!Freaking amazing book.I didn't expect this to be this good.I couldn't put the book down,like literally.Everything fits perfectly ,the characters ,the story,everything.It is so unique and different from other stories.And it's actually the first book written in third person that I enjoyed because I'm not a fan of third person books.____________________________________________“Have you ever asked yourself, do monsters make war, or does war make monsters?”____________________________________________The writing style was beyond perfect.It's uniqueness is what makes this book so special.The way words cling together...amazing.I must say I was confused at some parts because the English that is used in this book is quite difficult to understand and there were a lot of words I didn't get but that didn't stop me from truly adoring this book from page one to the last.____________________________________________“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.” ____________________________________________The ending was epic.The way things puzzle together is remarkable.The epilogue was also good,short but good.It clarified what happened after the ending.But there was also a cliff.____________________________________________“Hope can be a powerful force. Maybe there's no actual magic in it, but when you know what you hope for most and hold it like a light within you, you can make things happen, almost like magic.” ____________________________________________So the story:This book is about a girl , blue haired girl who lives two lives.A normal one with school and teachers and boring classes,and another one,filled with fantasy and strange characters,with teeth and wishes,the elsewhere.One day she meets an angel,and from that moment her life changes,both of her lives.Her early life was a mystery,a cloudy image in her heard.Her entire life she was haunted by one question "Who am I" and after meeting the angel she was one step closer to find the answer.But did she really wanted to know?____________________________________________“She moved like a poem and smiled like a sphinx.” ____________________________________________The characters:KarouThis character is so cool.She is unique and funny and tough and freaking beautiful.I liked her dirty sense of humor.She is such a mystery.AkivaAkiva is one of those characters you can predict somehow.He is caring and determined as a lot of male main characters.What surprised me what his sense of humor.As awkward as it sounded it actually fits him.I highly recommend this book to paranormal angel/demons lovers.I actually recommend this book to all the readers because it is the art itself.

  • Kay
    2018-12-01 08:21

    Ooh. OOOH! Meh... Mehhhhhhhhh...........Which basically summarizes my reaction throughout the novel. I hate it when things like this happen, when books start out so strong with an intriguing world and a growing character. But before you know it, it goes splat into a big mud puddle of Cliche and Predictability and WowThisRemindsMeOf100OtherYABooks. The Ooh.The book started out very, very strong. The premise was very interesting: Karou, an orphaned human girl adopted by demon magicians, is sent out on missions to collect teeth. We don't know what the teeth are used for, but know that they have something to do with granting wishes. The girl travels to exotic places, from black market auctions to middle eastern market places, through a network of doors all connected to the demon's workshop. Sometimes she has to fight off enemies, lug around huge sacks of teeth through subways, and once she gets shot by seedy criminals. Not the typical glamorous job, but still extremely interesting to read about. The OOOH!The plot gains steam when mysterious hand-shaped scorch marks begin to appear all over the world on doors. This poses a serious problem since Karou is only able to reach her demon foster parents, her only family, through those doors, and these scorch marks effectively "shut them down" so that they don't function as portals from point A to point B. For some time, however, Karou remains unaffected by this and continues to run her errands and visit her demon foster parents. The question of what teeth and wishes have in common hangs heavy in the air, especially when we find out that seraphim are the ones who are closing the doorways between worlds. At this point, I was excited. Until this point, the story focused heavily on the mystery of the teeth--what were they used for, why do the demons need them? Karou reflects on her previous teeth-gathering missions; some teeth were taken from the dead, others forcibly extracted from the mouths of young girls. Poignant images that communicated realistically the brutality of such a trade. It seemed that the plot would follow along the teeth gathering, and thus the questions that arose centralized around the teeth: How were the handprints on the doors going to affect the trade? How would Karou be able to make contact with her demons? What were the angels, and how were they involved in this gruesome trade?The Meh...Unfulfilled promises, dashed expectations, and some misdirection followed from this point on.It was inevitable that Karou and the angels would meet. It was also expected that there would be sparks of attraction, and that the attraction will probably be mutual as it's established early on that Karou is pretty. But, after reading Lips Touch, I assumed that this would not be the typical romance where the girl falls head over heels for the guy. The problem is, she does. Immediately, Karou and Akiva are attracted to each other. Karou is entranced by his angelic beauty and his perfectly proportionate features, though simultaneously noting that that Akiva is a creature totally lacking in mercy or soul. But that's not the end of it. After Karou escapes the angel, the books takes a suspicious Twilight-like turn, as the angel follows Karou back to her human home and proceeds to stalk her watch her from afar. He does this, constantly wondering how this mere human girl could spark so much emotion in the heart he thought he turned to stone years before. Then, like flipping a light switch off and on, he breaks down and confesses to Karou that he can’t help but follow her and look at her. [Please note that it takes Akiva a battle and around two whole pages to fully acknowledge his attraction to Karou.]Furthermore, though she is cut off completely from her demon family, thanks to Akiva’s scorch mark, Karou invites him to tea and introduces him to her best friend, who immediately insists that Karou mate with him. ...Yeah, I don’t know any more. I think we slipped into the realm of Mehhhhhhhhh........... somewhere back there. But it doesn't matter because from this point on, every single plot twist was predictable, including but not limited to:(1) Why Akiva is attracted to Karou(2) Why Karou is attracted to Akiva(3) What the teeth are for(4) What happened to Karou's foster demon parentsI expected a bit more from this novel. I don’t know, maybe more ardent fans of YA romance would find this novel great. The writing itself wasn’t bad. But the story needs a lot of work. It had so much potential, especially the premise. It was such a sharp contrast to what I had expected, and it’s with a dash of sadness and regret that I can’t help but give the book 2 stars. Good try, Laini Taylor, but it just did not tickle my fancy.

  • Patrick
    2018-12-10 12:43

    Wow. Just Wow. I got an ARC of this one about a month ago, and only just now got around to reading it. I really liked Laini's first Dreamdark book, so I was eager to try this one. It was great. Really great. Read it all in a day. Wow.

  • Samantha
    2018-12-04 15:25

    4.5 stars? 4.75 stars?! It's been a while since I've started a new series and been this head over heels. My gut says I can't quite give it 5 stars for a few verrrry minor reasons but I may change my mind the more I think (*obsess*) about this book. Full review and gush to come on my channel!

  • Haleema
    2018-11-15 15:42

    This book did not piss me off! I'm ELATED. I forgot the entire story, though. So I may read it again because I want to finish the entire series.

