Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone #1

Published: September 27th 2011 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:

Around the world, black hand prints 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 grows dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherworldly 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?

I don't know how I haven't heard of this series until now, but man have I been missing out!

“Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love.

It did not end well.”

One would think that this book is about angels and demons, good and evil, light and dark...I think you get the point, with maybe a little love story inserted somewhere. This was some of that and something completely different! Taylor took the myth that we are all familiar with and that has been done countless times, and she made the concept into her own story that I think stands out from among the others. The writing was very well done and had me wondering about who Karou was really and how she fits into everything.

Taylor did a very good job of making me feel everything that Karou felt. When she felt alone and that there was something missing that she couldn't put her finger on, I was right there with her. Same as when she was angry for being left out of important information, and later when she felt guilty for being so hard on Brimestone and her lack of understanding about wishes. She grew a lot as a character in this book, and I think that has been missing in a lot of books I have been reading lately.

“It is a condition of monsters that they do not perceive themselves as such. The dragon, you know, hunkered in the village devouring maidens, heard the townsfolk cry 'Monster!' and looked behind him.”

I loved it when Karou questioned Akiva on what is right and what is wrong, and what is considered a monster or not. She made him at least start to question why there is a war for over a 1000 years between the angels and the chimaera. These questions that made you think about why people (or angels) do things just because everyone before them did it and the world building were superb.

My only complaint was that the pace moved very quickly the first 2/3 of the book, and then it slowed down a little bit for me. I understand that it was needed, but maybe not as much backstory. Overall, I still enjoyed the book and thought it was a great start to a series. I can't wait to see what happens next in book 2!