Daughter of Smoke & Bone: Review
I bought this book almost a year ago amidst all the buzz, but an ever expanding review pile kept me from ever getting to it. While at TLA I saw the promo material for the second book coming out this November, and I made a mental note to bump this one up on my list. I finally ended up breaking down and buying the audiobook, and promptly kicked myself for putting this one off for so long.
At first glance, Karou is a seemingly normal, though blue-haired art student studying in Prague, doing her best to avoid her vampire-loving ex-boyfriend. But Karou has a secret even her closest friends don’t know. She works for a man named Brimstone, a chimaera (a hybrid monster of sorts composed of various animal parts) gathering human teeth for him in exchange for wishes. While out gathering teeth one evening, Karou has a close encounter with an angelic being, one who appears hell-bent on stopping her. When Karou finds herself cut off from the chimaera tribe she knows that angel boy has something to do with it, and she may need to enlist his help to set things right.
Within the first few pages (or minutes in my case) I immediately loved Karou and her quirky, artsy friends. I could definitely see a lot of myself and my friends in them. I immediately wanted to be a part of their circle. Karou is a strong and likable character with a wicked sense of humor, and despite her dealings in magic, she felt very real to me. I also liked that she wasn’t clearly good or evil. The entire book deals with Karou figuring out who (or what) she is and where she came from. She seems like a normal teenage girl, even though she has no real recollection of her past, yet gathering human teeth for a devilish monster doesn’t exactly seem like an innocent means of employment.
When the angels were first introduced I gave a little groan. I wasn’t sure I was ready for yet another angel book, but this one is totally different from any I’d read before. I found myself totally entranced by the story, and though the last quarter or so of the novel felt like an entirely different book, it all comes together nicely, though a little predictably, at the end.
Highly original and ambitious, Daughter of Smoke and Bone really surprised me. Ms. Taylor writes with a wonderfully distinct voice and has created a refreshing, original story filled with a unique cast of characters. I am definitely counting the days to the next installment.