  • Steph Sinclair
    2018-11-28 11:31

    You know that book you're reading right now? How about all those books on your "TBR" list? FORGET ABOUT 'EM! I first stumbled across Laini Taylor when I was encouraged by several of my GoodReader friends to read Lips Touch. So, I read it and while I enjoyed it, I wasn't blown away. However, I think it was a "It's not you, it's me" situation because anthologies and I don't really get along. I went into this book thinking it was just another PNR, Angel style. I couldn't have been more wrong. If Romeo & Juliet and the story of the Trojan War had a literary baby, that in turn grew up, rebelled, and decided to have paranormal creatures in a fantasy sort of world, it would be Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Okay, that makes almost no sense. Here, let me simplify it for you:Laini Taylor..........................blew.......................................my .................................................mind...............................................................Karou is just your ordinary 17-year-old girl living as an art student in the beautiful city of Prague. She has blue hair, collects languages as birthday gifts, and runs errands collecting teeth. Okay, so maybe she's not so "ordinary." But one day, while running one of her "errands," she runs into a mysterious stranger named Akiva who attacks her. After that moment, her life forever changes and she finds herself on the cusp of unraveling the secret behind her most burning question:"Who am I?"There are some stories that make you say, "Wow! That person's imagination was going into overdrive." Harry Potter, Star Wars and the Pendragon series immediately come to mind. While reading Daughter of Smoke and Bone I was mesmerized by Taylor's vivid descriptions and she easily fits in the above category as well. As with the first time I read a Laini Taylor novel, I had to get adjusted to her unique writing style. Karou and the mystery surrounding her past are so interesting you just sucked into the story. I literally could not put the book down and it took over my life for a few days causing me to abandon a few of my responsibilities. Internal dialog:"I'll just read one more page then I cook dinner." "Well, I might as well finish this chapter since I'm halfway through it.""Dammit I forgot to feed the kids, but I'm hitting the climax...must.put.book.down."Thanks to crafty little plan of mine, AKA take-out, no one starved. That just shows you how addictive this book was for me! And let's talk about the love interest, Akiva. *sigh* Where do I begin with him?! Oh, ya! Hey Stephenie Meyer, this is how you write a tortured character. Akiva has a very real painful past that he carries with him. When he meets Karou is is drawn to her for some unknown reason and she to him. Wait, what's that you say? Isn't that insta-love? Preposterous! Laini Taylor is so above that. Don't be fooled young padewon like I was. The first half of the book is so full of mystery it will have you begging for answers and Taylor does not disappoint. You've heard of that little rule "show, don't tell?" Well, Laini is the freakin' queen of doing just that. She shows you everything and by the end you're like:and then:I can't say anything more about this book. I refuse to spoil anything. Just go read it now!More reviews and more at Cuddlebuggery Book Blog.

  • Jillian -always aspiring-
    2018-11-30 13:47

    Note: Be warned that this is one of those reviews that in no way can do justice to the actual novel, but there's no harm in trying. Regardless, I greatly urge anyone who has even the slightest interest in this book to procure a copy when it's released on September 27, 2011.Seven Perfect Reasons Why You Should Read Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor:1. The writing is fantastic, dang it. Now, I loved Laini Taylor's first young adult offering, Lips Touch: Three Times (You've read it, haven't you?  HAVEN'T YOU?), but I have to admit that the short story format of it left me craving something. . .more.  I mean, it's difficult to find really beautiful writing – the kind that digs its way inside of you and then makes you ache as if it's stolen a bit of your heart – so when you come across such delectable writing you really want to savor it.  When I found out that Daughter of Smoke and Bone was a little over 400 pages, I was ecstatic because a longer length meant more wonderful prose from Laini Taylor.And the writing does not disappoint.  Whether Taylor is describing the various eccentricities of Prague (one of the main settings in this novel), the pulse-pounding action of a human girl fighting an angel, or even just the emotions threading through the heroine, Karou, the prose simply blazes in a way that's beautiful, ethereal, and unforgettable.One of my favorite examples of Taylor's prose comes from this passage (no spoilers): Karou wished she could be the kind of girl who was complete unto herself, comfortable in solitude, serene.  But she wasn't. She was lonely, and she feared the missingness within her as if it might expand and . . . cancel her.  She craved a presence beside her, solid.  Fingertips light at the nape of her neck and a voice meeting hers in the dark.  Someone who would wait with an umbrella to walk her home in the rain, and smile like sunshine when he saw her coming.  Who would dance with her on her balcony, keep his promises and know her secrets, and make a tiny world wherever he was, with just her and his arms and his whisper and her trust. (Pg. 71, ARC edition) Isn't that just lovely?  Can't you just feel the longing as if it had been your own?Such is the power of Laini Taylor's writing – and that's only a small glimpse into what she has in her writing arsenal.2. Ever feel like you're reading the same old thing over and over again?  Well, listen up: this book takes everything you think you know and spins all your assumptions on their heads.True love.  Magic.  Supernatural happenings.  A heroine who is more than she believes herself to be.Yawn, yawn, yawn, yawn.You think you know where all of this is going, don't you?HOLD ON!  Daughter of Smoke and Bone may have all those elements, but I bet you won't be able to guess how they all tie together.  You may think it's a "girl meets boy"-type deal with love overshadowing everything, but the story is far more than that.  Without giving anything away, it's the way paranormal books should be written – with supernatural enticements, fantastical wonder, and even a bit of grim horror.Oh, twists and turns too.  You can't have a great story without some killer twists and turns – which, you may be happy to know, this novel has in abundance.3. You think you know angels and demons?  Think again.True to form, Laini Taylor – an obvious lover of lore and mythology from all cultures, given the tales of Lips Touch – offers a fascinating new spin on angels and demons.  What if everything you had ever supposed about the divine realm was only a part of a greater truth?  What if angels and demons warred for supremacy in a land all their own?Are you intrigued?  You should be because the mythology built in this story is one of the most thorough and imaginative I've ever seen in a young adult novel.  I can only imagine what Laini Taylor has in store for the furthering and deepening of this fantastic world she has created.4. Lovers of fairy tales, myths, and/or legends will find a kindred spirit in this story. The very essence of the story thrives on all kinds of superstitions and beliefs, so of course it's going to appeal to anyone who has an appreciation for all those things that challenge human minds and logic.5. Karou is a kick-arse heroine. In a nutshell:  she's not afraid to do what has to be done.6. You know that feeling of never wanting a book to end?  Well, expect to feel it here. You will start to dread, dread, dread as you near the end of the book because you just know that you'll want the next book as soon as you finish.7. Hope. What can I say?  It's the crux of the novel.

