Book Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Laini Taylor

| 2 November , 2011 | Reply

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor is a thrilling new story, which will take you on an adventure across the globe and lead you to a door that opens onto another world. It has a fast pace that will sweep you up and drop right into the centre of things, and characters that are both fascinating and clever.

Thank goodness for strong heroines. I must admit I was starting to have my doubts about the whole ‘angels\’ theme that\’s running through the young adult genre, as it seems to be a continuation of girls who pine away in their rooms over some mysterious bad boy. Not that I\’m against bad boys—they\’re usually my favourite—or a bit of moping, but honestly I\’m ready for something new. And that is what Taylor has provided in her main character Karou—a tough girl who is caught between two lives.

How is it that a teenage art student living in Prague is also an errand-girl to an otherworldly creature named Brimstone? This is something Karou has never truly understood; all she knows is that he is the closest thing she has to family and the only clue to finding out her real identity. Now black handprints are showing up all over the world, could it be that the doors to ‘Elsewhere\’ are closing? And what will Karou do when given the choice between living in two worlds?

The thing that really hooked me was the dark atmosphere and tone of this book. Taylor\’s imagination is a thing of wonder and I am truly enviable of her ability to create such a riveting and haunted world. I absolutely love the quick and wry dialogue between Karou and her best friend, Zuzana. Akiva\’s not bad either.

To me, this book is a cross between My Name Is Memory by Ann Brashares and Lauren Kate\’s Fallen trilogy, with a bit of Holly Black\’s dark humour and sharp characterisation mixed in.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone is the start of something new. It has really raised the bar in terms of atmosphere and characterisation, and I really hope to see many more authors follow Taylor\’s lead. Can\’t wait to see what she comes out with next!

Available now: Hachette RRP$24.99


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