September 27, 2011
Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.
In a dark and dusty shop, a devil's supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.
And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.
Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she's prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages--not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she's about to find out.
When one of the strangers--beautiful, haunted Akiva--fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?
Laini Taylor has written an addicting paranormal novel that will have you putting everything but the book aside! It is so hard to stop reading. The action is non-stop and the shocking secrets plentiful. The characters are so complicated and have multiple layers that will leave you questioning who they really are.
There is much more to Karou than meets the eye--which is saying something considering the fact that she is drop-dead gorgeous and has natural blue hair! She has been raised in an unconventional environment with chimaera that she has grown to love. She is an extremely talented artist who crafts pictures that blow others away. And while she appears and thinks she is human, she begins discovering things that make her question who she truly is.
While Karou seems cold at first, she thawed in my eyes as the story went on. The adventures "errands" she goes on are fascinating, and something that she does fairly often. I enjoyed seeing the world from her eyes, and gained a new perspective on life. I truly felt for Karou; she feels such loneliness that I just wanted to jump into the book to give her a hug. While she has friends, she has always felt a little removed from everything and yearns for a companion--someone who will be by her side no matter what.
I was really interested in knowing who, or what, Karou truly was. How she came to be, and how she ended up with someone like Brimstone. The little hints thrown here and there give just a taste of what is really going on with her, and kept me engrossed in the pages. My favorite moments in the story were those between her and Akiva. While their interactions were forced and maddening at first, as they get to know one another their relationship becomes so sweet.
Akiva, while unemotional and stiff in the beginning, is someone who I came to love. Like Karou, there is an air of mystery surrounding him. I wondered why he was doing what he was, and why Karou affected him so much. Akiva thoroughly intrigued me.
DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE is one of the most well-written and well-crafted novels that I have read in a long time. Taylor has made a place for herself in the YA genre and I cannot wait for more of her gorgeous writing!