  • Melissa ♥ Dog Lover ♥ Martin
    2018-11-20 09:29

    First re-read May 2017!OMG! I loved this book so much! I am so in love with Akiva! The below picture was the best I could find that is sort of what I picture. It doesn't have his amazing black shadow fire wings or the longish black hair that I imagine, but who cares =) Once upon a time, a little girl was raised by monsters. But angels burned the doorways to their world, and she was all alone. I love Karou's character. She's got blue hair, she can draw, she has a best friend named, Zuzana. She's really sweet and I just love her. She can pull some bad to the bone stunts too. Karou has no idea what she truly is, she just lives in her human world but was raised by chimaera. Things are not always as they seem. Not all of the evil creatures are totally evil and not all of the good angels are good. Laini Taylor writes such rich characters. Things I could never even dream up and for the most part, can't pronounce half their names. =) Karou lives in her own place through the means given to her by Brimstone. He raised her, she does horrible things for him, and they love each other. I didn't like some of the things that were in the book that she had to do but the author writes it in such a way that is shows these thing are NOT okay in the real world. Also, I might add that in this world it might not be a bad idea to have bad teeth. Well, that just threw all of you that hasn't read this book to the wind. =) There are some other creature things that live with Brimstone and Karou, well like I said, Karou is old enough to be out on her own. But in the shop, home etc. is where they all stay for the most part. And it's not somewhere you can just walk into, there is a portal and it's all kinds of cray. Issa and a few others that are chimaera are just too cool. They all have parts of human, animal, reptile parts that make them creature/monster things. I think they would look cool. Well, the nice ones! One day these hand prints start showing up on the doorways to the portals. They were done by angels. We get to meet Akiva, Hazael and Liraz. Mostly Akiva and holy crap on a cracker! Akiva and Karou don't hit it off too well. They think the worst of each other and then . . . things change and then . . . things change again. Sigh. . .SNAPSuch a little thing, and brittle, and the sound it made: a sharp, clean snap. WHOLESnap. Rushing, like wind through a door, and Karou was the door, and the wind was coming home, and she was also the wind.She was all: wind and home and door.She rushed into herself and was filled. She let herself in and was full. She closed again. The wind settled. It was as simple as that. She was whole.You have no idea how this book turned so much more amazing and sad. I love it. Amaze Balls! And I would really like Akiva and Karou to be in love forever! MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List*******************************************************Old Review when first read in 2014I won this is a GOODREADS/FIRST READS GIVEAWAY! I loved it so very much!

  • karen
    2018-12-07 12:22

    this book is astonishingly good. this is the book i should have been handed when i first expressed an interest in exploring the world of the fantasy novel. never mind that isn't not going to be published for three more months (thank you to the girl with BEA access for getting this for me), it should have happened somehow.this is the most pure example of fantasy that i have seen so far. and it is nearly perfect. once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love. it did not end well.a fantastic opening to a book. and it really takes off from there, revealing its secrets slowly, and deliciously and only occasionally predictably. i appreciate a sad love story, and this one really delivers. this is a fairy-tale fantasy that has its roots in the traditional fairy tale rather than the sweet disneyland versions where everyone is a-ok in the end. (or is it just the beginning...?)there is a great deal of struggle in this book. internal struggles involving the pain of separation from "family", from new love, from friends - the distance of secrets and the necessity of this distance. as in most fairy tales, there is subtext out the wazoo here. and she manages to just spread it on there like delicious jam and you are like "hmmm what kind of fruit is this jam? it tastes a little bitter but i cannot stop eating it,"and then you're dead, because it is one of those delicious poisons that nature puts out there to ensnare you. lainie taylor, i am on to you. but i am still addicted to you.and that's just what you wanted, dammit.for a month of stolen nights and the occasional sun-drenched afternoon when madrigal could get away from loramendi by day, they cupped their wings around their happiness and called it a world, though they both knew it was not a world, only a hiding place, which is a very different thing.yeah, yeah, i get it: you can write. and i was so resistant to her because of the name/cover of lips touch three times, but when i was forced (again, thanks to tommy) to actually read it, i realized that lainie taylor is the real deal. and this book just solidifies that opinion. and my only quibble - the only thing that is keeping this from being "best book ever" is so stupid, but i just felt that the pacing was a little bit skewed. these was so much in the first half, so much slowly spooled out story of "mysterious girl in prague" and then by the end, it was so rapidly told: angels, demons, war, love, betrayal,blam blam blammo!! it left me a little breathless.which was probably just what she wanted, but i'm no spring chicken: "i can't take any more scares!!" or rapid changes in pacing. but i feel like a jerk for even finding something to whine about, because this is pretty much as good as it gets, book-wise. september, my kittens...

  • Elise (TheBookishActress)
    2018-11-19 09:45

    My original review here was “punch :) me :) in :) the :) face :)” and I think that accurately sums my view up. That being said, here's an actual review that's NOT just me crying! Amazing!Daughter of Smoke and Bone follows a demon's assistant, Karou, who helps to collect teeth for the family of her youth. It's a creative story that pulled me in from the beginning. Before we were 40 pages in, I knew I had found a favorite. THE WRITINGJust as beautiful as everyone says. Laini Taylor's writing flows across the page to the point where instead of skipping across paragraphs as I usually do, I was hanging on her every word.Like a shadow that coasts over the moon.Is the word choice there not brilliant? It's such a subtle difference than “a shadow that covers the moon,” but it changes everything somehow. The writing is also rich with emotional content. I just really, really loved it.Wishes are false. Hope is true. Hope is its own magic.THE CHARACTERSI absolutely love Karou. Laini Taylor infuses her with a quiet inner strength, yet also a loneliness and a desire for love. I also loved the strong friendship between girls here. Zuzana is a dynamic, funny side character. “This morning you hate men in hats, wiener dogs–”“Weiner-dog owners,” Zuzana corrected. “You'd have to have, like, a lentil for a soul to hate wringer dogs.”She's a sweet, believable character. I only wish she were in the second half more. Akiva is a good character, although he isn't a strong love for me yet. He's a good character with a good personality and some moral ambiguity, but he's not as developed as I want him to be. I'm hoping he gets expanded more in the sequel. THE ROMANCEI feel like I should give this book four stars. I SHOULD. The romance is full of instalove. Yes, it's kind of explained, but it's still full of instalove. That should be enough for me to take off a star! But I can't, because I loved the romance. There's something about the idea of star-crossed lovers, maybe. Or maybe it's just Laini Taylor's writing, or the strength of Akiva and Karou's characters. Whatever it is, I found myself totally invested in the romance after just a few pages. By the time we got to the twist, I was hooked. THE PLOTThis book is a complete mindfuck, and I adored it. Although one of the major twists is easy to guess, most of the twists are sheer brilliance. Towards the end, plot points you've forgotten about are explained. Even little details of the first half are mentioned. And that ending was just cruel. THE WORLDBUILDINGThe worldbuilding here is just awesome. Again, I can't expand upon that, because the worldbuilding isn't revealed until later in the book. You've just got to read it. This isn't your typical angels vs. demons story; angels aren't all good and demons aren't all bad. I loved the nuance of their conflict. There's something to be said for taking an old story and making it something new, and I loved Laini Taylor's execution of this story. Highly recommended and I can't wait to start book two!

