JANE & CARIN

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Book Review // Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Tomorrow, finally, Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone will be released to the public! Jane & I both have wanted to write reviews, but wanted to wait until you all had a chance to get it in your hands. But now, since its been months since I’ve read the book, and I want to give this book the recognition it deserves (not tainted by my somewhat hazy memory), I am simply going to re-post part of this review on goodreads:

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 . . . cancelher.  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.  …

My thoughts exactly.

If you’re curious about how this review compares to other reviews on Goodreads, this one is the least gushy of them all. People love this book. Women wish they could be book fairies and place them underneath peoples’ pillows. Those who got advance copies at BEA thought “if this had been the only book I had gotten, it would still be worth it. It’s not (by far) and I still can’t imagine loving something as much as I did this.”

I can’t wait to see what you all think.

Happy reading,

Carin

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This entry was posted on September 22, 2011 by in Book Reviews, Carin, Fiction, Upcoming Titles, Young Adult.

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Words We Like

“I think it makes more sense to write what you don’t know. To write what makes you uneasy, what you wonder about, what keeps you awake at night."

— Lois Lowry, at the BEA Children’s Book and Author Breakfast

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