Jan 21, 2012

Daughter of Smoke & Bone: Review

Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone, #1)

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 hair actually 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 one of the strangers--beautiful, haunted Akiva--fixes his fire-colored 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?
Pitch from goodreads

I have to say, I'm disappointed.  The beginning was really interesting, with everything Brimstone did, and what Karou did for him.  The names were a little hard to follow, but by page 100, I remembered everything.

I really loved the fact that I couldn't predict a whole lot.  Toward the end, there was one thing that I figured out, but it was after a lot of the flashbacks.  Otherwise, the secrets were all well kept, so bonus points for that.  I don't think I've read a book that managed to hide things so well.

What I didn't like was the insta-romance.  Karou and Akiva seemed to fall in love too quickly, and the same goes for Madrigal.  Granted, they are the same person. It was starting then that I started getting really annoyed with this book.  The next part that didn't help was the large jump from when Akiva realized who/what Karou was and when they did whatever (sorry, trying not to spoil stuff), to the end.  All that happened was interesting, but it was badly placed.  I wanted to read the story that was happening now, not the stuff that built up to it.

And now that I will go back to the good stuff, the background history was really good.  The mythology that powered Brimstone's world was really cool.  And I enjoyed all of the characters, even though I'd have preferred to see more of a few characters.  Karou was awesome at the beginning of the story, but once she met Akiva, she started going down for me.  She wasn't as ... funny, I guess, than the beginning.  She didn't say quip remarks like before, and started going into a more serious manner.  I guess that all could be put off as her character changing with all of the events, but I really didn't like her as much anymore.

It probably didn't help that she wasn't as focused on toward the very end.

If Karou had managed to keep her same personality from the beginning, and if the last hundred pages weren't filled with background information (more like filler), maybe I'd have enjoyed this a lot more.

Overall, the beginning was great, but the rest ... not so much.  And the very ending was horrid.  Nothing really changed from page 300 to 400.

I'm between (going goodreads rating) saying it was 'okay' and 'liking it'.  2.5 starts.

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