  • emi
    2018-12-07 14:39

    4.25/5 starsOnce upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love. It did not end well.In case you didn't know: the greatest feeling in the world, as proven by actual scientists and not some 19-year old girl laying braless in bed, is when you reread a book you loved the first time around and love it even more the second time. That sense of euphoria that will rush over you once you realize that your memory did not deceive you and everything you think you know might possibly not be wrong is considered to be more addictive than drugs. Trust me, actual real scientists proved this. Look it up. I was actually really worried when I started this book again. The first time I read it was during a busy time in my life. What if I had been too busy to realize how awful of a book this was? And rereading will shred all those nice, positive memories I have of this book? But Laini Taylor came through at the end. Why would I ever doubt her? She always comes through. Things I Will Probably Never Do In My Life bc hi, my name is Emi and I'm scared of everything, especially commitment1. Die my hair blue and move to Prague. Things This Book Makes Me Wanna Dobut probably won't bc hi, my name is Emi and I'm scared of everything, especially commitment1. Die my hair blue and move to Prague. I think one of the biggest faults about this book is that it is impossible to describe the plot without spoiling everything. Or, I try to describe it and it just sounds like one of those stories told by a three-year-old who is trying wayyy to hard to make you laugh. It doesn't even help any that this book is so strange. So this is what DOSAB is about, as told by me, in bullet points bc I tried 3 times to write a summary of it in paragraph form and I failed each time. This book is just that damn weird.• girl named Karou• raised by monsters• likes to draw a lot• she carries a sketchbook everywhere like the way I carry a book• lives in Prague• speaks about 50 languages, give or take. probably give.• blue hair but, like, grows that way. she don't have time to waste on hair dye.• doors• handprints on doors• wishbonesWow. That summary is so good. And not vague at all. I'm sorry if I accidentally spoiled you for the entire plot. Please forgive me. The one thing I feel obligated to warn you about, and the reason why I gave thsi 4 stars instead of 5, is the instalove. There are times when the writing is so beautiful, you almost forget that it is happening, but it's there. And not only is it bad, but it's probably the worst case of instalove that I have ever read about. Karou and Love Interest, Akiva, are making out and gushing feelings of love within a few days of knowing each other. And not only does instalove happen once, but it happens twice. TWICE. The second time, it's kinda understandable (view spoiler)[as technically they are already in love with each other but KAROU HAS NO MEMORY OF HER LIFE AS MADRIGAADSAL AND ANGEL DUDE DOESN'T KNOW IT'S HER (hide spoiler)], but not enough where I can shrug it off. I'm still annoyed by it. I'll forever be annoyed by it. Me, at the instalove: This book would have been perfect if there was a nice, slow burning romance.But enough of that already, this review is supposed to be about what I like about this book and I have gotten off topic. How about we discuss the characters in an attempt to get back on track, shall we?Karou. One day, when I have spawns kids of my own, I'm gonna brainwash encourage them to answer "Karou" when they are asked what they want to be when they grow up. Because Karou is actual person goals. Example A: She is able to wish for any small thing she wants, but instead of wasting her wishes on intellegent things like money or knowledge, she wishes for things like blue hair and making her ex's balls itch in public. I strive for her pettiness. Example B: She is talented! She can draw! Life goals tbh. Example C: She knows a whole bunch of different languages while I can barely remember how to typeExample D: When things go to crap she takes matter into her own hands and does something about it. I can only wish tbh.Example E: She has the bestest best friend to ever best friend. If you can't tell, I love Karou. And you should too. Read this book if you haven't already. (that's me to Karou, obviously)Akiva. I didn't realize how much I find him just okay until I had to type something up about him. He's just so okay. Especially for a fantasy-book love interest. I like him, but I'm also not trying to rip my heart from my chest and give it to him. He's like a solid 4/10 on the Love Interest scale. Zuzna. Like I said earlier, she's the bestest best friend to ever best friend. There are people out there who have similar personalities as her and I wish I was that lucky. Also puppets. Kaz. Not Kaz Brekker, by the way. He's not in this book. Sadly. But this Kaz: what a disgrace to such a beautiful name. The worst character in this entire book, but I might be a little bias as I'm incredibly bitter that Taylor would try to contaminate this name before it even had its chance to live. I hate him. I'm gonna just pretend he doesn't exist, okay? Conclusion? Conclusion??? Conclusion. So this book is so great okay. I know it has its faults. But every book has its faults. except Six of Crows, that book is perfect And instalove is a fairly large fault. But everything else is so great. It's a mystery and a fantasy and a romance and has great female friendship and blue hair and Prague monsters. I think that should sell you on this book if you haven't read it yet. And if you haven't read it yet? WTF it's been out for like 6 years what have you been doing? ANyways, this books is amazing and I love it. Okay? Bye.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Catie
    2018-12-06 07:31

    Not just five stars…one million stars, two sister moons, and two pairs of wings in flight. That’s how beautiful this book is. I hope this is a huge hit, and all the kids read it. Listen up kids, this book has everything that you’re looking for: secrets, paranormal creatures, hot guys, best friends; passionate, enduring, forbidden, love…and angst! But unlike all the rest, this one is the real thing.It’s times like these that I wish I was a real, honest to goodness book fairy, with little wings, a wand, a tutu, and magical powers of course. Kids can simply place whichever one of the mountains of published young adult paranormal romance novels that they’ve purchased in the past few years under their pillows, and I’ll replace them all with this book. Sort of like the tooth fairy. (And after reading this book, the question really begs to be asked: what are you doing with all of those teeth, tooth fairy? WHAT ARE THE TEETH FOR?!) The beginning of this book is almost lulling in its routine and normalcy. Karou is a young art student in Prague, attending classes, dealing with her obnoxious ex-boyfriend, and going out with her petite best friend Zuzana. She’s a little eccentric, a little odd, but her classmates don’t ask too many questions, and Karou has perfected the art of the non-answer. Her popular journals contain vivid drawings of another world, populated by mythical creatures: part human, part animal, each with detailed traits and peculiarities. “Where do you get your ideas?” her classmates ask, and Karou responds with a trademark little smile and assures them that it’s not made up; it’s all true. Disquieting little details about Karou’s life are revealed almost casually, and the apprehension grows. Soon the curiosity and apprehension build to outright anxiety and you just have to know. But you don’t want to know. Maybe you think that you’ve already figured out a few things, but ”you can’t know until you know.”Karou’s feelings: her indignation, her terrible curiosity, and her aching loneliness all come across so powerfully and vividly. I think that I felt every single thing that she feels through these pages. I felt immersed in Karou. And just like Karou, so many details and hints became devastatingly clear to me only after it was too late. The world that Laini Taylor creates is intricate, bright, original, and it will stretch your imagination. The characters are layered with concealed motivations, and they’re heartbreaking and real. The love story is tragic and intense (and takes advantage of perhaps the only justifiable excuse for instalove). And the writing! Beautiful, emotional, lyrical, shattering…all those words don’t even begin to describe it. This woman can write. But perhaps the most astonishing thing to me is this book’s complete dearth of cynicism. This book is all about love, peace, and the magic of hope. ”Hope can be a powerful force. Maybe there’s no actual magic in it, but when you know what you hope for most and hold it like a light within you, you can make things happen, almost like magic.”I can’t believe that it got through to me so much, but it really did. I think that it will be difficult for even the most committed of cynics not to be affected by this book.Perfect Musical PairingThe Smashing Pumpkins – MuzzleOkay, so I really like it when I can pair up a writer with a specific group. It gives me a nice little feeling of symmetry. The lyrics of this song apply so perfectly to this story, and when I listened to it I even got a bit emotional about the book so that’s always a good sign. “All things will surely have to end,and great loves will one day have to part.”Also seen on The Readventurer.

