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Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer #1) – Laini Taylor

Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer #1) – Laini TaylorTitle: Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer #1) by Laini Taylor
Publishing Info: March 28, 2017 by Hachette
Source: Audible, Anderson's Bookshop
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: April 18, 2017
Related Posts: Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #1), Days of Blood & Starlight (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #2), Night of Cake and Puppets (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #2.5), Dreams of Gods & Monsters (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #3)

Strange the Dreamer is the story of:

the aftermath of a war between gods and men
a mysterious city stripped of its name
a mythic hero with blood on his hands
a young librarian with a singular dream
a girl every bit as perilous as she is imperiled
alchemy and blood candy, nightmares and godspawn, moths and monsters, friendship and treachery, love and carnage.

Welcome to Weep.

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When you write a series as epic as Daughter of Smoke and Bone and then your next release gets delayed even more (to make it that much more perfect, that is), it could be really, really hard to live up to the hype of the book… But Laini Taylor had no such problem with STRANGE THE DREAMER! To be honest, I wasn’t sure what to expect because I hadn’t know what to expect with Daughter and it constantly surprised me so I knew I was ready for some more magic of the same quality!

STRANGE THE DREAMER was actually quite similar to DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE in some ways. There was a distinct separation from the humans and the magical beings, some bad blood to draw up that tension, and a star-crossed romance, so in that respect, I did wish that STRANGE THE DREAMER did venture out on its own plot-wise and away from the world of Eretz. The books aren’t of the same world but Laini Taylor did say that they’re of the same multi-verse and may cross paths one day, but for now, two totally different things so I was hoping for a bit of a difference in big picture.

That really is the only “disappointment” I have about this book, which isn’t really a disappointment so much as something else I was looking for. STRANGE THE DREAMER really swept me off my feet with Laini Taylor’s ever-gorgeous writing. She’s one of the authors whose writing style I just love to read and I just get lost within the pages (along with Maggie Stiefvater and Neil Gaiman who also hold that magical ability to suck you into their books). The world is amazing and gorgeous and I love that the humans are even still in a different fantasy world, not Earth as we know it, to add that extra sense of magic and wonder.

All of Laini Taylor’s characters are poetic and deep. From Lazlo Strange, the dreamer whose nose was broken by a volume of fairy tales, to Sarai, the Muse of Nightmares with a gentle softness. They compliment each other and bring a wonderful balance to the book, and each character serves a real purpose to the story. Every character is so unique and Laini Taylor does an amazing job at bringing each one to life. I always feel like I’ve really gotten to know each one of them!

I won’t really get into the story itself because like all of her books, it’s one to experience, but I just loved being wrapped up in her stories again. I’ve missed that feeling of being so involved in a story and being in kind of a reading slump, it was wonderful to enjoy something so much again!

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Kept Me Hooked On: Pretty prose. Some authors just have a knack for story-telling and putting gorgeous words on the page and Laini Taylor is one of them. It doesn’t always work with such vivid descriptions but I could read Laini Taylor’s details forever.
Left Me Wanting More: Uniqueness. The only thing I would have asked for was to have more of a different big picture plot than DoSaB!

Addiction Rating
Buy it!

This is such a beautiful book and a wonderfully heart-breaking start to a new series (only two books! We think). It’s a must-read!

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BOOKS LIKE STRANGE THE DREAMER

(Click the cover to see my review!)

    shadow and bone

Dreams of Gods and Monsters (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #3) – Laini Taylor

Dreams of Gods and Monsters (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #3) – Laini TaylorTitle: Dreams of Gods & Monsters (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #3) by Laini Taylor
Publishing Info: April 8, 2014 by Little, Brown
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: May 20, 2014
Related Posts: Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #1), Days of Blood & Starlight (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #2), Night of Cake and Puppets (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #2.5), Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer #1)

    In this thrilling conclusion to the Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy, Karou is still not ready to forgive Akiva for killing the only family she's ever known.
When a brutal angel army trespasses into the human world, Karou and Akiva must ally their enemy armies against the threat--and against larger dangers that loom on the horizon. They begin to hope that it might forge a way forward for their people. And, perhaps, for themselves--maybe even toward love.
From the streets of Rome to the caves of the Kirin and beyond, humans, chimaera, and seraphim will fight, strive, love, and die in an epic theater that transcends good and evil, right and wrong, friend and enemy.

