Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Review by Janine
From the moment that I began reading this book, I was struck by just how well written it was. While I read a lot of young adult, and really enjoy most of it, the writing in this book was wonderful.
This book is the story of Karou, a teenage girl who has no idea who she is or where she came from. She was raised by Brimestone and his two assistants, Twiga and Yasari who did their best to raise her as a normal, human girl, but Karou knows there is nothing normal about her. As she got older, she began running errands for Brimstone, which in most cases was to collect teeth. Karaou's reward for running these errands were scruppies, or small beads that granted small wishes. The wishes are what Brimstone trades various traders and hunters for teeth. The importance of the teeth determines how many wish stones they get and what size. The bigger the stone, the bigger the wish can be. These beads were to explain Kauro's appearnce, her blue hair, multiple tattoos and her ability to speak many languages. She is now in high school, living in Prague and attending art school, where she wows everyone with her drawings and their ability to tell a wild story about creatures made of different parts, collecting teeth and secrets. What no one knows is that this is what Karuos' life is really all about. The creatures are all the family that she knows, no one is willing to tell her where she came from or who she is. Karou is ok with that most of time and lives her life as normally as she can until a war is raged, one that she does not understand and will effect the world as Karou knows it. Good and evil have always fought, but what if you don't know what side you belong to? And what if your past can come back; does it define you, or can you start over?
This book was, in one word, awesome!! There was not one thing I did not like about it. The characters were mysterious at times and so unique, (monsters made up of different parts, need I say more!) since they were holding back who and what Karaou was. Quite honestly, I loved how everything was revealed and questions were answered, although I have to admit at times I was getting impatient, but the wait made it worth it. There is a love story in this book, no triangle, and I loved every minute of that as well. It never felt forced, but natural as though this is how it should happen all the time. You almost have a sense from the very beginning that they have known each other for quite some time. Karou is a strong and determined character, which I love. Through all the knowledge she is given by the end of the book, she has become stronger, not bitter. However there is a cliff hanger at the end, and I MUST know what happens... It is killing me not to know. I will not ruin the ending but I will just say that at the end of the book, although I had an inkling of what was going to happen, I still shouted out loud (yes, really, at the beach while my husband looked at me like I had two heads!) NOOOOOOOO!