gripping, epic, poetic
character and dialogue
anything with Zuzana
the descriptive writing was phenomenal
I can't wait for #3.
The narrator, Khristine Hvam, was absolutely excellent. She read beautifully and the tone of her voice was a perfect fit. All the characters were uniquely portrayed and I found nothing at all to complain about as far as the audio went.
I was a little apprehensive to read Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Angel reads and I don't always have the most amicable relationship. Also, a few people who's opinion I trust did not fall in love with it. I think because of that I did not let the story fully engulf me until I was about a third of the way through the book. The characters were engaging from the start and the humor aspect was fun but it was a slightly slow start. However, once the story really started to develop it completely grabbed me.
Karou is anything but a typical young woman. She was raised by Chimera, demons ~ though she does not really understand that demons are really what they are. She grew up in a Wish Monger's shop and fetches him teeth whenever he is need. Yes, teeth. Teeth of all kinds, though she knows not what the teeth are for. In exchange he grants her wishes. Minor things, like her hair growing Peacock Blue or the sudden appearance, or disappearance, of tattoos.
Karou is a vivacious art student living in Prague, making up her life as she goes. She doesn't know who her parents were or where she came from. Her life is full of secrets and mystery yet, she is full of life and fun and a hard girl not to like. Though she is also utterly lonely inside the secrets she's forced to hold.
She has a wonderful best friend that warrants mention. Zuzana is a creative character and so, so much fun. She brings an element of lightness and playful cynicism. I adored her and think I would enjoy a book with her as the protagonist.
Karou's life changes entirely when the portals to her Chimera family are closed which coincides with Akiva (angel-boy) appearing in her life...and attempting to kill her.
Akiva will reveal answers to many of Karou's questions. Together they will unravel the mystery that is Karou and it will threaten to break them both.
Taylor writes with such a delicate hand. It has a nearly lyrical flow to it and I was enraptured by it. There were some shifts in points of view that did not always work though. Several times I became almost annoyed at the shift, it felt like we were rehashing too many details and I wanted the story to pick up its pace. I'm impatient that way... There is a ton of story here but there were times when the pacing was just not quick enough for me. Though, I think that may partially be because I couldn't wait to figure out where things were going. Again, I'm impatient that way.
By the end I was fully in love with many of the characters and the story itself. I am very excited to continue the series.
Though I'd seen Daughter of Smoke and Bone everywhere, I think I was avoiding it, assuming it was another one of "those" books: the standard YA fantasy about a high school girl who inexplicably gains the obsessive love of an angel and ends up saving the world or some such thing. And then, in possibly the weirdest book buying decision-maker ever for me, I spotted it on Laini's Pinterest page. Above a board filled with half man, half beast creatures, educated devils (I know this because they were wearing spectacles), spectacular angels, and drawings of all, was a smiling, pink-haired girl declaring simply, "I write fantasy books; my newest is Daughter of Smoke and Bone. My husband has awesome sideburns and my daughter's middle name is Pie." And I thought, maybe I was wrong about this being the same old fairy tale.
Turns out, I was.
At first, I wasn't convinced. But at about a third through, I was hooked. I'll admit there is a bit of that previously mentioned kind of story here, but it is far from same old. The writing is beautiful and characters interesting, nonstandard, and unexpected. The locations are wonderfully "there" and change throughout the story to new and enticing places. It is suspense and the unknown and lovely storytelling, but what really got me were the passages with Karou and Akiva. There were moments so deliciously well done, that I wanted to stop and rewind to listen again. But I couldn't, because I needed to know what happened next. And, in a way that only audiobooks can trap you, I found myself not wanting the trip to end. I was, more than once, simply sitting in the driveway listening because I couldn't bring myself to hit stop. Those "pages" were worth the whole book.
It's hard to tell more of the specifics without spoilers because, like all good books, the unwinding of the story is the best part. But I will say if you're a fan of anything in the genre, Daughter of Smoke and Bone is worth a try. The narration was flawless. And I've already purchased book two.
