Friday, June 26, 2015

Review Me Twice: Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor

It took me ages to finally pick up this book. (And that, combined with the fact that I left it in my office overnight too many times, is why I didn't QUITE finish it on time, so I can't speak to the ending of the book.) But I'm glad I finally did start it, because it was a lot better than I expected.

I expected your average silly teenage girl who is entirely focused on the little things at school but then realizes there's something "so much bigger" out there, and she's required to be "the one" to fix it. What I got was a girl who already knew about the "so much bigger" (although not all of it) and plays a very delicate balancing game in order to maintain both a "normal" life where she gets to think about grades and boys, and her supernaturally-related life where she has obligations and real consequences. Then everything gets turned upside down and she chooses to do something about it.

Although I do have to admit... when the seraph gets involved, she turns into a simpering, lovesick girl (even when she thinks she hates him, so I'm not even spoiling anything for you... right off the bat, it's like "oh you're so my enemy but damn you fine").

That doesn't bother me too much, but the really heavily laid-on-thick "who are you" question bothers me quite a bit. From the very beginning, Karou's origins and history are an enormous mystery. You can't just have a new character announce in the middle of the book that he figured out the secret and then lead me on for at least several more chapters (I haven't gotten to where - if anywhere - in this book he tells the big secret). Yes, I like mystery and secrets that don't get revealed for a long time, but not if you draw that much attention to them. It's too blatant.

Beyond that, though, this is a very well-written book, and I would recommend it to most.

This book was recommended to me by my YA bookclub librarian... about four times.  And then I FINALLY picked the first one up and read it.

Really, I had put it off too long.  Karou is a very independent, do what she will, refuses to just take her punches and lie down kind of girl.  Even though she loves her adopted family to death, and knows nothing about her past, and has been told to just stop asking so many damned questions.... she never stops asking questions.

Ultimately, it gets her in some trouble, as questions are wont to do, but she doesn't even let THAT stop her.  She seeks out solutions, answers, is determined to know what is going on and WHY it's going on, and won't let creepy old guys or dangerous situations stand in her way.

I will give you that the romance is a little... OF COURSE she falls in love with the super hot guy, but to her credit, she did beat the crap out of the super hot guy first, so there's that.  Karou is incredibly loyal and I like that about her.

I like that the mystery of her past was drawn out and I like that the book was left at a cliff hanger, (much in the same way that Ashes by Ilsa Black was).  It makes you want to read the next one.