Non-Spoiler Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Daughter of Smoke & Bone  - Laini Taylor

Once Upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love...
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No, shit.

 

I should have liked this story far more than the stars I've allocated to it. But this isn't Mario Kart, where hopeless players get Stars out of pity's sake (or worse, given a blasted blue turtle shell to fuck everyone else over but still manage to come in dead last).

 

No seriously, fuck that blue turtle shell.

 

Karou has blue hair, and this segway is totally not forced. She's a 17 year old artist living in Prague and she also happens to have a family of monsters. Because, shut up and take my money book!

 

Prose-wise, I don't think I've read anything this lyrical but with thought and effort put into it. Most of the time writing such as this will come out a tad purple-prosy, but this book avoids such pitfalls as the author at the helm feels comfortable in stringing along beautiful sentences.

 

And then half-way in, Akiva is introduced. Like some rogue bolt of lightning Zeus farted out, Akiva's character strikes progress dead in it's tracks. The longer Karou remains in the presence of this living black-hole of character annihilation, the more her personality and likability is sucked in.

 

That's five thousands watts of pure suckage, folks. Poor girl never stood a chance...

 

As a reader, it becomes painfully obvious that there is something 'mystical' about their attraction to one another. Unfortunately, I will not go into detail about here as this a spoiler-free review. I will say however that the explanation given fell short of me forgiving the arduous amounts of insta-love and lyrical poetry of each gaze, touch and smell.

 

Considering this book leans more heavily towards romance than fantasy (it felt more of a romance set in a fantastical environment), I would expect well-defined development between the two love interests. Instead, it felt more like sloppy-seconds (Oh, the irony of that statement...).

 

Just as things are once more heating up and you feel like, 'damn, finally this thing is moving again', you're thrown into a flashback. No bullshit, I'm straight up telling it as it is. There isn't even a climax after this point, more of a revelation and unanswered questions. I'd argue it would have worked better if this flashback idea was scrapped altogether, or moved to the beginning. It probably would have at least alleviated some of the insta-love issues I had with the story.

 

Once Upon a time, Rappelle read a YA fantasy book. It was…ehhh, it was okay, I mean it could have been a lot worse, like A LOT worse, but hey there’s monsters and angels in it and astral meaning to every glance, touch and fart. (Deep breath) Phew!

“Your soul sings to mine.”

So….soprano? Bass? Or is her soul more of the karaoke type?