Title: Daughter of Smoke and Bone
Author: Laini Taylor
Release Date: September 2011
Published By: Little, Brown
Goodread Rating: 4.49 stars
Review: Karou is human, as far as she knows, but she's far from ordinary. She was raised by Brimstone and three other chimaeras, speaks numerous languages, and disappears from the real world to collect teeth for Brimstone for a mysterious purpose she doesn't know. But when she's cast out of that world, she faces not only a terrible mystery but a love with the angel Akiva. She learns of a violent, unknown past behind her, but will she live long enough to regret it?
This is so far from the stereotypical paranormal romance novel that I don't even know where to start, so I guess I'll begin with the most notable aspect of DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE - the writing. Laini Taylor spins gorgeous turns of phrase and rhythmic sentences that had me at once enraptured and full of writing envy. The prose was beyond beautiful; she could have written four hundred pages about grass growing and I still would have loved every word of it.
The premise and plot was fascinating, with a plot twist at the end that made my heart ache. But if there was one aspect I didn't like about this book, it was the ending. It ended so abruptly at a cliffhanger that felt wrong. To me, it seems that a novel like this should stand alone to some extent; it doesn't need a gimmicky cliffhanger to make readers want to go to the next book. This bothered me so much that I ended up dropping a star for that very reason.
DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE is a book everyone should read, paranormal romance fan or not - actually, especially if you're not, because this book can redeem every paranormal you disliked. The prose reads like poetry, and my only complaint would be the ending. Regardless of that, though, I'll still be picking up the sequel when it comes out.
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher for review. This in no way affected my review.