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** This is a SPOILER-FREE review of DREAMS OF GODS AND MONSTERS but beware that if you haven’t read the first two books in this series yet, there may be some spoilers for those! **

This was by far the hardest book of this series for me to read — that’ snot necessarily a bad thing, although it may sound like one, but I really felt like I needed to give it my full attention and unfortunately as of lately, I just haven’t had the time or mental clarity. If you’re a fan of Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy, I’m sure you’re aware how deep, how detailed, and how complex this series is. It’s not one to be taken lightly and really does require the perfect mood and proper amount of time so when I tell you that it took me a month and a half to finish it, that’s a good and a bad thing all at the same time.

I read the first two books no problem. I actually streamed pretty quickly through DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE and tried to take my time and really let myself soak in DAYS OF BLOOD AND STARLIGHT. But DREAMS OF GODS AND MONSTERS was a different story. Yes, I decided to really slow myself down and make sure I was really taking it all in, but there were actual weeks where I completely ignored it because I just didn’t have the motivation to pick up such a daunting book. I was overwhelmed by the amount of pages and the time I knew I’d need to read it. Was that the book’s fault? Well, no, but the sheer size of it really did factor in to my reading plans and with time being a pressing issue lately, it was a bit frustrating to me when things felt a little too drawn out.

Laini Taylor’s writing has been beautiful from the start, but DREAMS OF GODS AND MONSTERS was the first book where I felt like the gorgeous, lyric-type prose was getting a bit too drawn out. I usually enjoy the way a plot point is revealed and then we back-track to see how it all evolved, but in some places it felt unnecessary and I was frustrated that I felt like I was reading a whole chapter here or there that didn’t feel entirely necessary to the development of plot or characters. I could chalk that up to my personal impatience or just my experience with reading… I think it was actually a little bit of both.

The introduction of Eliza’s character was not entirely unwelcomed but I wasn’t a fan that she was thrown in as a new main character with POV chapters and everything. I really did like how she fit into the story and it was very exciting to see all of those pieces click together but… I didn’t really enjoy her chapters much at all. The book kicks off with one of Eliza’s chapters and that was actually a really exciting one. I was so excited to see the book start with a bang and I was anxious to get to know more about Eliza, but the more I got to know about her, the less I liked. I didn’t hate her, but I think I would have liked to see her as more of a secondary character because I felt like I lost so much of the focus of Karou and Akiva as well as secondary characters from the previous books (Ziri, Liraz, Mik, Zuze) who were starting to grow into more of a main focus. I think it was too much for me to meet a brand-new character who had such a strong presence in the book, taking over chapters, and also having a strong personality. I wanted to spend so much more time with characters I already knew instead of a brand-new one who wasn’t that important to me and who I wasn’t connecting with.

I really did enjoy the book — I always appreciate how beautiful the writing is and how the books really make me focus on what I’m reading. Everything is so wonderfully detailed, thoroughly thought out, and sort of paradoxically magically realistic. I’m so glad that things were pretty well wrapped up at the end of the book and it was sort of one big sigh of relief to see how everything ended. To be honest, I wasn’t a huge fan of the ending and I felt like some things ended up being glossed over. For example, Eliza’s entire part in the book is explained and then seemingly dropped to make room for Karou & Akiva, which usually I don’t mind since I’m more excited for Karou/Akiva plot, but I felt like I was finally getting answers and then they happened but I didn’t get any detail.

All in all, I did enjoy DREAMS OF GODS AND MONSTERS a lot, but it seemed like this was the book I had the most issues with out of the series. Some things had been weighing on me since the beginning but it was new love and not a big issue to me. Some things didn’t really seem to appear until the last book and I was at a point where I wasn’t in the mood for things to be drawn out. It was a stunning conclusion but I was left just a bit unsatisfied, to be perfectly frank. Maybe it’s just that it still feels unreal that the series is over! Maybe I’m just hoping that Laini Taylor writes more in this universe… (oh please, oh please!!) but I don’t think I was quite prepared for this series to end!

