“Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love. It did not end well.”
When I read the opening of Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor, I got chills. I was so excited! For months I'd waited to read this book and the way the story moved from the opening line through the first chapter was impressive.
Taylor is gifted in the way of description and prose, which in all honesty is what kept me reading the book. I found myself anticipating what new words she would use and kept thinking to myself, is it a good thing that you're more into the prose than the story?
The main character Karou was funny, and spunky, and overall bad-ass! I believe her character was well rounded and her interaction with other characters was enjoyable and realistic. I loved her best-friend Zuzana and the love that was evident between them. It showed what a true friendship should be.
I loved Akiva from the start. I thought his presence was strong and demanding, but I regret to say that at some point he weakened for me. I like the arrogant guy turned nice, but he just seemed to turn to mush. It was too much for me. I wish he would have kept some of his "tough guy" characteristics. With this said, there were a few other things I disliked about the story.
I really didn't like that it spent so much time in the past (flashback). In my opinion there was too much space dedicated to the "before" story. I have always been taught that when you have to use a lot of back-story, you started too late in the story and should backup. This concept ran through my mind more than once as I read the book.
I am not one to give terribly bad reviews so I will not go into details or bash the book because it did have some redeeming qualities, and it kept me hanging on long enough for me to finish it. I will simply state what I did and did not like about the book.
What I loved/liked:
1. Brimstone and the other chimaera's.
2. The prose.
3. The setting(s).
6. Akiva (although in the beginning more than towards the end).
What I disliked:
1. The amount of time spent in the past.
2. The relationship between Madrigal and Akiva.
Overall, I would recommend Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. If nothing else for her use of the English language and for the rarity of the world she's created. It was unique and definitely different from anything else I've read.
**THIS BOOK WAS ORIGINALLY REVIEWED IN JANUARY 2012**