The Daughter of Smoke and Bone is a beautifully written, yet haunting tale of a girl raised by monsters, in a world where so many secrets are kept about things right in front of you, and behind locked doors.
The girl, Karou, is a very intriguing young woman who is an art student and has a love of oddly colored hair, tattoos, and making interesting wishes. I like that she is not afraid to stand up for herself (and a kick a little ass) but it's also nice to see that's she is not perfect, and has made bad dating choices in her life (because hey, haven't we all?). This makes her a very realistic teenage girl character, and I found it so enjoyable readying about her and her friend Zuzana.
I think one of the ironic, and best parts of this book, is the fact that the monsters themselves (the ones who raised Karou) don't seem all that "monsterly". The are kind, caring and compassionate as you would expect (or hope) a family to be toward their child. They do have to keep secrets from Karou often, but that is to protect her from the dangers of their world.
“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.”
The settings in this story are amazing! I mean Prague! Oh yes please! And that little place they are always eating at, that has the coffins and skeletons everywhere? That is totally my type of place. Can I tell you I secretly want to be Karou right now! Eat at cool places, take art classes in Prague, change may hair color and tattoos with a single wish, step through a door that takes me to the opposite side of the world...but I digress...
There wasn't much I didn't like about this book, especially the first act let's call it. It had a somewhat tense, yet romantic, Romeo and Juliet type feel, made even more vibrant by the beautiful flow of the author's lyrical writing. A real love for an ages, a perfect definition of a love that knows no boundaries, not even time.
“Your soul sings to mine. My soul is yours, and it always will be, in any world. No matter what happens. I need you to remember that I love you.”
As much as I understand the need to only feed your reader's a little at a time, I did feel some of the secrets were kept too long. I mean, as interesting as the whole underlying of what the teeth represented, I think we could have been told a little sooner... I was also, not really upset with, but slightly irritated by the break in the book toward the end. I almost feel like maybe it could have been spattered throughout the book as told through Akiva's eyes instead of re-enacted completely, in the past, almost like a separate novel. It really through me out of my special little reading zone.
And of course...the end... Typical cliffhanger of DOOM! Not amused...November...where are you? I guess I will have to wait for Days of Blood and Starlight!