Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor"Errand requiring immediate attention. Come.
The note was on vellum, pierced by the talons of the almost-crow that delivered it. Karou read the message. 'He never says please', she sighed, but she gathered up her things. When Brimstone called, she always came."
In general, Karou has managed to keep her two lives in balance. On the one hand, she's a seventeen-year-old art student in Prague; on the other, errand-girl to a monstrous creature who is the closest thing she has to family. Raised half in our world, half in 'Elsewhere', she has never understood Brimstone's dark work - buying teeth from hunters and murderers - nor how she came into his keeping. She is a secret even to herself, plagued by the sensation that she isn't whole. Now the doors to Elsewhere are closing, and Karou must choose between the safety of her human life and the dangers of a war-ravaged world that may hold the answers she has always sought.
Well, before I go any further, may I add that this edition of this book is beautiful??? Look at the red door. The handprint. The OPEN DOOR. Doesn't it signify mystery, intrigue and so much more? It's what drew me in to finally reading this book. The blurb kinda turned me off; after all, I was freaked out by Brimstone. You can't blame me; he sounded scary! Either way, after 6 months of possessing this book (on loan from a friend), I finally decided to give this book a shot
Daughter of Smoke and Bone, felt like, to me, a book split into three sections. Oh sure, Laini Taylor made sure that it was definitively split into four parts (I think it was four), by leaving a page blank with only a picture and a quote or two, but I split this book into thirds. There was the 'with Brimstone' third (where she was living with Brimstone and everything was happy), the 'after Brimstone' third (NO SPOILERS!) and the 'myth' part, where the whole mythology of seraphims and chimaeras are examined, as well as Akiva's mysterious past.
I felt like the first half of the book was okay, and it kept me hooked. Taylor did a really good job of making me not scared of Brimstone. For me, she made him a very benevolent creature, from Karou's memories of Brimstone and his kindness towards her. Plus, the whole concept of wishes having values like pennies and coins, and the whole currency! This system was amazing and it sucked me in!
However, during the middle part of this book, I just wanted to put it down. I got kinda bored with it, to be truthful. Thankfully, it was only a couple of chapters long. After all, it was just Karou's ordinary life, without any chimaeras and teeth brokering, but more violence nevertheless. Karou... she just became depressed, from what I was reading. Just a teensy bit. And, I, I was also getting depressed. Brimstone had disappeared; there was no mention of him at all. I grew to love Brimstone, after that first chapter.
Then, the last third.... WAS JUST SPECTACULAR! It really peaked up I loved the whole mythology, it really sucked me in! I was so drawn in by the intricate tale at the end, of Akiva's background, of who Madrigal really was... AND THE ENDING. Just.... WHAT IS AIR??? The ending shocked me, and I
This third really solidified my love for Brimstone, especially since he was mentioned.
Karou was a mystery, and I loved how everything built up to the end, in such a climactic way. Everything kept unravelling, like scroll of paper, and I kept furiously reading, because she was such an enigmatic character. However, Karou's friendship with Zuzanna felt forced. I couldn't believe that any friend could just leave her friend, and not even question where she goes off to half the time. Zuzanna really didn't feel like an integral part of the novel, and she felt like a character who was just madde
In the end, this book = 4 stars. Why? The middle third was really the downer for me. Though it was only a couple of chapters, it was enough to annoy me quite a bit. The rest of it, however, was marvelous!
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