Let me just say this, these are some hardcore angels! Don't read this book expecting halos and harps. These angels come with swords and fire wings and they are beautiful and terrible and let me tell you it WORKS! And then there where the others. The others give new meaning to lions and tigers and bears-oh my! The tangle of beasts in this books are just as engaging and mysterious as they are monterous-in the physical sense that is. And the stories heroine is a blue haired 17yo artist who amazingly enough ties both worlds together without even knowing it. This is a wonderful book. I enjoyed every bit of it and i look forward to reading the entire series once it is available.
The reader does a wonderful job bringing all these bright and curious beings to life. Well done everyone!
Love this site! I have a very busy job, so listening to audio books enables me to keep up on great stories!
Yes, it's so lovely. Rich pictures are painted, beautiful narration, amazing story, and characters you really care about.
Karou of course! A kickbutt heroine! Very lovable. Flawed, real. I like her.
Wonderful accents, a lovely pitch, good meter. She did great!
"Once upon a time, and angel and a devil fell in love. It did not go well."
Purchased the second book immediately after finishing this one. I couldn't wait to see what happened!
At first, I wasn't sure about Khristine Hvam--Karou sounded a bit too much like Arial from the Little Mermaid--but I was soon impressed by how she slipped in and out of the different character's voices, and she won me over. The story, however, had me at hello. Daughter of Smoke and Bone is the best fantasy story I've heard (or read) this year. I'm so excited to hear the rest!
Yes, I've listened to it three times already. Taylor tells an incredible story that listeners will fall in love with. You can't help but listen to hear what happens to the characters. Plus, it's full of twists and turns.
The characters and setting are exceptional.
Sure. She was a great narrator.
An impossible love, made possible by truth.
I can not wait for the 2nd book!!!
This book was an overall win for me. Not only was the story enchanting and engaging, but the narrator was absolutely perfect! It is an urban fantasy, but the setting and the characters are not your usual run of the mill. I also loved that the author made the characters so complex, no one is entirely evil or entirely good. I hated it when I had to stop listening and now I can't wait for the next book to come out! I hope that they keep Ms. Hvam for the series - her narration really added to the experience and I don't think they could have made a better choice!
It really is a young adult urban fantasy but it is so different that I can't really say it compares to the others I have read.
I loved the scene where she sneaks into the Chimera's world and gets caught by Brimstone. It was very emotional.
The author really makes you care about the characters. So there were times when I felt very sad for them and other times when it was comical.
Fantasy, adventure, sci-fi, mysteries, and poetry- just a few of my favorite genres.
I loved the paranormal aspects and the world that Laini Taylor created. This is not your typical YA fantasy novel: where the romance is usually right up front, it does not come to the forefront until the last half of the book. I especially loved the mythology revolving around these obviously not biblical angels and their beasty counterparts, the chimera. Even though the romance got a little more drawn out at the end, I loved how it was not the most important element. The characters were complex and the world of Elsewhere was very well thought out. Wouldn't mind stopping in there myself to meet Brimstone and the others.
I also loved that, despite a few stupid moves by the heroine, she was a strong female character who could for the most part look after herself and fight.
Several people have compared this to book to the Twilight Saga for the romance and some have compared it to The Chronicles of Narnia for its description of another world beyond our own. And, I must admit that it does have these elements, but where Twilight was all angst and hormones raging, this was more than that; and where Narnia was more for children, this was darker and definitely not something you would let your young child read. Although not graphic in nature (i.e. violence and sex), it was still dark and I think Taylor's angels might scare or confuse younger readers. The chimera, although a bit frightening, are not the monsters they are made out to be by the angels.
I loved the last errand Karou ran in Marakesh and the chase scene that followed. In fact, I enjoyed all the fight scenes she had with Akiva as well as the the Giant puppet scene.
I didn't want to stop listening. A couple times I found myself chuckling at parts or maybe finding myself anxious or angry along with the characters (i.e. the chimera ball where Madrigal dances back and forth with Theago and Akiva). However, I did not find myself crying that much- the ending, I will admit, was sad but it did not induce tears. It produced a sense of hope that maybe, things would turn out for these star-crossed lovers in the end and that not everyone in Elsewhere was gone.
All I can say is, if you liked the Twilight Saga, you should read this because I believe it is ten times better.
I wasn’t sure if I was going to like this book, but once I started listening to it, I could not stop!
Laini Taylor has a great imagination, one would have to, to be able to write a story so far- fetched and make it all sound so normal.. I cannot wait for this next installment.