Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Daughter of Smoke and Bone - Laini Taylor (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #1)

What can I say? I overcame myself and still wrote a separate review to each of my reads instead of a one huge post I mentioned last time. Sweet.

*2.5 stars* I had to check my own guideline for grading to determine this one. Brr.

What convinced me to pick up this particular book was the huge commotion around it. The synopsis sounded interesting and all the reviews and comments made it out to be just magnificent. I should have known better. There really is just only so much you can hope for with must read books. Although the cover was rather exceptionally well chosen.I definitely gave couple of instant brownie points.

I can't say I didn't like the book. It was readable. Meaning it was interesting enough to keep me going, but just so. I don't even know, what exactly I expected, something to blow me away maybe? :D It took me almost three months to finish. But nonetheless. I think a huge part of the problem for me was the absurd amount of unnecessary flashbacks. I feel that if the story had stuck with just the story of Akiva and Karou, it would have been a lot more easy going and interesting!

The concept of the whole book sounded really alluring so I'm  not sure, where Ms Taylor went wrong. By general understanding, it really should be amazing. Awesome characters, beautiful surroundings. How on Earth did it end up like any other supernatural mediocre YA novel?

The plot was so obvious. At times, painfully so. The huge reveal left me rather nonplussed and it should not be so. It has happened before, that in overall a very good book has a bit slower start, but in time the whole action swallows the reader in. So I kept waiting and waiting for the climax. And then I waited some more. I even kept waiting after finishing the book. Maybe it was just my amazingly slow brain. Now I've inclined to think it was more than just me. I really was boring. Also, constant shift between characters and POVs tends to be rather more confusing, than explaining. I see the need to introduce each character with their history, but that was just spelling out the obvious. Really!

On a good side the sentences and vocabulary Ms Tailor used was very well done. For me a good use of grammar and spell check really does make a difference. It was like a soothing salve over an overall sucky plot ^^ And also I liked Zuzana. She was fun little terrorist!

About two thirds into the book I felt like it dragged on and on and it took enormous amount of willpower and time to make myself finish it. I don't even know what to say about the ending. How very anticlimactic. I'm disappointed :( At least Karou made the right choice. I can only hope she sticks to it. Any other solution would have ended with me burning the book.

So in overall, I'm disappointed. It was not what I hoped nor expected it to be. Once again I became a victim of an overhyped phenomena. And an amazing cover. I probably won't read Days of Blood and Starlight, the second book in the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series. Sounds like another ton of flashbacks. But who knows? Hope for the best, but expect the worst and you'll be never disappointed.


  1. Have you read Lips Touch 3x? It's the only other Lani Taylor book I've read. It makes me wonder if heavy use of flashback is just part of her style.

    1. I haven't tried this one, but reviews make it out to be an amazing. I'm rather wary of her style now, but maybe I should try it...