Tag Archives: Angels

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 // Goodreads
Date 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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BOOKS LIKE DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE

     Shadow and Bone      Prophecy

Sweet Peril (Sweet Evil #2) – Wendy Higgins

Sweet Peril (Sweet Evil #2) – Wendy HigginsTitle: Sweet Peril (The Sweet Trilogy #2) by Wendy Higgins
Publishing Info: April 30, 2013 by HarperCollins
Genres: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: May 15, 2013
Related Posts: Sweet Evil (The Sweet Trilogy #1)

    Anna Whitt, the daughter of a guardian angel and a demon, promised herself she’d never do the work of her father—polluting souls. She’d been naive to make such a vow. She’d been naive about a lot of things.
Haunted by demon whisperers, Anna does whatever she can to survive, even if it means embracing her dark side and earning an unwanted reputation as her school’s party girl. Her life has never looked more bleak. And all the while there’s Kaidan Rowe, son of the Duke of Lust, plaguing her heart and mind.
When an unexpected lost message from the angels surfaces, Anna finds herself traveling the globe with Kopano, son of Wrath, in an attempt to gain support of fellow Nephilim and give them hope for the first time. It soon becomes clear that whatever freedoms Anna and the rest of the Neph are hoping to win will not be gained without a fight. Until then, Anna and Kaidan must put aside the issues between them, overcome the steamiest of temptations yet, and face the ultimate question: is loving someone worth risking their life?

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This is a spoiler-free review for SWEET PERIL but if you have not read SWEET EVIL yet, beware that there may be some spoilers for book one!

It’s no secret that I fangirled over SWEET EVIL pretty hard when I first read it last summer. I was allll about Kaidan and he truly made the book for me (ALL THE SWOONS) so when we left Sweet Evil with Anna and Kaidan separated, I had a great fear building up until I finally got my hands on SWEET PERIL that we would suffer from one of the common occurrences in the second in a series in which the two lovebirds are apart the whole book. Well, I feel it’s important to warn you (and there’s no way I can talk about the first half of the book) to say that… It happened.

I can’t. Get. Kupono. Out of my head.

First: I liked the book. I really did. Despite my wariness for angel/demon books, I really love how Wendy Higgins creates this other world and mythology and legends… But Kaidan, my main reason for loving the book, was gone the whole first half. There was tons of Kopano (which I’m sorry, as a SYTYCD fan, I keep wanting to say Kupono haha) but really, he just doesn’t do it for me. I actually didn’t really like him that much in the first book as a friend and here we go turning a slight love triangle and I just really felt let down. I was actually pretty disappointed with the direction that took. Then I run into another second in a series issue in which the characters are on a mission and traveling. The road trip in book one did not bother me at all because it was more road trip and not mission. The road trip was low-stress and we got to see a lot of character interaction between Anna and Kaidan there. The trips in book two are all over the world and pretty much are the only things we get in the first half of the book. They felt rushed and pieced together instead of a flowing story.

The second half of the book was where the magic really happened for me. It was back to the old times! The good times! Just like in Sweet Evil. We finally get to see Kaidan again for more than two seconds and he returns to all his steamy glory!! Anna finally seems a little more confident because I really felt like she was a bit passive and naïve (well, she’s always going to be naïve) in the first half. After what I felt like was travel, travel, more travel and introducing new characters, we get to know a bit more about the other Dukes, Neph, and angels in the second half. More pieces to the puzzle! More interesting facts!! YAYYY. It was a relief because I got really scared for a while in the beginning.

The second half definitely felt more like the “home” that I found in Sweet Evil so I was thankful we finally got back to that! The only thing I was a bit confused with is Anna’s character is kind of back and forth. She’s been learning how to defend herself but half the time she’s still the sweet, little naïve girl and the other half she’s badass and ready to wield weapons. I’m just not sure which Anna we should be expecting or if we truly should expect both in one. Clearly Anna’s going through a lot of personal changes throughout this whole discovery of her true ancestry and truth be told, I kind of enjoy the badass Anna BUT I also want her to stay true to her character so it’s kind of a toss up for me!

Overall, I did enjoy a lot from SWEET PERIL but it was a slow start for me. Superfans of the series will love it, I’m sure, and I’ve seen tons of five star ratings already!

