Category Archives: Laini Taylor

Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #1) by Laini Taylor

Featuring necklaces made of wishes; an underground shop dealing in teeth; magical tattoos; a wishbone on a cord, DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE is a thrilling story about Karou and her secret life as an apprentice to a wishmonger. Karou manages to keep her two lives in balance. On the one hand, she is a seventeen-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.

Release Date: 27 September 2011
Read Date: 4 November 2011
Rating:

Not at all what I was expecting after the numerous 5 star reviews from the most discerning critics.

LEFT: My UK cover | RIGHT: The US cover


Pretty unremarkable, right? | Striking, wouldn't you say?


The US cover plus the 5 star ratings and general popularity spurred me on to grab this from the library. I’m very pleased I didn’t pay for it. The UK cover advertised it perfectly i.e. not worth your time and cold hard cash, especially at hardcover prices.

Those loving reviews whispered in my ear to keep going, to not put it down because there’s precious awesomeness to be had, until they were over-ridden by the knowledge that if my hands lowered at any moment I’d never raise them with this book open again.

The slow dry start, the excessively wordy prose, the change from kickass, bohemian, independent heroine raised by “monsters” to typical teenage starcrossed insta-love, and characters I couldn’t connect with -made this difficult to read, let alone love.

I was confused by the change in Karou. I liked her better when she was artsy but jaded by her failed naive romance, running errands collecting the mysterious teeth for her Chimera family who raised her from a baby. How could she fall in love with someone who tried to kill her and not be wary of his beauty when the last beautiful man to enter her life broke her heart?

And then the twist. The memories were a flood of information filling in all of the gaps and answering questions one after another but by this point I was skimming to freedom, occasionally slowing to look for the golden nuggets others had obviously found in spades. This part was interesting, I’ll admit, but it was like the book contained different stories that didn’t quite come together as one tale.

We have:

— Karou’s double life as the art student and the teeth trader who knows how to wield a knife.

— The inexplicable insta-love for the angel who tried to kill Karou.

— The recovery of memory.

— The repercussions of today’s events in light of that memory.

It’s a mixed jumble that left me frustrated and confused. There are some good ideas but they didn’t really get to shine. Much of the story is in the last hundred pages and then the book ends abruptly.

I don’t understand the hype surrounding this one. Unremarkable.

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