07 November 2013

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers     
Publication date: September 27th 2011
My rating: 4 stars

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?
I'm well aware of the fact I'm 2 years too late. I get that but hey! I'm here now and that's what counts. 

I set out to write this review but I'm still not sure what to say. I keep thinking about the romance between Karou and Akiva. I'll explain my issues with it soon. 

First of, the whole paranormal world in Prague was interesting. The architecture, the art, the culture... even the people pretending to be vampires were fun. We meet Karou in a dark alley getting felt up by her ex boyfriend who's an vampire/actor. They broke up because he cheated on her and Karou doesn't want to see his lying face anywhere near her. Kaz doesn't feel the same way and follows her to her art school where he poses naked in front of her whole class. Awkward. She eventually gets her revenge, wishing Kaz gets nasty itches to scratch in  his most  private places. Her friend Zuzana's there to cheer with her. 

Karou's a blue haired girl who loves to draw strange characters with snake tails, bull heads and some human parts.  What you didn't know is those characters are real. They are Issa and Brimstone, her sort of guardians.  They deal with wishes and can open a portal to just about any place on Earth you could imagine with simply opening their door. Karou helps them acquire human/animal teeth for some reason she's still not aware of. She does try to get some info about her parents, herself, even about the teeth but Brimstone is not giving away any secrets. 

Like with every other story, things get messy after 'the guy' shows up.  A mysterious angel attacks Karou in the streets of Marrakesh. I'm just going to stop here for just a second cause I feel like I should say this. Everybody knows I love a good romance but in this case I prayed for less. I didn't want to read about feelings when there's so much to see in this crazy paranormal universe. Everything was going along fine till Akiva showed up. And they were attracted towards each other right from the start. 

I was so ready to hate the second part of the book because of the dreaded romance but the craziest thing happened. I started liking the whole Karou and Akiva thing. The flashback scenes saved it. If it weren't for them, I would've pegged it as another insta-love. 

So, if you're up for some quality paranormal fiction, pick up Daughter of Smoke and Bone. You won't regret it. It's full of magical creatures, drawings, fights between good and evil and of course, a steamy romance. 

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