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“The View from Goodreads” is a new featured section in my reviews that I decided to incorporate! I tend to update my Goodreads status a LOT when I read — reactions, feelings, notes — so I thought it would be fun to share the sort of “reading process”! All status updates are spoiler-free (no specific plot points will be revealed) but will contain reactions to certain pages and/or characters!

dogam

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Eliza // Character Obsessions: Dreams, monsters, apocalypse, hiding.
Eliza was one ball of mess for me. I sympathized with her and yet I really didn’t enjoy a lot of her story. I could appreciate where she was coming from and I actually really liked the grand concept and how it all tied in (I just loved the backstory once we got to it), but I didn’t care for the chapters from her POV and her personal conflicts. Looking back…? I feel like that entire plot of the book could have been adapted without her as a main character. I would have loved to see her flitting in and out of the background. That would have actually made me more curious and anxious — those small pieces here and there — than her constant presence in the book with a lot of guesses and no concrete answers.
Liraz // Character obsessions: Akiva, family, decisions, strength.
I love how much more prominent Liraz became in this story. From the moment we got to know more about Akiva’s siblings in previous books, I wanted so much more face time from them so I was really excited to see Liraz really shine (no pun intended) and to explore her personal conflict and feelings. Let’s not even talk about how much I was shipping here and Ziri. Because I need so much more of THAT.

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Kept Me Hooked On: “Creature” fantasy. Back when I first started dipping into fantasy, I started to realize that I did better with more high fantasy (Game of Thrones, Graceling) than what I called “creature” fantasy which is basically anything with non-humans that have human aspects. DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE was really the first book I fell in love with that had a big cast of non-human/animalistic creatures and I was hooked on the series from start to finish.
Left Me Wanting More: Conciseness. I don’t usually complain about the lengths of books, especially when it’s a series I love reading, but something about DREAMS OF GODS AND MONSTERS just felt like things were a bit too drawn out. Was I anticipating too much? Was I letting hype get to me? Was I just intimidated by sheer size and daunted by impatience? Maybe. But that still didn’t change the way I felt, unfortunately.

Addiction Rating
Read it!

Despite my airing of grievances in my review, I really did enjoy the book. It took me a lot longer to finish than I expected and I did have some issues, but it was an epic conclusion nonetheless and of course important for anyone who’s a fan of the series. The size is a bit intimidating but of course it’s worth the read!

book_recommendations1BOOKS LIKE DREAMS OF GODS AND MONSTERS

(Click the cover to see my review!)

        Rift       Antigoddess

Night of Cake & Puppets (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #2.5) – Laini Taylor

Night of Cake & Puppets (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #2.5) – Laini TaylorTitle: Night of Cake and Puppets (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #2.5) by Laini Taylor
Publishing Info: November 26, 2013 by Little, Brown
Source: Gift
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: January 12, 2013
Related Posts: Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #1), Days of Blood & Starlight (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #2), Dreams of Gods & Monsters (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #3), Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer #1)

    In Night of Cake & Puppets, Taylor brings to life a night only hinted at in the Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy—the magical first date of fan-favorites Zuzana and Mik. Told in alternating perspectives, it’s the perfect love story for fans of the series and new readers alike. Petite though she may be, Zuzana is not known for timidity. Her best friend, Karou, calls her “rabid fairy,” her “voodoo eyes” are said to freeze blood, and even her older brother fears her wrath. But when it comes to the simple matter of talking to Mik, or “Violin Boy,” her courage deserts her. Now, enough is enough. Zuzana is determined to meet him, and she has a fistful of magic and a plan. It’s a wonderfully elaborate treasure hunt of a plan that will take Mik all over Prague on a cold winter’s night before finally leading him to the treasure: herself! Violin Boy’s not going to know what hit him.

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First of all… If you’re at all invested in this series, read this novella! Amy instantly gifted it to me via Amazon after we finished reading DAYS OF BLOOD AND STARLIGHT (or were we even done at that point??) because she said it was a must-read and so incredibly cute and YES. Every part of that is true! I opened this on my Kindle as soon as I could and read it in one sitting.

Zuzana and Mik are two of my favorite characters. I love the little rabid fairy that is Zuzana and frankly, I just want her to be my best friend. She reminds me so much of my own friends pretty much all of the time and as my favorite character of the series, it was so exciting to read a novella from her point of view and in first person versus Laini Taylor’s usual third person that we see in the full-length novels.

The story that we see in NIGHT OF CAKE & PUPPETS is how Zuzana and Mik finally meet and end up talking for the first time, which actually turns into their first date (that Zuzana sets up). We get a glimpse of this story in DAYS OF BLOOD AND STARLIGHT and I’m SO glad that Laini Taylor wrote this novella so we could experience it first hand because it really was a magical night for Zuzana and Mik!

