Title: Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Goodreads)
Series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone (#1)
Published: September 2011
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 beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery 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?
Going into this book I had no idea what to expect. I hadn’t looked up any reviews on this book and the blurb on the back doesn’t reveal anything… So it took me a while to understand what was going on and that’s probably what the author wanted. I thought this book was very different. When reading a fantasy novel there’s always this sort of pattern. There’s a person that has magical powers, they don’t know how that’s possible, their friend finds out but doesn’t believe the crap they are saying, etc. This one is totally different and therefore unique. I’m not going to give away what is different but I think you should just know: it’s not like the other books you’ve read.
The fantasy aspect in this book can be a little overwhelming in the beginning because you don’t know what to expect but once you get into the book you learn about everything gradually. Well, gradually… in the second half of the book you pretty much learn about everything all at once. So if you are kind of ‘err what is this’ in the beginning, just keep reading and it will all become clear to you.
Spoilers ahead (I'm basically telling you what this book is about)
If you do want to know what the actual frick this book is about, let me briefly explain. There are chimaeras and there are angels who are called seraphines I believe. They are on opposing sides. The main character, Karou, is somehow involved in this world but she doesn’t know how and in the beginning she doesn’t ask questions about it. Until boom, there we have the angel, who wants to know more about her, who she is and what she is. There’s a whole lot of other stuff going on but I suck at writing summaries so I’m gonna keep it that. At least you have some insight in this story now. Chimaeras. I only learned about chimaeras whilst reading the Percy Jackson series and that was like… a year ago. I still can’t quite picture a chimaera in my head. Maybe I should look it up on Google pictures? Is it safe? *looks it up* Err, maybe not late at night. So back to what I was saying: I also didn’t know that there were so many kinds of chimaeras, I thought there only was like one. THE chimaera but no. There’s a whole land full of them. Freaking awesome! (though in Greek mythology there is only one kind of chimaera) And then angels. Now I haven’t been not too big on angels after reading the Fallen series and disliking it a whole lot but these angels seem kick ass and they actually have a purpose in their eternal lives. I don’t know, I kind of liked Akiva. I’m still not keen on the whole ‘I’ll fly you wherever you want in the whole wide world by only picking you up and holding you thight’ idea but that was only touched briefly in this book. Thank the lord.
Let’s talk about how awesome Karou is. She’s different from the other female protagonists I’ve read about. She has that alternative vibe over her which I loved. The choices she makes are the right ones, not just what her heart tells her to do. She would do anything to protect the people she loves but she still has her priorities.
Also: Zuzana is such a cool character. She’s so awesome for believing all the things Karou is telling her even though they probably don’t make any sense to her. I feel like we will hear from her again in the next book (at least I hope so) and that she will somehow become involved and have a bigger role.
I enjoyed this book. Because it’s different, because it was right up my street, because there was suspense, romance (major case of insta-love though!) and great world building.
We still don’t know too much about this world, but that will all change in the next book. The WOW-factor wasn’t there though. I know some people who really loved it, I just liked it.