Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor
New York, NY: Little Brown, 2011
5 out of 5
Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.
In the 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 otherworldly 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 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 the truth about herself.
Under normal circumstances, I probably would not have picked up this book. Party, the cover didn't really appeal to me, but also because it's just not my genre. Thanks to the glowing recommendations from my coworkers, I gave it a try. It took about 100 pages for me to get really invested but now it's one of my favorites of 2012.
From the very beginning, Karou is an interesting character; she's covered in tattoos, collects languages, and naturally has blue hair. How awesome is that? Then she meets Akiva, the dark, brooding, but totally hot man toy. And life as she know it is changed forever. Paranormal titles require that the protagonist discover she has a secret power, identity past, etc. and this is no different, but there's something about the writing, and the way the characters interact, and the fact that it's not one-hundred percent focused on the secret Karou discovers that makes it hard to put down.
In the midst of everything she already knows about the demon world and what she discovers, she remains herself and true to the people around her. I've noticed in the limited number of novels I've read in similar genres that the girls just kind of face into their lives, almost forgetting about what they had before. Karou wants to be involved and wants to be a good friend, until she finds she other, more serious matters to attend to.
I loved this book and if you haven't picked it up, I cannot recommend it enough.
The sequel Days of Blood and Starlight comes out Nov. 6.
Also check out The Real Fauxtographer's photo inspired by the novel.