I love how ferocious Zuze is but how Mik pretty much turns her to a sappy, love-stricken girl. Isn’t that so true? I know I’ve found myself being so much sappier in a relationship than I ever thought I would allow myself to act and I have no shame about it at all! Zuzana is bold, creating a treasure map for Mik to follow (keeping in mind that she hasn’t even actually talked to him yet) with the treasure being… her. Haha! Oh, she’s just so darn cute. She also uses a bit of Karou’s magic in the form of wishes to help her make the treasure hunt extra special! I’m also really glad that we got to see Mik’s point of view here too because you can see how strong his affection for Zuze was right off the bat and it just made me fall in love with their relationship even more!

If you’re a fan of this series, do yourself the favor and read NIGHT OF CAKE & PUPPETS. It’s absolutely adorable and I can’t see how you would be disappointed! If you’re not a novella person, you might be after this one!

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Mik // Character Obsessions: Playing the violin, avoiding Italian brats, watching Zuzana from afar.
I was totally stoked that we got to read Mik’s POV in this novella as well. We get a bit of Zuzana in the previous full-length novels, but nothing really from Mik’s eyes so to see his growing affection for Zuzana and how much they both like each other before they’ve even officially met… It just made my heart melt! He’s so adorable.
Zuzana // Character Obsessions: Creating her treasure map, working on wishes, luring Mik.
Oh, Zuze. She’s just too adorable and I love her character. I really wish she could be my best friend. I love that she puts herself as the treasure in her treasure map haha. She’s bold and confident but the thought of Mik turns her into total mush and her obsessing over little hearts and kissing… Sigh. These two are just so cute together!
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Kept Me Hooked On: This romance. THIS IS ONE OF MY FAVORITES. Yes, I had to capslock it.
Left Me Wanting More: All Zuze & Mik. More more more! I love Karou, I do. But Zuzana and Mik totally steal the show in this series. Yeah. I said it. It’s also a nice, light feel when this series is just so heavy! In a good way, but still.

Addiction Rating
Read it!!!!

Not a novella person? Don’t want to pay the money to buy it? Come on guys, just do it. This is such an amazing and adorable story.

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BOOKS LIKE NIGHT OF CAKE & PUPPETS

(Click the cover to see my review!)

The Night Circus   Graceling

Days of Blood and Starlight (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #2) – Laini Taylor

Days of Blood and Starlight (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #2) – Laini TaylorTitle: Days of Blood & Starlight (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #2) by Laini Taylor
Publishing Info: November 6, 2012 by Little, Brown
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: January 8, 2013
Related Posts: Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #1), Night of Cake and Puppets (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #2.5), Dreams of Gods & Monsters (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #3), Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer #1)

    Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to imagine a world free of bloodshed and war.
    This is not that world.
    Art student and monster's apprentice Karou finally has the answers she has always sought. She knows who she is--and what she is. But with this knowledge comes another truth she would give anything to undo: She loved the enemy and he betrayed her, and a world suffered for it. In this stunning sequel to the highly acclaimed Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Karou must decide how far she'll go to avenge her people. Filled with heartbreak and beauty, secrets and impossible choices, Days of Blood & Starlight finds Karou and Akiva on opposing sides as an age-old war stirs back to life. While Karou and her allies build a monstrous army in a land of dust and starlight, Akiva wages a different sort of battle: a battle for redemption. For hope. But can any hope be salvaged from the ashes of their broken dream?

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** There WILL be spoilers for the first book, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, so please beware! **

Hope. Above all else, DAYS OF BLOOD AND STARLIGHT is about hope. The girl Karou who bears its name. The idealistic relationship between Karou and Akiva. The hope for peace between chimaera and seraphim. The hope for any survival of the chimaera at all. This book is dark. This journey is tumultuous. This writing is beautiful.

It’s hard to know where to begin writing this review. I feel like I’ve gone on a serious journey with these characters. I knew when I picked it up that I was going to be extremely emotionally invested in it and that was absolutely true. The very beginning of the book was a bit slow for me action-wise. The finale of DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE was a big one, throwing lots of information at the reader and ending the book with a big bang. DAYS OF BLOOD AND STARLIGHT has its own grand finale, but the walls came crashing down at the end of book one and they need to slowly be built up again — and I don’t mean that in a negative way. Truths were revealed, wounds were exposed, and I personally felt like I needed a bit of time to ease myself back into this world so it actually worked out well for me. My only (MINOR) complaint was that it did seem like it took a while for the “big” things to happen, but once they started, it was like a freight train that couldn’t be stopped!