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Anna Whitt: For some reason when I read Sweet Evil, I didn’t think Anna was that naive (and Wendy Higgins herself said to me, “Really? I think she’s incredibly naive!” but for some reason it just didn’t come across to me that way in book one. Book two, however, gave me a lot of that feeling and it bothered me at times. I think I was just in a different place when I read book two and it totally change my outlook on Anna’s character. Regardless, I’m happy that she’s learning how to defend herself but still hasn’t lost her morals or beliefs. I hope she stays true to her character in book three!!
Kaidan Rowe: Kaidan, why were you hiding in LA half of the book!?! Don’t do that to me!!! Once Kai finally shows back up in the picture in full force, the book really took off for me. I needed that tension between Anna and Kai for the book to work for me, I think, because that was what I loved so much about Sweet Evil!
Kopano: Eh. Kope just doesn’t do it for me. I wasn’t really a fan of his character in Sweet Evil — nothing personal, but he just didn’t stand out for me — so his major presence in Sweet Peril brought me down a little, to be honest!
Characters I loved seeing so much more of: Blake makes a strong appearance in this book and I loved him! Loved seeing more of Marnie and Ginger as well as Baleil/Anna’s father.

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Try it

I didn’t like this one as much… and I’m afraid my love for this series is starting to die! It was still a fun read but I feel like that magic is gone.

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     Sweet Evil      PIvot Point

SWEET PERIL by Wendy Higgins – Cover Reveal!

Friends!!! As you know, I fangirled quite hard when I first read SWEET EVIL by Wendy Higgins. Now I will fangirl just a bit more because THE SEQUEL IS COMING OUT THIS SPRING!!! Officially titled SWEET PERIL, this exciting sequel will be released in April 2013. And even more exciting is…. now we have an official cover for the book! Without further ado (drum roll please…..)

SWEET PERIL!!!!

So, what do you think? Looks like we’re in for an edgier Anna and more of some smoldering Kaidan!

Here are some more details about the exciting upcoming release, including a little blurb to tell us what this book holds in store for Anna and Kaidan:

About the Book: Anna Whitt, daughter of a guardian angel and a demon, promised herself she’d never do the work of her father—polluting souls. She’d been naive to make such a claim. She’d been naive about a lot of things. Haunted by demon whisperers, Anna does whatever she can to survive, even if it means embracing her dark side and earning an unwanted reputation as her school’s party girl. Her life has never looked more bleak. And all the while there’s Kaidan Rowe, son of the Duke of Lust, plaguing her heart and mind.
When an unexpected lost message from the angels surfaces, Anna finds herself traveling the globe with Kopano, son of Wrath, in an attempt to gain support of fellow Nephilim and give them hope for the first time. It soon becomes clear that whatever freedoms Anna and the rest of the Neph are hoping to win will not be gained without a fight. Until then, Anna and Kaidan must put aside the issues between them, overcome the steamiest of temptations yet, and face the ultimate question: is loving someone worth risking their life?
Publication Date:  April 30, 2013 from HarperTeen
Book 3 of The Sweet Trilogy, Sweet Reckoning, is slated for spring/summer 2014.

Sweet Peril on Goodreads | Preorder on Amazon | Preorder on Barnes & Noble | Preorder on The Book Depository

About the Author: Wendy Higgins was born in Alaska, grew up an Army brat, and lived all over the United States before settling in the Washington, DC area. She attended George Mason University for her undergrad degree in creative writing, and Radford University for her masters in curriculum and instruction. Wendy taught 9th and 12th grade English in a rural school before becoming a mother and author. She now lives in Northern Virginia with her husband, daughter, and son. Sweet Peril is her second novel.

Wendy Higgins Website | Wendy Higgins on Twitter | Author’s Facebook

Also, there is a pretty SWEET giveaway (seriously – these are some awesome prizes) hosted by S.M. Johnston! I’m sure you won’t want to miss your chance to enter!!!

