Daughter of Smoke and Bone : Daughter of Smoke and Bone

  • by Laini Taylor
  • Narrated by Khristine Hvam
  • Series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone
  • 12 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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?


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Mary Sue, her hair is blue, her name's Karou

The good:

Laini Taylor's worldbuilding is rich within the constraints of the dual framework of an otherworldly, very loosely mythological, paranormal romance and a Romeo and Juliet riff.

Her writing is luxuriant and evocative, definitely a cut above for YA.

Her characters approach three dimensions at times.

The story is compelling when it's not faffing off about hard-bodied angels with satiny shoulders and creamy-skinned blue-haired Mary Sues.

The bad:

This is yet another book that would not exist if not for Twilight, and the 5-star reviews seem to mostly be written by teenage girls who will 5-star anything with a hot boy in it.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone is a YA paranormal romance pretending to be a doorway fantasy with angels and demons. Karou is a preternaturally adept teenager living in Prague, raised by magical beings who hide in an extra-dimensional cubbyhole, who goes on errands around the world, and incidentally picks up tons of languages and skills all over the place. Then an angel shows up and tries to kill her, something like a covert Armageddon goes down, and the rest of book becomes Karou uncovering her secret past while making out with angel-boy.

The rest of the book had an almost Narnia tone when it went to Elsewhere and the war between the seraphim and the chimaera. If only the author had capitalized more on these fantasy elements! But the epic war between these races is subsumed by, you guessed it, a pair of star-crossed lovers making kissy-face at masked balls and rolling on grassy hills.

I give this book 2.5 stars. The writing is great, the story and the setting are interesting enough to stand up with most fantasy novels. But at its heart, this is just another angsty teen romance with supernatural lovers, and many, many pages are spent dwelling on the physical perfection of the two protagonists and how they make each other feel hot and gooey inside.

I recognize that I am not the target audience. I picked this book by chance, and it's not for me. But that said, you can deliver a mature, sophisticated fantasy novel with romance, even for teenagers. This is not that book, though it does come painfully close at times.
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- David "Indiscriminate Reader"

Beautiful Writing, Mediocre Romance

Blue haired, free spirited Karou runs between worlds to gather special items for her mentor/father figure, Brimstone. He gives her wishes when she completes her tasks and like a spoiled child, frivolously wastes them at times. On one particular errand, she meets someone from her past whom she doesn't yet remember and you travel with her to find out the answers.

The writing is fluid, detailed, and rich with character development in this YA novel. The explanation of why Karou collects the items is fascinating.

Khristine Hvam is flawless and sounds exactly as I imagine Karou would.

What I would change is the characters' flawless beauty. A little imperfection makes the story more plausible and the references to perfection are irritating. Also didn't care for the half animal, fantastical other world and relationships. The book would have been better without it, however the writing is lyrical, lovely, and I recommend this YA romance.
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- FanB14 "Short, Simple, No Spoilers"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-27-2011
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio