Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Daughter of Smoke and Bone

(I know, you're shocked that I uploaded a review this early. Cherish it, cause it's a rare event). Warning: this book may cause excessive raving, rambling, and commendation about how good said book is. You were warned. I think I've caught the symptoms, so you'll probably have to be subjected to at least a little before this review is over. Here's a testament to it's greatness: the thing's four hundred pages long and I finished it in like three days. While I was super-busy. That, my friends, is the sign of a good book. Kay, I'll just save the high praise for after the review so you can get on to reading about Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor.
Meet Karou. By day, she's a normal art student in Prague. Or well, not normal exactly- even her best friend doesn't know anything about her family, she's had two eyes tattooed on her palms for as long a she can remember, and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that way. Her real life, though, is even weirder. She runs errands for Brimstone, a creature with human arms and torso, a lion's haunches, raptor's feet, and a ram's head. He is a chimaera and also her surrogate family. He, along with three other chimaera, had raised Karou from birth firmly but kindly. Now that she's seventeen, her job is to pick up packages of teeth from Brimstone's many suppliers. She's never known what the teeth are for, but not for lack of trying. Brimstone isn't big on answering questions.
Elsewhere, a seraphim (angel-like being) named Akiva carries out his duties. He and his kind are taking new measures to try and win an otherworldly waragainst the chimaera. Unknown to Karou, chimaera and seraphim have been locked in an endless struggle in another world for eons, and Brimstone is a key part of the chimaera's resources. When Akiva and Karou meet unexpectedly one night, everything goes south. All connections between the two worlds are severed, leaving Karou alone without her "family." She must try to find a way back between the worlds while trying to find out who she is and dealing with Akiva. What she uncovers will shake her to her core.
Ooh, that was a bit long. Sorry if it was a bit confusing, but it's the kind of book where you just have to read it to get it. To really explain it would take several pages. ANYWAY, this book had some familiar elements that I'd seen in other books, but also had a great deal of imagination and incredibly complex storytelling. It completely hooks you and pieces together a story that, bit by bit, makes for a really interesting ride. The characters are very unique and complex. Oh, and the age-range is anyone in high school. So. Are you in high school? Yes? Good. Toddle on over to Kettleson or Mt. Edgecumbe and ask for this book.

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