ARC Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

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?
DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE will be released on September 27th by Little Brown. A big thanks to Little Brown for the ARC!

What? Huh? How am I supposed to form the coherent sentences necessary to write this review??? Where the heck did this book come from??? Because it's freaking brilliant. On so many levels. Like whoa, I literally just finished it, and I'm like "OMG!" Gahhh!

First of all, this concept is unlike anything I have ever read. It's so unique in the way that it takes cliches and totally uncliche-ifys them until it's this new, fresh, insanely captivating story that is unlike anything you have ever read. I don't even have the right words to describe this book. Only that while I was reading, at first I never quite knew exactly what was going on. I only knew that I needed to know more. So I kept reading. I kept delving into this crazy world of angels and chimaera and magic and hope and pain and brilliance. Gah! And it's definitely one of those books where you don't recognize it's brilliance until you finish it and are just sitting there with that stupid "I can't believe she left us like that!" look on your face. The twists and turns encountered in this book are unbelievable, and this story takes forbidden romance to a whole new level. I loved every moment of it!

And Laini Taylor's writing just blew me away. This book relies on prose rather than dialogue, and the prose and passages in this book were wonderful. It took a book about angels and devils and magic worlds and made parts of it totally relatable. Some passages really just hit you with this raw honesty and emotion. And the descriptions and all the history and back story was told wonderfully. She didn't always necessarily stick with the "show not tell" rule, but her tellings were so effortless and beautiful that it didn't matter. Also, as I've said before, I prefer first person to third. But I can recognize when a book needs to be told in third person, and this one totally did. This goes onto my shelf as one of my favorite third-person books...a hard feat to reach with me. But this book was so, ah! Just read this.

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.
And character-wise they were all wonderful and developed. I loved that Karou was so unique and part of this other world--yet a lot of the time she just seemed like a normal, immature teenager. I didn't quite know what to make of Akiva at first, but I ended up loving him. And while I loved being taken to that other, magical world, some of my favorite scenes in the book were Karou with her human best friend, Zuzana. There were a ton of characters, and they were all handled very well, in my opinion.

But, oh my God. Why that cliffhanger ending?! Whhhhhhhhhhhy???


Anonymous said...


I'm so glad you also found it amazing! This waiting for the next book is going to be awful.

Evie J said...


Marisa said...

@Michelle: I know! Gah!!!

@Evie: I think you'd LOVE it! When I got my ARC in the mail, I was like !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!jldflkjfa!!!!!!!!!!

Paige said...

Gah, you're so lucky you get ARCs, I need to try and get some..
This book seems interesting, I'll have to try and get it!