Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Daughter of Smoke and Bone

And look! It matches the
color scheme of my blog!
Just saying upfront, Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor is one of the best stories I've read in a while. And by that I mean, it kept my attention so that I 1) actually finished it, and 2) stayed up late to finish it because I really really had to know what happened and not omgIcantstandthisbookanymore. Not to mention, it was a teen book that didn't wallow in its emo-ness and actually told a story. Yay! (Can you tell I've been a bit frustrated with my recent teen selections?)

Hmm, this is really hard to talk about, because there are so many things I could give away that would just ruin the whole experience. But there are teeth, and monsters, and magic, and it is just the kind of atypical fairy tale that I love. The prose is very straightforward, which makes for an easy read, but it still has some great flavor to it. Karou, the main character, is super cool. She is opinionated and doesn't take any shit and works hard. And, she has a super awesome sketchbook filled with cool monsters, and I can't help but get a little bit jealous over that. =]

A few gripes: the points of view were a bit off at times. A chapter would open with a paragraph in omniscient, but then switch to third person for the rest of the chapter. Personally, I'm not much of a fan of omniscient because I expect it to be in third, and whenever an "omniscient bit" is stuck in it throws me out of the story.

Also, it suffered a bit from "I'm not telling you just to string you along." First, Akira holds back telling Karou what she is. Then, when he finally does get around to telling her, the story suddenly jumps to backstory, and stays there for 10 chapters. I'm not saying the backstory isn't interesting, because it was, but I just didn't care about it at the time. I think it would have been better to scatter backstory chapters throughout the book, and then when everything comes together at the end it would be BAM BIG REVEAL instead of ALMOST REveal fizzle fizzle notasbigaBAMbecauseIfigureditoutalongtheway.

Don't let that turn you off, because seriously I could just shut-the-fuck-up-like-I-could-do-better. This book rocked. I went completely out of my way to get it from the library, which turned into a horrible goose chase, and I may end up buying it anyway because I'll likely want to read it again plus I want to pass it around a little bit. maybe I can hold out for the paperback.

AND, there's going to be a second one?!? I went into this thinking it was a stand-alone! About ten pages from the end I realized where it was going to stop, and not only did it STOP but she dropped a doozie that I totally didn't expect (and loved, and thank you, Laini Taylor, for not being like every other teen book) but it had that little "...to be continued" crap. Now I have to wait! The horribleness!

If you haven't realized, you should really read Daughter of Smoke and Bone. It was awesome. And I'm thinking there's a color scheme in the works, too, since I'll be fabric shopping tomorrow for my next quilt...

Rating: Well, I really want to give this book a 9.3, but it's so hard to tie books down to a number, because the next book that I want to give a 9.3 is going to be completely different, and I'm going to look at that one next to this one and think "But that one was way better than this one!" And then I'm going back and changing my ratings, and all hell breaks loose. So I'm not going to do ratings. (And don't worry, it's really f-ing hard to get a solid ten. This book rocked.)

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