  • Nataliya
    2018-11-16 15:28

    A teeth-gathering blue-haired spunky young woman raised by a Wishmonger gets caught in the middle of the long war waged in the 'Elsewhere'. Pictographically:Was this book perfect? Not nearly. But I still loved it, even despite the annoying 'classic' YA tropes that it was NOT immune to: (1) insta-love (actually, it happens twice), (2) the otherwordly, basically underpants-disintegrating beauty of the male love interest - who initially, of course, (3) tries to murder our heroine. Still, Daughter of Smoke and Bone managed to captivate me and convince me to forgive its flaws by making its kickass protagonist, Karou, the girl who I hope my future (hypothetical) daughter will hang out with.I love that Daughter of Smoke and Bone avoided the easy and tempting pitfall of presenting the heroine as an ordinary unremarkable girl, a blank slate ready for readers' self-insertion, little else but a plot device to make the reader fulfill the desire of experiencing a relationship with an attractive mysterious male love interest. Some popular YA novels with female characters are really the odes to the male lead using the heroine as our eyes to stare at the hero. Daughter of Smoke and Bone thankfully DOES NOT follow this annoying path.The blue-haired ass-kicking raised-by-chimaera Karou is clearly not your regular high school girl "blessed" to become the object of attentions of a supernatural being. From the beginning, she is established as a remarkably talented, strong and independent young woman, who - shockingly for the YA novels about innocent high-schoolers - is even sexually experienced. She leads a double life, belonging both to the ordinary and the supernatural worlds. She had been innocent once, a little girl playing with feathers on the floor of a devil’s lair. She wasn’t innocent now, but she didn’t know what to do about it. This was her life: magic and shame and secrets and teeth and a deep, nagging hollow at the center of herself where something was most certainly missing.And most importantly, unlike the innocent all-talk-no-action young women in many a YA book, Karou does not hesitate to stand up for herself.She does not need a protector and does not hide behind the strong shoulders of the male lead; as a matter of fact, she kicks his ass, almost literally. And even in the evil clutches of required YA insta-love she maintains her identity and independence, does not automatically center her life around her romantic interest, and retains the ability - like any young woman should - to call out her romantic interest on the consequences of his actions without blindly trusting and blindly forgiving. But something unyielding in her shrank from the promise. He might have chosen her, but that didn’t mean that she would do the same if she were faced with the same choice—against Brimstone, Issa, Yasri, Twiga. She had told Brimstone, “I want you to know I would never just leave you,” and she wouldn’t. She would choose her family. Anything else was unthinkable, though even now the idea of turning and leaving Akiva behind brought on physical pain. She is not afraid to assert her views and values and stick up for what she believes. She is not afraid to call Akiva out on his hate and, for the lack of a better word, racism. 'So basically,' she said to Akiva, trying to gather all the things he’d told her into a simple strand, 'the seraphim want to rule the world, the chimaera don’t want to be ruled, and that makes them evil.' To recap my excited bumbling - Karou is strong-willed, rebellious, bold, independent, curious, adventurous, talented, funny, and loyal. Basically, I could not help but imagine her as an older sister of Neil Gaiman's Coraline. My future (hypothetical) daughter can definitely have sleepovers at Karou's flat, that's all I'm sayin'.=================================================This book also, in a way, attempts to subvert the long-standing trope of equating beauty and goodness. It does not always succeed, as both protagonists are exceptionally beautiful, and their attractiveness is repeatedly emphasized. But at least there is an attempt to make the more traditionally attractive otherwordly race the bad guys, making us root for the chimaera, not the angels. He can’t see it. 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.=======================================I liked Laini Taylor's writing; it's pretty crisp and flows well. The characters (even Akiva, whom I frankly hated) are well fleshed-out and are quite memorable even if their appearances are quite short. I enjoyed that the messages this book was trying to convey went past the "it's great to have a boyfriend" and "romantic love is the only thing you need to be happy" angle that again, I've seen too many times in the books aimed at girls and young women. I like how it emphasizes loyalty, hope, friendship, and even duty. Thumbs up for all that, book!Hope? Hope can be a powerful force. Maybe there’s no actual magic in it, but when you know what you hope for most and hold it like a light within you, you can make things happen, almost like magic.=================================================All that said, it's an enjoyable and rather well-executed book with a lovely and refreshingly strong female protagonist. It falls prey to some YA clichés, but recovers from them quite nicely. I will definitely read the second book in the series just to see how my new blue-haired friend Karou is getting along. But I do hope it does not fully devolve into another paranormal love story, because then I will be severely disappointed.4 stars rounded up from 3.75.--------For my review of the sequel, Days of Blood and Starlight, (five-star alert, by the way!), you can head over here.The third and final book, Dreams of Gods and Monsters, is reviewed here.

  • Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ Rabid Reads
    2018-12-02 12:36

