Angels and Inessential Organs: Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor

Monday, July 01, 2013

Daughter of Smoke & Bone
by Laini Taylor
Genre: Young Adult - Urban Fantasy / Paranormal / Angels
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Published: September 27, 2011
Source: Won from contest
Author's website | GoodReads
Around the world, black handprints 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 grown 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?

"It is a condition of monsters that they do not perceive themselves as such. The dragon, you know, hunkered in the village devouring maidens, heard the townsfolk cry ‘Monster!’ and looked behind him."


I had totally no idea what this book’s story was when I first had it. I won it from a contest, and even after reading the synopsis, I was still sort of confused regarding what it was actually all about. TBH, the cover isn’t that enticing for me to notice it. It worked in my favor, though. DoSB constantly surprised, enthralled, and captivated me.

I liked Karou’s character. Simple as that. Curious, funny, immature at times, but very firm, well-rooted, and courageous (and did I mention a great artist?). She developed very fittingly into a fighter and a selfless & compassionate woman. She’s one, remarkable female protagonist I would not forget.

Akiva, however, was great but not that striking of a character. His awkwardness towards Karou (and mundanes) was sooo adorable! I felt his genuine protectiveness and concern for Karou, but I felt him a bit.. stiff? Considering the amount of romance composing the book (don't get me wrong, it was just the right & appropriate quantity), I just thought more affection could improve it. Nonetheless, the short & few scenes where I glimpsed a softening & tenderness between the both of them were just so cute that it made up for what I think it lacked! (That sounded so ironic, didn’t it? But their dynamic was just heavenly endearing!)

ZUZANA! Can I at least have one hour with you (and die due to excessive laughing)?

Also, every persona breathing in the book had his/her/its own personality & character. *claps* *hands cookie to Laini Taylor*

Hands down to the brain of Laini Taylor which allowed her to think of a unique and exceptional take on angels (and demons). Just when I started thinking angel-themed books were becoming a trashy mainstream of YA fiction, DoSB entered my life! I mean, you just have to read this (if you haven’t yet) to know what I’m talking about. She is a genius. The whole conceptualization of the story was astoundingly brilliant. Never was there a dull moment in the book.

I can quote every single word, comma, or period in the book. It's very poetic yet funny & modern at the same time.

Another thing, I really don’t prefer third-person narrations, but Laini Taylor managed to pull it off like it was in first-person. I was able to connect easily with the characters and the predicaments they were going through. Also, I loved the setting (Prague) and the way Taylor transported me to it. I did feel like I was walking along the pavement of the narrow & maze-like streets of Prague, strolling on the Charles Bridge, or flying across the sky and above the red roofs of the city’s structures. It almost felt magical. Definitely the cheapest way to travel to this historic setting.
Also, the use of back story was smartly executed. *another cookie*

To condense all those stuff: Daughter of Smoke and Bone makes it to my Top 5 books of all time.

“I don't know many rules to live by," he'd said. "But here's one. It's simple. Don't put anything unnecessary into yourself. No poisons or chemicals, no fumes or smoke or alcohol, no sharp objects, no inessential needles--drug or inessential penises either."

Buy the book from: Amazon US / The Book Depository UK / Kindle

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  1. Ooh, I love this one too! And I have to agree, the writing style and world building was very lovely :D
    It's actually one of the reasons I really love this book.

    Nice review!

    Neysa @ [B.O.O.K.L.I.F.E]

  2. This one blew me away. Incredible writing style! It seems simple but it managed to build up the right emotions up to the climax part.

  3. You have persuaded me to read this book.

  4. I really need to read this book. The new take on angels/demons is something I look forward to :D Awesome review!


  5. "ZUZANA! Can I at least have one hour with you (and die due to excessive laughing)?"

    Hahaha! I totally agree!


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