Daughter of Smoke & Bone, the great book I didn’t enjoy reading….

October 28, 2015 Reviews 20

Daughter of Smoke & Bone, the great book I didn’t enjoy reading….Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor
Narrator: Khristine Hvam
Series: Daughter of Smoke & Bone #1
Published by Brown Books for Young Readers, Hachette Audio on September 27, 2011
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 432
Length: 12 hours 32 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased

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?

You ever finish a book and think “that was so good!” but you never really enjoyed reading it? As in, you will most definitely read the next book and you’re really really glad you read this one, but it kind of made your stomach hurt to read it? You looked forward to moments to read it and you dreaded them at the same time? That was me with the Daughter of Smoke & Bone.

Part of me wonders how much that upset stomach was because of my job and the fact that I was almost always sick to my stomach from the stress of the job… but there’s no doubt that listening to Daughter of Smoke & Bone didn’t make me feel better. But I think that’s because of how incredibly WELL it was written and narrated. It was TOO DAMN REAL for my already upset stomach! Real in the only way fantasy can ever be real – the world is written so well that it just comes to life and it’s almost impossible to believe that it only exists inside the pages of a book. The narration only added to the effect – there was this one character whose voice was so so hideous (which matched the character) I almost dreaded listening to those parts because it made me feel that much more ill – but it was the PERFECT voice for that character and it shouldn’t have been done any differently. Khristine Hvam is like the polish on an already pretty perfectly carved table or something.

So I can’t give it five stars – because I’m not sure I can give a book that I was sometimes nervous to pick up five stars. Yes, my emotional and overworked state probably made the impact of Daughter of Smoke & Bone a little more dramatic than it would be for most people and I may not be selling it by saying it made me ill and nervous to read – but that’s the truth. But the reason is why you should read it (but maybe make sure you’re doing a bit better than I was when you do) is that Laini Taylor is an absolute wordsmith, capable of creating a world that will suck you in, characters you will love, hate, cheer for, and recoil at.

Daughter of Smoke & Bone was long an so much happens — and I realize my review isn’t telling you much about what actually happened in the book – but I figure it’s been out long enough you can find plenty of reviews that give you all those details. Maybe that’s a cop out, but too much happened and it took me almost a month to read (between the dread, the job, and the length) so giving real details would be rough. But what I can tell you is that every detail somehow comes full circle and blows your mind a bit. I’m looking forward to reading the other books, though I’m waiting until I’m in a really peaceful, happy place in my life to do so 🙂

4 stars Pretty Great

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About Laini Taylor

Laini Taylor

Hi there! I’m a writer of fantasy books for young people, but my books can be enjoyed by adults as well. My ‘Dreamdark’ books, Blackbringer (2007) and Silksinger (2009) are about faeries — not dainty little flowery things, but warrior-faeries who battle devils. My first young adult book, Lips Touch, is a finalist for the 2009 National Book Award! It’s creepy, sensual supernatural romance. . . about kissing. I am also an artist with a licensed gift product line called “Laini’s Ladies.”


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About Berls
Berls has been a book lover her whole life. She reads pretty much every genre and is currently working hard at making her childhood dream of becoming an author come true. She loves sharing her thoughts about books, blogging, and just random fun stuff. She's a challenge and read-a-thon junkie, so it's no wonder that she loves co-hosting the COYER reading challenge. Leave a comment, Berls is always happy to chat!

20 Responses to “Daughter of Smoke & Bone, the great book I didn’t enjoy reading….”

  1. Bookworm Brandee

    *ha* I was supposed to read this for my Reading Assignment in October, Berls. Didn’t get to it. Well, it’s pulled out slightly from my shelf…that’s the only time I touched it. I’m sure that your emotional state did affect how you felt about the book but it does say something about the book that it only compounded your emotions. I still hope to read it – maybe it’ll be on next year’s Reading Assignment?!? Because you know it’ll be just one more series on my list to finish. 😉
    Bookworm Brandee recently posted…#TravelingtoTerminus Review ~ For the Record ~ KA Linde ~ #ShelfLoveMy Profile

    • Berls

      Lol I know how that goes – I have a few books in the almost reading stage. The good news is that if you start this series I’m pretty sure it’s also just a trilogy. However the books are LONG. I hear that this is being made into a movie too though – Lani Taylor supposedly drafted to screen play recently. So that’s another reason to get it read 🙂

  2. Lark

    I’ve been a bit nervous to start this one, TBH, and for some of the same reasons you relate. While I’m nowhere near as stressed out and anxious as you are right now, it sometimes takes very little to throw off my equilibrium. And yet. . . and yet. . . it sounds like such an amazing book.
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    • Berls

      I completely understand! It’s a book that gets to you – because it is so good – so I think you have to either be prepared or in a really good place to actually enjoy it. I do suggest it, just waiting til the right time.

    • Berls

      Thanks Terri! I know what you mean – Sometimes when people have been raving about a book I feel too much pressure to like it – it almost ruins the experience.

    • Berls

      You probably do – I used to see people post about it and the sequels all the time. But it’s a trilogy (I believe) and it’s over (again, I’m pretty sure) so there’s less talk now. Go hunting 😉

  3. Lillian @ Mom With a Reading Problem

    I know what you mean about it being a great book but not enjoying it! I was in so much suspense reading this book and my heart was so broken for the main character. That said I read it, didn’t listen to it. I can only imagine how much that adds to the experience. I’m tempted to go listen to it now just to see if it changes my opinion 😀 Great review! Hope you enjoy the next one. It really is a great series!
    Lillian recently posted…Children’s Corner #13 – Learning to Write and Runaway TomatoesMy Profile

    • Berls

      It’s so suspenseful and agonizing! The narration is beautiful – a great match for the book. I’m looking forward to reading book 2!

  4. Stephanie @ Once Upon a Chapter

    I really enjoyed both the book and the audio. I can definitely see how this one would cause a mixed sense of excitement and dread. I’ll be finishing book two this afternoon so I know exactly what you mean. I love the book, both the story and the world, but it does create some anxiety for the characters.

    I hope you really enjoy the second book when you have a chance to get to it!
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    • Berls

      Thanks Jonetta! I agree the narrator has a very melodic quality – and was so good at voices! I’m really glad I listened as well.

    • Berls

      Well the narration is quite good – so I think you’ll enjoy the audio. I wish I could say how much was me and how much was the book – I’ll let you know how book 2 goes this summer (that’s when I plan to read it)

  5. Ramona

    I love Laini Tayor – like you, I think she’s got an extraordinary gift. That said, it happens, Berls. How we “feel” a story is also conditioned by our mood while we read it. I’ve struggled with similar spells too… Also, the more you read, the higher your expectations grow, and you’re less likely to gloss over what you didn’t absolutely love. It’s been happening to me as well…
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    • Berls

      I’m struggling to figure out how much of my nausea and dread was the hook and how much was my life. We’ll see when I read book two over simmer break – when I’m as happy as possible lol!

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