    Reviewed by: Rabid ReadsLaini Taylor is a genius. No really. You know how “they” say that all myths and fairytales have an element of truth in them? How that element of truth is where the myths and fairytales originally came from? Well, in Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Laini Taylor treats all the myths like they’re Athena—sprung fully formed from the head of Zeus. Greek, Middle Eastern, Egyptian, various and sundry Pagan belief systems, it doesn’t matter, it all combines to make one glorious whole. There are Mesopotamian Hamsa on the hands of resurrected Naga (Hinduism/Buddhism), Greek Minotaurs, Egyptian jackals, and a multitude of other mythological creatures. Hamsa that repel the mishmash of creatures’ enemy, the Seraphim. Seraphim who are wholly unconnected to Christian, Jewish, or Muslim ideologies.And the magic that both sides utilize must be paid for in PAIN. This (IMO) is the best and cleverest part b/c in European folklore, both Eastern and Western, there are all kinds of pagan belief systems focused on witchcraft, earth worship, manipulation of the elements, etc. Almost all of those belief systems center on the principle of payback. Karma. The Golden Rule. Pick one. All variants of the same basic idea—if you put good in the world, it will come back to you, and if you put bad in the world, that will come back to you as well. Taylor takes this principle and transforms it into something with tangible, immediate results. In her world, you don’t have to look over your shoulder waiting for your bad deeds to catch up to you, you pay as you go. Or someone pays.Right. So. Meet Karou. Karou is a blue-haired girl who lives in Prague, where she is in enrolled in a school of the arts. Before that she was somewhere else, and before that, yet another place—rootless, homeless, Karou. When she was a child, she lived in an other-place, surrounded by other-creatures who were her friends and family, but when she got older, Brimstone (the othercreature in charge of those who raised her) sent her out into the human world, to learn human things, and run human errands b/c Karou is human.But if Karou is human, then how did she become a part of this otherworld? How did she acquire languages as birthday gifts, and why did her hair turn blue when she wished it? Why has she had tattoos of an eye on the palm of each hand for as long as she can remember, and why does she constantly feel like something is missing, that she should be doing something, being something, a part of something, that she is not?Daughter of Smoke & Bone will make you ache. It will make you clench your hands and clutch your arms around your stomach in trepidation of what Karou will learn, must learn about herself, about the othercreatures she calls family, about the strange, burnt hand prints that show up on the doors that are the gateways to their otherworld, and about the beyond beautiful man with the shadow that has giant wings who put them there.Inexplicably, I left these books off my list of Top 5 YA Series a few weeks ago. It somehow slipped my mind, though it has clearly earned its place there. It’s simply the most brilliant and unique story I’ve read in recent memory. I love the characters, both main and secondary, I love the world-building, and the romance is simply fantastical. Daughter of Smoke & Bone hits you straight in the feels, and you love every second of it, want more of it, are devastated when it ends.So it’s a good thing Dreams of Gods & Monsters, the third (and final?) installment of this series will be released in only a few short weeks. Are you ready?My other reviews for this series:Days of Blood & Starlight (Daughter of Smoke & Bone #2)Night of Cake & Puppets (Daughter of Smoke & Bone #2.5)Dreams of Gods & Monsters (Daughter of Smoke & Bone #3)

  • Megs ♥
    2018-11-27 11:30

    Finally, a book that lives up to the hype. I haven't read a book that lives up to the hype this well, actually, since Hunger Games. That's a coincidence considering that Karou has quickly earned the number two spot on my list of all-time favorite heroines...Second only to Katniss Everdeen, of course. And no, I'm not comparing this to Hunger Games in any way, just sayin'.This book came highly recommended to me from a number of people. Ever since it came out in September of 2011 I have heard nothing but great things about it. When I got about 200 pages into this story I recalled all of the great reviews and asked myself why I didn't read this sooner. The main reason is the synopsis. This is about as far as I got: 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. When I read that I didn't really feel the need to read this book as I was just like ummmm...ok...Despite the rave reviews I didn't give this book a try simply because of that. The synopsis does not do this book justice!So why do I love Karou? Why do I love any heroine, actually? They.kick.ass. Having been one of the rare characters in YA fiction that lost her virginity to the wrong guy, she felt more real. Karou is also very mysterious, and it's so exciting to find more and more details of her life as the story unfolds.The setting is Prague. That alone made the book more interesting, because it's just unique and the author's descriptions were fantastic. You will feel as if you have escaped to Prague and you are walking the streets and having lunch with Karou and her best friend, Zuzana.The plot was great too. We are taken around with Karou on all of her adventures, and the story flows beautifully. She writes in a way where things are often not just given to you, they are implied. This requires the reader to think a bit more and you gain a better understanding of what's going on if you pay attention. In turn you feel a deeper connection to Karou. This book is fantasy at it's best, but it also includes an epic romance. This is a story that breaths new life into the classic story of star-crossed lovers. The ending is superb and leaves you anxiously awaiting the sequel. It can't come fast enough.The main point is this. If you haven't read this and are considering reading it do not put it off. This book is bursting with brilliant writing, beautiful imagery, wild imagination, and it's extremely original. If you are looking for a breezy YA book that you can float through barely paying attention this is not the book for you. The writing is complex compared to many other YA books offered, and you will need to pay attention to keep up with it.Recommended!I really can't wait for the next one.

  • Lia Bonnibel
    2018-11-28 15:47

    Even though a huge number of people I know seems to consider DoSaB the best thing since sliced bread, I couldn't have liked it less even it I tried.And, trust me, I tried. Halfway through it I realized this book just isn't for me. Instead of making me feel something, it just left me bored and annoyed, and eager to either get drunk on cough syrup or punch someone in the teeth. I liked the premise and all the mystery surrounding the chimaeras and the teeth affair, but something spoiled it. I was also pretty intrigued by Kaoru's life, before Mr Hotpants popped up, but my enthusiasm didn't last long. The insta-love was so cringeworthy (Akiva really did give me bad Edward the Stalker™ Cullen vibes) and I couldn't relate to Karou at all, especially after she became the whiny excuse of a love interest for her love interest, in her own story. That scene where they fly in the sky in front of a whole crowd and they get away with saying it was just a theatrical trick, well...let's draw a veil over it.I really appreciated the writing, though, and also the way Prague (I ADORE PRAGUE SO MUCH YOU GUYS HAVE NO IDEA) was portrayed.

  • Cait • A Page with a View
    2018-11-25 12:37

    This was SUCH a gorgeous, creative, incredible book that seriously took me by surprise. Like where did this come from and whyyyy have I not read it until now?!!? This is the kind of book people should be shoving in my face to read (for future reference pleeeease).Basic plot stuff: Karou is an art student who has blue hair, eye tattoos on her hands, and no idea where she's from or who she really is. She was raised by some really cool chimaera monster-types and can access their world through the random door portals they open (but if she were to open the door, it would just lead to the empty apartment or whatever is really behind it). They collect teeth, so Karou runs teeth-collecting errands around the world for them at times. Meanwhile, Aviva is an angel whose people are at war with the chimaera. He burns all of the portals down and Karou is stuck in our world with no access to the "family" who raised her. She finds out the tattoos on her hands can hurt angels and... the plot gets complicated.The chimaeras who raised Karou were one of my favorite parts of this book. They had such strong personalities and were SO lovable, slightly creepy, and just wonderful. I really liked their shop (especially when we see what's behind the other door). A lot of the magical aspects totally reminded me of Pan's Labyrinth at times! The aesthetic of this entire story was just SO unique and I loved it all.The gothic setting of Prague is absolutely glorious & magical and completely made this story what it is! This book had amazing worldbuilding all around. Like I NEED to go to Prague now and just eat pastries and goulash please.The only thing I really had a problem with was the pacing. The beginning was wonderful, but then it kind of lost a bit of the super cool magical feeling once the story started to revolve more around the past. It started to feel like a bunch of smaller disjointed plot arcs when Karou's present-day story became background material in the second half.So I was more into the magical Pan's Labyrinth-type aesthetic of both worlds than the star-crossed romance, but none of these minor complaints really hurt the story in the end! The writing was SO incredibly beautiful.I'm not sure why I waited so long to read this, but I'm so glad I finally did. Totally recommend it!UPDATE: I really liked this first book, but wasn't too huge on the sequels.

