> One More Stamp: Book Review: Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor

Monday, August 29, 2016

Book Review: Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor

This book was amazing and you should read it.  It was deliciously creepy and unsettling; Sensual but not gratuitous; Romantic without being trite. 
Karou is about 1000 times cooler than I am.  It is true. And yet somehow I do not hate her for it.  She was an independent and strong main character who not only wasn’t abrasive but managed to be thoughtful, likeable, and vulnerable.  I read a lot and I feel as if female leads who are strong and don’t annoy me are this white whale that I am constantly searching for.  Maybe because my standards are so high for them.  Male MC basically have to get through the book without being a dick to get a pass.  I know that this is a terrible double standard.   Is is because female character represents more than the space on the pages of the book that they inhabit to me? 

This isn’t a book where things are obvious.  I spent the first half of the book trying to figure out what the hell was going on.  Liani Taylor dumps you in at the deep end of the pool and just assumes that you can swim.  It wasn’t that the writing was unclear, it was that everything was inferred.  Karou is a mystery even to herself.  The use of third person past tense was perfect here.  Exposition is given in snatches and the reader builds a picture of Karou even as she is building a new picture of herself.

The writing was lush and textured.  I felt as if I could physically touch everything.  It didn’t feel as if the book had an unusual amount of description and yet everything was so perfectly realized.  Liani Taylor also managed to make the whole world that she had created feel fresh. The idea of denominations of wishes was brilliant.  I know that I have never read anything like that before. Yet it sort of slid into place as if it was some concept that I had always been told. 

The last 1/3 of the book was relentless.  I was reading at a frantic pace as if stuffing the words into my head fast enough would quiet that internal voice chanting, “What will happen? What will happen? What will happen?”  I was so focused on the plot that I know I missed out on the writing itself which is a shame because that is exceptional.  I will be rereading this again very soon to give myself a chance to properly appreciate it.

I must read the next book.

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