Publisher: Little, Brown & Company
Age Group: Young Adult
Around the world, black hand prints 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 grows 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?
Wow. Just wow. I swear, when I started reading this, I kept thinking, "This could so be the next City of Bones." The writing styles are similar, and the main character is a quirky, artistic girl (though, arguably, not as innocent as Clary). I just felt very strongly that Daughter of Smoke and Bone would appeal to the same kind of readers. And, in my opinion, it definitely fits the bill. There's a sense of "I don't know who I am" from Karou, like Clary, but the depth of the world and the mythology was so different from that of CoB, and it was amazing and deep and went beyond what we think of as typical YA ideas and myths. There weren't vampires and werewolves, there wasn't some hellish dimension that she goes to, the angels weren't good or evil or indifferent. It was it's own book, and own story and I adored that.
The GoodReads synopsis covers everything plotwise that I would cover (and so much better than I could ever say), so I'm just going to tell you that I adored the storyline a whole bunch, and there's nothing more I can really say about it. It was fast and interesting and beautiful and I LOVED IT.
The characters were just so amazing. Their personalities shone from the very first page. I felt like I knew every character personally from Karou to her friend Zuzana's boyfriend, Mik, who is barely mentioned. That's how brilliantly this book was written. Out of all the characters, though, Karou was always my favorite. I loved her bright blue hair and her vengeful side and all of her curiosity. She was just such a cool heroine, I wanted to be friends with her. Especially since she talks about feeling really lonely all the time, and I felt bad for her. And I especially loved how she collected languages. That was brilliant and made Karou seem even more awesome. I just liked her a lot. I also loved her best friend Zuzana (they all have weird names- they're czech), because she was cute and scary all at the same time. She and Karou were both brilliant artists and that was super fantastic, and really fun to read about.
And then there was Akiva- resident heart-throb and angel, even though he didn't act exactly "angelic." He was sweet and smart and amazing, and I really loved reading about him. He was funny, too, even though he didn't really realize it. He was fierce and protective and I adored him.
That cover is one of the most beautiful I have ever seen. And the title MAKES SO MUCH SENSE, you know, after you finish reading the book. That's always an amazing plus.
So, yes. 5 'staches for Daughter of Smoke and Bone for it's sheer brilliance and awesomeness. Karou is so cool and fun and BA and I love her. I love the world and the story and the coffee shops that are mentioned often in the book. I love the places they travel to, and I love Karou's airy way of speaking. I love Zuzana's fierceness in comparison to how tiny she is. I love the romance and history and everything brilliant that was written in this book. It was absolutely fantastic.