This review was originally posted on my blog
4.5 stars out of 5
Daughter of Smoke and Bone is an absolutely incredible fantasy novel with unique plot and writing. It captivated me from the very first sentence and held my attention until the very last one. Words "to be continued..." have never been so frustrating for me to read. Also, have you seen the cover? It's absolutely stunning. That alone is enough for this book to have a secure place on my bookshelf.“Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love.
It did not end well.”
The plot. The best things about this novel were the world creation and writing style. I feel like Taylor has built a very unique world which definitely stands out among other angel-demon books. I’m not usually the one to be all excited about too much description, I’m more egaer to read wicked and great dialogue, but this book was written so uniquely that it didn’t bother or tire me at all. I was intrigued by the fact that our heroine was brought up by demons, therefore, angels really seem like enemies at first sight, but over the time we see that everything isn’t as black and white as we thought. Their history is painted bloodred by betrayals, death and war. What I found the most fascinating was the society of Chimaera aka the Monsters. It was all so very complex and surprisingly fresh take on demons.
The characters. There were 4 of them who caught my attention as soon as they were introduced. Karou is strong, independent, compassionate, loyal and sarcastic (which always adds an extra point in my book). Akiva is the other protagonist and when we first meet him, he is blinded by rage and cruelty, but beneath that façade is a beautiful tortured soul, he is strong and been through a lot. Brimstone was such an interesting character and I wish there would have been more of him. I’d like to see a novella of him or something, because this just wasn’t enough. I feel like we didn’t get to see that many shades of his personality and I’m eager to learn more about him as a character. Thiago was probably the one I should've hated the most and I did, sort of, but I’m intrigued by how he got to the point where he became so vicious and vindictive.
One thing that stood out while reading this book were the names of the characters. Like with Peeta and Katniss - you just can't mix them up with characters from other books. Karou and Akiva are the two names I liked the most, they're unique and different. There are enough Noras, Wills, Janes etc so it's quite refreshing to see something new and interesting. Whether you're a fan of these names or not, you must admit there're probably very few books, if at all, with characters named like this.
On the other hand, while I though this book was pure awesomeness, I kind of guessed some of the plot twists. It’s always great to play bingo and see what moves you can guess, but there’s nothing better than a book keeping me on the edge of my seat and surprising me when I least expect it. I figured out the huge reveal about 100 pages before it even happened, therefore, I was a bit disappointed by that.“Oh, it’s not magic. The wishes don’t really come true.”
“Then why do it?” She shrugged.
“Hope? Hope can be a powerful force. Maybe there’s no actual magic in it, but when you know what you hope for most and hold it like a light within you, you can make things happen, almost like magic.”
In the end I was extremely satisfied with the amazingness that is Daughter of Smoke & Bone and I’m eagerly looking forward to receiving my copy of Days of Blood & Starlight which was luckily dispatched last week so it should arrive soon. Yay! So.. Do I recommend? Umm.. Yes! It was definitely something fresh and original and that’s something I always enjoy tremendously.