Friday, January 10, 2014

Daughter of Smoke and Bone (DOSAM #1) : Review

Where do I begin! First off, if you haven't read this series, I am telling you right now to go read them. They are so freaking good. I don't even have the right words to explain to you how in love I am with these books, these characters and this magical, fantastical and tragical (I don't think that's a word but bear with me) world.

It's called the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series (I believe it's a trilogy) and so far the first two books are out, Daughter of Smoke and Bone and Days of Blood and Starlight. The third one, Dreams of Gods and Monsters, comes out in April! (-squeal-)

Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor

My rating: ★★★★

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 hairactually 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 beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery 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


I read the first one because I'd seen it on Goodreads and saw all the great ratings and reviews so of course then added it to my TBR list. Then, back in September, I thought it was about time that I started a new series because I'd been reading the same series for a while or had finished some series, well whatever the reason I figured why not read DOSAM. I picked it up at the library and read it and was amazed. I have never, and I really do mean never, read anything like this book before. I'm not a big fantasy person so I don't pick up too many fantasy books and the ones that I have read are like the Fallen series or Mortal Instrument Series or something that has elements of fantasy but is not nearly as engrossed is fantasy as this book was. I don't even know where to begin or what to say when talking about this book because its really like nothing I have ever read before. I have nothing to compare it to.

Karou, to me, was such a relateable character. She is ultimately trying to figure out who she is and where she comes from and even though her world is a lot different from mine, I think that struggle to figure out one's identity is an universal one. Akiva was unlike most YA male characters. There's the obvious fact that he's an angel but there was also other things about him that made him feel like a breath of fresh air. Maybe it had to with how real he seemed. I mean  most YA male characters are the kind that you read about and swoon over and dream about but you never really think that you will meet a guy like that in real life but Akiva, I feel, is very real. I will still dream about and swoon over him but I can also genuinely believe that there are guys like him in the world. (I don't know if that makes sense, maybe I'm just rambling.)

Their relationship took time to grow and develop and did so slowly and carefully. I really liked this too about the books. The ending was so fantastic yet heart breaking. I didn't know how to feel really. I think I read the ending of the book in shock, not fully believing that it was true.

I love the way Laini Taylor tells this story. Her writing style is gorgeous and her use of words is at times truly breath taking and beautiful. I love the use of flash backs and changing perspectives (though it was slightly confusing in the beginning). There are two major things that make this book really special to me. The first is the obvious fantasy element. This book creates a whole new world with new creatures and the whole shebang. Talking about getting lost in a book, this is a great one to get lost in. The second thing was that despite the huge fantasy element to it there were so many human elements that grounded the characters. While reading the book I could believe that these characters were real and what was happening was real because I could relate to it. They might be chimaera and they might be angels and they might live in this world that is so very different from ours but I could still believe it. The ability to write such an out of this world story and make it so relateable and believable and realistic while still maintaining the fantastical element is one that most others do not possess. Laini Taylor proves that she has this ability and knows just how to use it in order to wrap the reader around her fast-typing fingers.

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