Tuesday, 25 September 2012


Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Karou is a seventeen-year-old with aquarmarine hair who attends art school in Prague. She also runs errands for the demonic creature called Brimstone, who collects teeth in exchange for wishes. She has no idea who she is or where she came from, all she has ever known is Brimstone's shop, but when the black handprints start appearing on the doors, Karou realises that her whole world is about to change.

I really wanted to like this book. It started off so well, I absolutely loved it. I meant to read one chapter before going to bed, but ended up reading about ten. It was amazing, I haven't read anything so magically-written since The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (this wasn't that good, but it was close). But then...ugh. It starts off being all about Karou, at least the first-third is all about Karou, but then it switches and starts to fill us in on Akiva's background. And that's when my interest started to wane. I didn't like Akiva, I didn't care about his past and I certainly wasn't interested in reading about his view of the world. When we were finally finished with that stuff, I thought we were going to get back to the story, except we didn't. We started to find out about Karou's past as well. And that, while a little more interesting than Akiva's past, had a very strange effect on the book for me. I stopped liking Karou. Knowing her past spoilt the character for me, I've never had anything like that happen before. And it's a shame, because the start of the book was so good.

There's a second book (actually, it's a trilogy, but I don't think the third one's out yet) and I'm in two minds about whether or not I should get it. On the one hand, the book was great when it was about a story and not just backstory, I can't help thinking that the second book should be all story now that we know the backstory. On the other hand, I don't like Karou anymore. I don't really want to read any more about her, I've stopped caring. So I don't really know what to do, or whether I would recommend this book. I think the writing is stunning, it just wasn't a good fit for me. I've never seen a review by someone else who said they didn't like it, so I guess it's just me.

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