Thursday, December 29, 2011

Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Genre: Paranormal

Laini Taylor's novel Daughter of Smoke and Bone, begins the story of 17-year-old Karou, the foster child of a mysterious creature named Brimstone. The world of her family is a far cry from the "normal" world in which she lives. Karou is sent, for the most part unwillingly, on errands around the globe for a reason she does not yet understand. Karou must learn to balance the two worlds she loves while she struggles to discover who is she and her place in life. It gives new meaning to the phrase 'ignorance is bliss.' 

There were several aspects of Taylor's creation that captivated and drew me into her world. The first, and arguably the most important, are the characters. Simply put--I love Karou. I connected to her on an artistic level, and appreciated her humor. She is strong and independent, yet craves for a person she can confide in, a person she can be vulnerable with, someone she can love. In this sense, Karou is very relatable to the independent women in our modern society. Her maturity speaks to both young and older audiences. 

In regard to the other-worldly characters, I was impressed with her chimaera. They held all the animalistic qualities of their physical counterparts, as well as the humanesque feelings typical to families and sentient beings. I enjoyed the combination of Greek mythology with Christian tradition. Taylor made a point to illustrate that both sides contained good and evil. One cannot exist without the other. I found myself wishing that the past came more in glimpses rather than several consecutive chapters devoted to flashbacks, but Taylor's writing is still engaging. I look forward to the next installment with enthusiasm. 

Tasty Tid-bit:

"Yearning for love made her feel like a cat that was always twining around ankles, meowing Pet me, pet me, look at me, love me. Better to be the cat gazing coolly down from a high wall, its expression inscrutable. The cat that shunned petting, that needed no one. Why couldn't she be that cat?"--p. 71

Here is the book trailer for your viewing pleasure:

Rating: 4 out of 5 owls
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