Sweet Evil (Sweet Evil Trilogy #1) – Wendy Higgins

Sweet Evil (Sweet Evil Trilogy #1) – Wendy HigginsTitle: Sweet Evil (The Sweet Trilogy #1) by Wendy Higgins
Publishing Info: May 1, 2012 by HarperCollins
Genres: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: July 26, 2012
Related Posts: Sweet Peril (The Sweet Trilogy #2)

    Embrace the Forbidden
What if there were teens whose lives literally depended on being bad influences?
This is the reality for sons and daughters of fallen angels.
Tenderhearted Southern girl Anna Whitt was born with the sixth sense to see and feel emotions of other people. She's aware of a struggle within herself, an inexplicable pull toward danger, but it isn't until she turns sixteen and meets the alluring Kaidan Rowe that she discovers her terrifying heritage and her willpower is put to the test. He's the boy your daddy warned you about. If only someone had warned Anna.
Forced to face her destiny, will Anna embrace her halo or her horns?

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Okay, before I even start to review this… You know how this whole YA Crush Tourney is going on? I was all, “What’s the big deal? Sure I’ve had book crushes, but I’m not all up in arms about any one of them…” And then I read this book. And MAN I was too late because Kaidan already lost to Finnick (really? Clearly not enough people have read this book) on July 13th (I finished on 7/26… Way too late). So that just shows you how quickly I went from zero to “I love him”!

So now to the review. Umm.. how do I put this? I FREAKING LOVED THIS BOOK. I haven’t felt this way about a book in a while. And that’s saying a lot considering I’ve given so many books 5-star ratings recently. I mean, for all of those that I adored, I loved this one that much more. Really. It’s like 6 stars, if that were possible!

Right from the beginning, I loved everything about SWEET EVIL. Anna is sweet and innocent and usually those characters are naive and annoying, but that’s not Anna at all. She’s a normal girl! Well, if normal means seeing people’s auras in colors, heightened senses, and oh yeah, daughter of an angel and a demon. But she acts normal, is what I’m really getting at here. She was so completely relatable because that’s who I was in high school. Subtract a little bit religious and Southern and add a little choir and basketball and that was me in high school. In fact, I was actually picturing this taking place in my high school whereas usually with books I just created some random place in my mind based on the details I was given. That’s how much I related!
Kaidan. Oh, Kaidan. Brooding. Sexy. British. Son of the Duke of LUST? What? How can anyone resist that? He was built to tease and tempt us and by golly, I was all for him. Then we get to know Kaiden a little better and see that he’s more then just his father’s son and he may actually care for Anna. Lust, romance, and tenderness!? Swoooooon. Yikes. Bravo, Wendy Higgins! Hands down the first character I’ve swooned for. Honestly.
The relationship that develops between Anna and Kai. SIGH. It’s so “I-want-you-but-I-can’t-have-you” and it kills me! They belong together, but they know they shouldn’t be together. I love where the story takes us and it just really tugs on your heartstrings to see these two apart!
I also really loved the best friend Jay! And I’m so glad this was NOT a love triangle situation! Anna can read auras as colors and right off the bat, she knows that Jay is not into her as more than a friend and she’s not into him. She knows his feelings and he doesn’t lust for her and I’m so glad  we don’t divert into love triangle here! It was a highly fascinating story and I think the presence of this love triangle would have ruined it, honestly.

Okay, and onto the actual plot — Once again, absolutely loved it. I think this could have easily crossed the line into religious with all of its dealings with heaven/hell/angels/demons, the fact that Anna’s religious and prays and goes to church — And (not so secret confession) I went to a Catholic school for 10 years. I almost felt like I was forced into religion (that’s a talk for another day, different time) so I always get so frustrated when characters are really religious. It’s just something weird that I have from how I grew up, but when a character is religious or I feel a book is preachy, I get immediately turned off. I feel like this danced perfectly on the line of sacred and secular and played extremely nicely interweaving the two.
I loved the creativity with it being so much more than just Nephilim being the children of demons, that Anna was the child of an angel AND a demon, which is not supposed to happen. I love that it was a little bit more of paranormal when we learn about that the way that Anna reads auras by seeing the colors of people’s emotions. The heightened senses also played a really big part. It was just so much more than Angels vs Demons and it just really drew me in.

QUOTES

  • P 13: He was smokin’ hot. As in H-O-T-T hott. I’d never understood until this moment why girls insisted on adding an extra T. This guy was extra-T worthy.
  • P 15: Kai, like Thai, only yummier.
  • P 136: I’d had my first kiss, and I’d never be the same.
  • P 231: I’ve heard the saying that you can’t miss what you never had. Only I did. The disappointment hurt.

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Read it!

I’m not sure if everyone will love this one as much as I did… I think it was right place, right time you know? But I still had a ton of fun with this one!

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