  • Dija
    2018-12-03 11:39

    The ending!There are already many, many in-depth and detailed reviews for Daughter of Smoke and Bone, and because no one wants to read a review where I gush on and on about how much I loved this or adored that, I'll avoid being boring and keep this short and simple.I loved:1. Karou2. Akiva. 3. The writing. 4. The setting.5. Karou.6. The book title.7. Zuzana. 8. Akiva and Karou's love. 9. Brimstone.10. The chapter titles.I disliked:1. The cover. 2. Kaz.3. Madrigal.4. The pacing.5. The ending.I hated:1. (view spoiler)[The fact that Karou is Madrigal. I despise it when my characters are resurrected beings of some sort, because then they stop feeling as real. With how little of Karou and how much of Madrigal there was at the end, I'm feeling as if the former simply isn't an individual any longer, and all along she's only been the latter. (hide spoiler)]2. Nothing else.Favorite quotes: "Humans were walking freely, weaponless, gathering in the open, sitting in plazas, laughing, growing old. And I saw a girl… a girl with black eyes and gemstone hair, and… sadness. She had a sadness that was so deep, but it still could turn to light in a second, and when I saw her smile I wondered what it would be like to make her smile. I thought… I thought it would be like the discovery of smiling."Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love. It did not end well. Once upon a time,there were two moons, who were sisters.Nitid was the goddess of tears and life,and the sky was hers. No one worshipped Ellai but secret lovers. "Wishes are false. Hope is true. Hope makes its own magic."“Love is a luxury.”“No. Love is an element.”An element. Like air to breathe, earth to stand on.4.5/5 stars["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Clau R.
    2018-11-28 07:42

    OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOH.I really liked this book, and I wasn't even expecting it! The thing is... the first piece of work I read from Laini Taylor was her short story in "My true love gave to me twelve holiday stories", and I didn't like it, at all. So naturally, after reading that, I wasn't eager to dive into this, BUT OH, I'm glad I did! It was simply amazing! The thing I loved the most about this book is the world Laini created! It is beautiful and intriguing and so original! I love everything about the wishes and the teeth and Brimstone's shop! Fantastic!The one thing I didn't like was the total insta-love, I was enjoying the book so much and then BAM! It happens! The two protagonists met and FELL FOR EACH OTHER IN A BLINK OF AN EYE! I WAS LIKE: PLEASE DON'T. But I forgave them because later in the book we learn something that justifies it, kind of... *thinks about it* No, not kind of, It REALLY explains the insta-love. Also, I really liked Karou's backstory! It completely made sense and it made me love Brimstone even more (FAVORITE CHARACTER!!! Oh, and Mik is pretty adorable).Also, poor Akiva, he's been through a lot :(. I'm not very fond of him, but I really want him to be happy! He deserves it.Am I going to finish the trilogy? YES.

  • Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies
    2018-11-15 15:46

    I had so many ups and downs reading this book, ranging from pages and pages and pages of complete disinterest in the beginning, to complete enjoyment in the new type of fantasy world described, to utter boredom in the flashback scenes. Yeah, I know the backstory of Madrigal's past life is a big deal in the scheme of the book. That doesn't mean I didn't find it incredibly boring.

  • Hannah
    2018-12-06 07:46

    STARTING THE SECOND ONE RIGHT NOW BECAUSE THAT ENDING WAS TOO MUCH I LOVED IT

  • Kimi
    2018-11-21 15:22

    Buddy read with my girl Ryan.  “Once upon a time, an Angel and a devil fell in love. It did not end well.”   The world Building: Angels, Devils and magic. What’s there not to like? The world building might be my favorite element of this book … right after the romance but we’ll get to that later. Such a rich and diverse fantasy world. We got to see Prague and Marrakech which was amazing since I’ve never read any book set in those places. The characters: ➨Karou is hands down one of my all-time favorite YA female characters. I mean who wouldn’t love a kickass MC with blue hair? I agreed with pretty much all of the decisions she made, she wasn’t whiny and most importantly, she could take care of herself.  ➨Akiva: Somebody made it to my fictional boyfriends list. Congrats Akiva! ➨Brimstone: At first I wasn’t really sure whether or not I could trust him because he’s obviously hiding lots of secrets. I was very suspicious about what he was doing with all those teeth but then after reading the second half of the book (view spoiler)[ Gah. How could I ever doubt him? I get it now. Brimstone is our father figure, he’s our Dumbledore, our Gandalf and therefore there’s absolutely no way he makes it alive to the end of the trilogy. Apparently, everyone is already dead but even if he somehow survived. I can bet you anything, he’ll be dead before the end of this trilogy.(hide spoiler)] ➨Razgut: I was listening to the audiobook and omg Razgut’s voice is the creepiest thing my ears have ever listened to.   The Romance:I’m a sucker for any star-crossed lovers kind of story. There’s just something about forbidden love that makes it so much more interesting and powerful.  For a minute I was so scared that we would have an insta-love situation but turns out it wasn’t the case. Thank God! Overall, A Daughter of Smoke and Bone was an amazing book. I can’t wait to jump right into the rest of this story.  Thanks for reading, please share your thoughts.    ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Aly (Fantasy4eva)
    2018-12-11 10:36

