What I'm Reading: Get Even by Gretchen McNeil

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Daughter of Smoke and Bone was a long anticipated book for me, and for a lot of people, I know. The cover of the book was entrancing, and the short summary left me wondering. Here's the summary from Goodreads: 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?

What I Liked: 1) Karou. First of all I love the name. It's beautiful. Karou is an interesting character to get to know. She's strong and confident, and very smart. But the story is told in such a way that kept me wondering about her the whole time. It's brilliant really, the way I was curious about Karou the whole time. A lot of questions come up about her life and the answers are given to you in miniscule pieces throughout the 418 pages. 2) The beginning of the story was my favorite. It was so easy to just tumble headlong into the story alongside Karou, running her errands for Brimstone, dealing with Kaz, meeting Akiva. Everything became very real in that part of the story. 3) Questions. Be prepared for questions when you read this book. Every page practically presents a new question for the reader to ponder as you read. But thankfully, we are getting almost as many answers as questions as we go along. I really liked the pacing. 4) The epilogue. The epilogue set us up for the next book and gives you a lot to think about. There is a gap between the end of the story and where the epilogue picks up, so I'm definitely wondering what happened between the two to set up the epilogue. 5) The theme. There is a whole underlying theme about wishes and hopes, and I felt like that was a great message. I don't want to ruin it for anyone who is going to go looking for it, but I really, really liked that whole plotline.

What I Didn't Like: Around page 300, the story changes from Karou's present to her reliving someone's past, a chimeara named Madrigal. And this switch for me was like crashing back down to earth. I'd spent so much time just immersed in the story and that part I just couldn't get into. The best way I can come up with to describe it is like hearing a story two or three times removed. One of those things where "you just had to be there." And so much of the rest of the ending of the book was that way. I didn't feel like I got into it again until we were back in the present with Karou.

Overall thoughts: I'm definitely looking forward to reading the next book in the series. I really liked Karou and the whole "being caught between two worlds" aspect of the story. I just hope next time we get to spend more time in the present than having to relive the past. That part was just a little boring to me. Laini Taylor is a talented writer, and I think it's going to be really interesting to see where Karou and Akiva's story goes.

My rating: 4 shots

Cheers and Happy Reading!


  1. ive heard so many wonderful things about this book its been sitting on my shelf for a while. I hope to get to it soon - thanks for the review courtney awesome as always!

  2. Great review! This is most definitely something I would love, so it's totally being added to my TBR list. Thank you for sharing! :)

  3. The part about her past was the only part I didn't like! It was drawn out and I found it confusing. But I agree about Karou she is awesome and I love her name, too! Awesome review!

    Xpresso Reads

  4. The transition to high fantasy was jarring for me as well. I just wanted to stay with Karou in the present because that part was fantastic. But, like you, I'm hoping the sequel will be set more in the present. Great review!

  5. I have heard so many wonderful things about this book. It sounds so interesting! I like your honest review. I like high fantasy- so I am curious to read that part. It sounds like it is quite a shift.

    Thanks for sharing-

  6. Melissa - Very welcome! I'll be anxious to know what you think about it!

    Amy - You're welcome! I hope you love it!

    Giselle - I know! I will definitely read the next book, but I hope we stay more in the present next time!

    Karen - It seems a lot of us are in agreement about the jarring transition!

    Jess - Haha, I know, this one has been talked about alot! I hope you enjoy it!!

    Thanks everyone for stopping by! I live for comments!


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