Karou does not have it easy in this book. She’s partially heart-broken — feeling a deep betrayal by Akiva — and partially war-hardened, convincing herself to just push him aside and focus on helping the chimaera in the never-ending and brutal war. She’s still coming to terms with all of her fresh memories as Madrigal. She’s still torn between the natural warrior in herself and her desire for peace and a life with Akiva. Karou has so many things going on that you really just feel for her! It was definitely emotional seeing her side of this story.

I love that Laini Taylor isn’t afraid to take the book where it needs to go, meaning that whatever POV we’re supposed to see a specific scene from, we do. The third person allows the reader to transition easier from one POV to the next and we get so many scenes not only from Karou’s eyes but so many more characters, including some of my personal favorites like Zuzana! (So happy to see more of Zuze & Mik in this book!)

The ending. OH MY GOSH, THE ENDING. So many mind-blowing things happen and it seems like just when things are about to quiet down and resume normal pace, something else happens. I was laughing, I was crying. I was shocked and horrified. I was elated. The end of this book totally ran my emotions through a meat grinder and I ended up with a book hangover, not knowing what to think or where to go. This, of course, left me DYING to pick up book three which I guess I won’t have to wait TOO long!

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Ziri // Character Obsessions: Battles, staying lucky, getting to know Karou again.
Ziri. Oh, Ziri! He was one of my favorites. I absolutely loved his backstory with Madrigal and seeing how much he’s changed over the years and yet how much he’s stayed the same. I loved his relationship with pretty much everyone and he was such a fantastic addition to this story!
Zuzana // Character Obsessions: Loyalty to Karou, helping when she can, being a badass and yet adorable.
I want Zuze to be my best friend (and in a way, she totally reminded me of two of my best friends so maybe that’s why I loved her so much)! She and Mik are two of my FAVORITES and I just love her friendship with Karou. I’m so glad we got to see so much more of her in this book!
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Kept Me Hooked On: A world I never thought I would fall in love with. Chimaera and seraphim are so not my thing. That being said, Laini Taylor MADE them my thing. These books are just so incredible and they really find a way to make you connect with them.
Left Me Wanting More: Answers because HELLOOOO, the ending!!! I am just dying for book three. What can I say.

Addiction Rating
Read it!!

The beginning does start out a bit slow, but seriously. This book is so worth all of the pages, all of the tears, and all of the feels! The twists, the surprises, the emotional connections… Laini Taylor’s writing is really something to admire.

book_recommendations1BOOKS LIKE DAYS OF BLOOD AND STARLIGHT

(Click the cover to see my review!)

Shadow and Bone   Last Sacrifice

Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #1) – Laini Taylor

Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #1) – Laini TaylorTitle: Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #1) by Laini Taylor
Publishing Info: September 27, 2011 by Little, Brown
Source: Won
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: July 10, 2013
Related Posts: Days of Blood & Starlight (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #2), Night of Cake and Puppets (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #2.5), Dreams of Gods & Monsters (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #3), Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer #1)

    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?

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I’ve been promising to read this book for quite some time now but after our first Twitter chat at Literary Lushes, I realized how important it was that I read this book like… NOW. So I made sure it was one of the next books I picked up and I’m SO glad I finally read it! I was really, really nervous to read this. I really thought I would not like it. Soooo many people loved it and it’s fantasy… And not quite in the same realm of fantasy that I usually read, so I was a bit intimidated! Fortunately, Laini Taylor’s beautiful writing, knack for plot twists, and character development left me with nothing to fear! 

DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE is so not a Brittany book… But that also so didn’t matter. If you know my reading styles well, you know that I don’t do well with “creature fantasy” (is that a real term? That’s what I call it) so I was really concerned when I found out that the chimera were a HUGE part of the story. I think maybe one of the reasons their presence worked so well for me is that the chimera are Karou’s norm — these “creatures” are her family so while she does discover other secrets about their world and connections to it, there’s a certain sense of normalcy amongst the fantasy.

I was also concerned about several people mentioning how Laini Taylor’s writing is lyrical and flowery and that scared me because that’s also what people said about SHATTER ME and (hate me if you want! I don’t care!!) I really didn’t like the writing in SHATTER ME at all. That comparison had me very hesitant, but once again, I had nothing to worry about. Yes, Taylor’s writing is “flowery” but it’s done beautifully so I didn’t feel like I was lost in metaphors and it wasn’t hard to follow along with. Sure, maybe it required a bit more concentration, but really, I kind of liked that I was really forced to pay attention to the book and not allow other distractions to take away from my reading experience.