    There's so much buzz generating around this one, that although I've always tried to ignore hype, after reading all these gushing reviews from bloggers I follow I had high expectations - I was, unfortunately, let down by the time I was halfway though. It started strong with a lot of potential. But it didn't take long before I already had most of it figured out and the last few twists that were there, didn't please me much. Take our MC, Karou. At first I was thrilled by this 17 year old artsy girl who lead these two lives. One being the mysterious friend/ student without a family and the other who is a part of this whole other world. Loved and loving these creatures that one would cringe away from made me see and admire a whole other side of her - a side I could get used to, but it's when the romantic interest made his appearance that things started going a little downhill.A part of me is quite impressed by the characters and plot. Sure we've seen the creatures before, the romeo and Juliet styled love interest, but the author has managed to interweave all these aspects in the novel and make it all somehow completely unique and turn it into her own. I acknowledged that early on and I appreciate it, I really do, but I can't help but feel that something just isn't there. Although I did enjoy the setting and some parts of the plot, I think what really knocked it down a few stars for me was my complete lack of connection with the characters. I really did not find myself caring for even one. That's kind of bad right? Sure our protagonist is on the badass side at first, but once again, once the boy is introduced she turns to mush. Also, I can't get past the fact of who she is (those who have read the book will be aware of what I'm talking about) although now I realise it was pivotal to the rest of the story, but I just wish that it didn't have to take such an easy, predictable root. Giving it this forbidden Romeo and Juliet vibe. I felt like the book had so much potential that it didn't even need to make this apparent transition on solely focusing on the romance. Because that's what I feel it did. Somewhat copped - out on the story and just threw itself into this romance that I really did not care for. A few times I considered having a break. I lost interest more than once and the pace was starting to drag. Not a good sign at all. Eventually something would happen and I'd continue. In all honesty, I wanted to like it, finish it and be proved wrong. I saw such promise in the book and the first few chapters were strong enough to pique my interest. Sadly it just didn't last. You may have noticed that I've tried to stay on the vague side about certain things than I tend to in my reviews, and this is to make sure that you can pick up on them and decide for yourselves when it comes to you reading the book itself.There are glowing reviews, and people seem to have fallen head over heels in love with THE DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE, so I'd definitely recommend you keep an open mind since I might just be one of the odd one's out.

  • Kiki
    2018-11-14 07:44

    There's something to be said for a series that keeps me reading and reading and reading, no matter how irritated it's making me, no matter how furious I am with the characters, no matter how idiotic the romance is, and no matter how crushingly depressed it's making me. There's something to be said for a book that still gets four stars from me despite making me want to swallow a whole box of Niquil and take a nap for a year. Take Karou. She's quirky, cool, popular. She's got a secret tooth-mongering life and her family is a hodgepodge of demonic deities whose appearances burst straight out of some antique high fantasy adventure saga. God, if I could write fantasy like Laini Taylor does, I'd be like Dan Brown and sleeping on a pile of money every night and laughing at some hi-larious joke my good friend Tom Hanks just cracked while servants offered us hot towels with which to wipe the caviar off our hands. The characters in this book are just so inspired. How do you go about dreaming all of this up? How do you conjure this sort of kaleidoscopic, dream-state world building? There are so many threads. So many layers. How do you do it? Do you pop a molly, open a word document with Pan's Labyrinth reeling in the background, and let it go? Don't hold it back anymore? Let it go, let it go, turn away and slam the door?(Okay, I fucking love Frozen. It's my life and I know every word to every song. I told you not to judge me.)Mik and Zuzanna were pointless but cute, and to be fair, they didn't really need to serve a purpose as characters. One character who did need to serve a purpose but didn't was Akiva, and let me get this straight right off the bat so that no one is under any sort of false pretenses: I hate Akiva. I hate Akiva like I hate those snapchat nerds who refused to sell when they were offered three billion dollars for some shitty little app that I can't even fucking work. Guys, a chimpanzee could create a picture messaging app that isn't even as fast as kik. I mean, if the Vine guys turned down a three billion dollar offer I'd understand because stuff like this is worth triple that amount, plus my first born child, plus some sort of soul exchange like they had in that movie, what was it called? The Skeleton Key? Look, it's not even that Akiva is two-dimensional, and his and Karou's relationship has absolutely no basis whatsoever than both of them being hot. It's also not about how he thinks he loves Madrigal but what they had was sex, not love. It's the arrogance of him. It's just the entitlement of it: he arrives at the party Madrigal is attending and when he sees her dressed up, he decides that it's all for his benefit, and she must have been expecting him, because clearly we haven't been diligent enough in convincing girls that the clothes they put on their bodies are for men's benefit, and that their bodies are public property. I'm not sure why I'm surprised by this, because the chances of finding a piece of media that isn't in some way thematically problematic are slim, but still. We could all stand to try a little harder.(We could all stand to take a step back and think about what it says when we praise and praise and praise a series that is, at its core, about how genocide is totally forgivable as long as the person who did it is really sorry and, like, was really sad and stuff. But that isn't really a fair criticism for this book; it's about this series as a whole, so let's not jump the gun.)There's also this whole thing where Akiva tries to kill Karou, then creepily watches her while she'd sleeping, and suddenly they're in love after meeting each other a handful of small times and exchanging perhaps four angsty words. Who is eating this up? Why? We didn't put up with it when Kate and Adornetto did it, so why are we putting up with it now? Why are we putting up with another story in which an arrogant man decides that a pretty girl must be his and so stalks and frightens her until she falls into his arms? What the fuck is with this? Emphasis on "pretty" needs to be discussed, too. This book adores physical beauty in flagrante and it isn't afraid to tell you straight up that if you're ugly, then you can fuck falling in love. You can fuck having an interesting story to tell. You may as well sit on someone else's back and suck their soul out. And when they've lost their soul, they'll be ugly too, because ugly people are evil and pretty people are the bestest. This book also wants you to know that low self-esteem is beautiful too. Madrigal is annoyingly unaware of how stunning she is and apparently that makes her all the more lovely. We're kind of narrowing the dream pool here. You can only be happy or interesting or powerful if you're beautiful, but in order to be "good", you have to hate yourself for it. Thiago knows he's beautiful, so he's immediately the villain. Madrigal? Oh, she doesn't have a clue. She's a primrose of lovely unhappiness. It's just so fucked in the head. Don't you think that's fucked in the head? I do. Though...ugh. Level with me. No matter how hard this book stumbles, I just can't bring myself to deduct another star. The writing was too haunting and lovely, and the mythology was too inspired, and the palpable love the author has for the story just bled too profusely from the pages. You can feel how invested she is. You can taste it. And I love that. I love it so much. Being able to smell the hours of pleasure and inspiration that were baked into a book, and to just know in your heart that an author truly and deeply cares. It's utterly beautiful.I could keep waxing angry about the fucked-up themes of this book for hours, but this book really isn't any worse than the other offenders within its genre. (I could also sigh about the silliness of 'Prague, a storybook city stuck in the eighteenth century" but I won't. It's just a Quaint Little Europe cliche and it really isn't hurting anyone.) Actually, no; that's not quite right. It isn't that this book is "no worse". It's a lot better, really, in that it doesn't feel like it was thrown together within a couple of weeks, slapped with a pretty cover and sold as a 'forbidden love story for fans of Stephanie Meyer'. I'm being unfair, aren't I?This book is not perfect, but I think about it often, and deeply. I think about certain words and wonder what the author was thinking when she wrote them down; I think about the titles, and how perfectly they dovetail with what's behind them; I think about Karou, and Brimstone, and Issa, and Kishmish, and even Akiva. It isn't necessary to like a character. It isn't even necessary to understand them. It's only necessary to be compelled by them, and I was compelled by every word on these pages.That's got to count for something.BONUS TIME!Alright, alright, fuckin' right!