Daughter of Smoke and Bone #1
Release Date: September 27, 2011
Publisher: Little Brown and Company
Rating: 3 stars
So I’m depressed and because I believe in sharing my misery around like a plague made from sorrow and CW induced tears, I thought I’d talk about a book that I read last year. Incidentally, it also depressed me horribly although we’ll get to that.
The book in question is ‘Daughter of Smoke and Bone’ by Laini Taylor. Sigh. Just sigh. This book had all the ingredients to be an exceptional addition to YA; it’s beautifully written, the world building is stunning, and the characters and their development (for the first half of the novel, anyway) unfold wonderfully. The first half of this book is totally deserving of all the awards and it made me so excited to keep reading. I was engrossed, enamoured with Karou, the awesome female protagonist, and I wanted to know what would happen. The pages couldn’t turn fast enough to be honest.
Daughter of Smoke and Bone is a unique novel, with one of the most original storylines I’ve ever read. I LOVED the first half – the seamless interweaving of the real world and the world behind the door are one of the best aspects of the novel. I adored the characters (lol not Akiva, no-one likes you buddy) and how real they seemed, despite how fantastical some of them are. This is definitely the kind of novel in which the world draws you in; you can imagine everything in your mind as though it’s happening before your eyes – a compliment to Taylor’s ability as a writer. BUT THEN, around the halfway point of the novel, the generic love interest is introduced and everything good in life dies along with this book’s potential.
“He was the most beautiful thing Karou had ever seen.”
God. Help. Me.
From the point Akiva is introduced, the novel basically abandons all semblance of build-up and plot progression in favour of waxing lyrical about the epic romance between Karou and Akiva, which is a tragedy because of how good this book could have been. All that potential thrown away for a retelling of Romeo & Juliet, which by the way isn’t even that great a play! And if I wanted to read Romeo & Juliet, I would have bought the damn thing. YA, why do you hurt me this way?
I think this novel will be enjoyed by people who like love stories and I would recommend it to them; I’m pretty sure I’m in the minority when it comes to this book anyway. I do wonder if the sequel is any better and a part of me is curious but I just couldn’t put myself through another 400 or so pages of true love when I could barely get through this. Just, no way.