The story of the chimaera and the angels are fascinating. It was almost difficult at first because I had to stop my brain. Are the angels really the bad ones? We see the story with Karou and her family of chimaera as the “good guys”… So does that make the angels the bad guys? ARE there bad guys or is this just a matter of perspective? I loved that there was almost a sort of role reversal and/or grey area as to who was good and who was bad. I liked being challenged as a reader to not fall into any stereotypes and to listen to what the book was telling me instead of what I found to be true. As we learn in DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE, there’s always another story beneath the surface somewhere… And the truth can be quite surprising!

I’ve gotta say… It’s almost not fair to judge this as one book. The first half/three quarters, I really enjoyed. I was going along like, “Okay, I really like this. Like this… Oh, I really like that!” and then all of a sudden, BAM! Plot twist! Surprises! Mysteries revealed! And like Karou, my whole world was turned upside down. I will say this… Laini Taylor, you sure know how to draw out the suspense! I’m pretty sure I raced through the second half of that book because I was like, “Gimme gimme gimme info!” and I couldn’t read fast enough to resolve that surprise twist. I had my suspicions (which turned out to be about half accurate) and the whole second half of the book just totally blew my mind.

As far as style & subject matter go, I’ll say this is probably a love it or hate it book. If there hadn’t been so many rave reviews of DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE, I probably wouldn’t have picked it up because I would have thought I’d have hated the subject matter (so thank goodness for all you beautiful reviewers out there)! As far as plot & pacing go, I’d say this could fall anywhere for the general reader. I felt like the beginning was juuuuust a tad slow, but not enough to turn me off. I was just impatiently waiting for the “good stuff” to happen! The ending also kind of dragged, mostly just because we get the reveal and it IS a slight info dump of backstory, but I really enjoyed that info dump haha. It was just hard when I was stuck in the backstory and it took so long to get back to the present-day story because OBVIOUSLY I’m dying to know what happens there! Mostly, I’m just happy that I really enjoyed it so much and now I’m incredibly curious to see what happens in book two!

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Karou // Character Obsessions: Art, drawing, finding out more about Brimstone. 
Karou is pretty awesome, in my opinion. She’s got this whole other life that her “human” friends don’t know about… Considering she grew with up with chimaera as her family and knows nothing about where she came from. I feel like that could have easily been a way for Karou to whine and pine and beg about information, but she doesn’t. She helps Brimstone like she always has, does what’s asked of her… And then boldly explores on her own when she can, almost always as long as it doesn’t upset her family. She’s bold, brave, badass, and she’s got blue hair, for Pete’s sake. That’s gotta say something, right?
Brimstone // Character Obsessions: Teeth, missons, luck. 
I kind of love Brimstone. Right off the bat, you know he’s the protector and the leader of Karou’s chimaera family, but there’s so much more to him than Karou knows… And the mystery killed me the whole book. Suspicions are thrown around from good to evil the whole book and I feel like I never knew was his true character was until the end and I LOVED how that book ended with what we learn about Brimstone!
Akiva // Character Obsessions: Madrigal, Karou.
Akiva. HE HAS SMOLDERING EYES. A real, true smoldering stare. How do you compete with that!?! Anyway… At first, I was like, “What’s so special about him? I don’t know what everyone’s swooning about…” and then I TOTALLY did. Find out more about Akiva’s back story and it totally makes his character amazing.
Madrigal // Character Obsessions: Making a difference, Akiva, changing the world.
HELLO, Madrigal is so badass. She’s the chimaera who falls for a Seraphim and wants to change the ways of the world. No wonder Akiva falls for her. What a beautiful soul!

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Kept Me Hooked On: Different kinds of fantasy. Okay. The fantasy I usually enjoy is apparently fantasy that seems ancient or medieval (like A Song of Ice and Fire, Graceling, Prophecy, Grave Mercy (if you consider that one fantasy)), so the fact that this was involving a cast of non-humans as well as all taking place in the present time, I was really surprised that I liked it so much!
Left Me Wanting More: Karou/Akiva romance. There was so much to learn and so much to be revealed that it took me a while to get into the Karou/Akiva romance before the big reveal happens. Although… I’m sure there’s plenty of time for romance in future books and that’s all I’m saying!

Addiction Rating
BUY & RECOMMEND!

Even if you’re a fantasy skeptic, give this one a shot! There’s a reason why so many people have rated it 4 and 5 stars!

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