Thursday, December 18, 2014 12:14

Review 306. Laini Taylor - Daughter of smoke and bone series.

Information:

10305156TitleDaughter of smoke and bone.
Author: Laini Taylor.
Pages: 418.
Published: September 27th 2011 by Hodder & Stoughton.
RATING4.
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 colour. 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?

13389182TitleDays of blood and starlight.
Author: Laini Taylor.
Pages: 513.
Published: November 8th 2012 by Hodder & Stoughton
RATING: 5.
Once upon a time, an angel and a devil held a wishbone between them. And its snap split the world in two. Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to imagine a new way of living – one without massacres and torn throats and bonfires of the fallen, without revenants or bastard armies or children ripped from their mothers’ arms to take their turn in the killing and dying. Once, the lovers lay entwined in the moon’s secret temple and dreamed of a world that was a like a jewel-box without a jewel – a paradise waiting for them to find it and fill it with their happiness. This was not that world.


18001518TitleDreams of Gods and Monsters.
Author: Laini Taylor.
Pages: 613.
Published: April 17th 2014 by Hodder & Stoughton
RATING: 4.5.
By way of a staggering deception, Karou has taken control of the chimaera rebellion and is intent on steering its course away from dead-end vengeance. The future rests on her, if there can even be a future for the chimaera in war-ravaged Eretz. When Jael's brutal seraph army trespasses into the human world, the unthinkable becomes essential, and Karou and Akiva must ally their enemy armies against the threat. It is a twisted version of their long-ago dream, and they begin to hope that it might forge a way forward for their people. And, perhaps, for themselves. Toward a new way of living, and maybe even love. But there are bigger threats than Jael in the offing. A vicious queen is hunting Akiva, and, in the skies of Eretz ... something is happening. Massive stains are spreading like bruises from horizon to horizon; the great winged stormhunters are gathering as if summoned, ceaselessly circling, and a deep sense of wrong pervades the world. What power can bruise the sky? 

This is the second time I'm reviewing a series in one post. I'm still not sure what is the best way to review sequels in a series, so could you let me know if you like this format? The review is spoiler-free for all the books.


The first time I read Daughter of smoke and bone I gave it 3.5 flowers. I had trouble with the beginning of the book and I wasn’t blown away. When I bought the sequels I decided to re-read the book and I was surprised; I liked it so much more! I was sucked into the story right away. For some reason, the story worked better the second time, so I ended up giving it 4 flowers now.

The sequels continued to stun me. Laini has a way with words and it’s easy to get lost inside her tale. She spins a story in front of you and before you know it, you are hooked inside it. The story grows dark in Days of blood and starlight and continues  to be more gruesome in Dreams of Gods and Monsters. I absolutely loved it and I like how she managed to make the books enjoyable instead of being too dark or depressing. Her world-building is excellent. Laini found the perfect balance; there is enough details to make it vivid, but not so much that there are info-dumps.

Daughter of smoke and bone could be seen as a very good set-up, because that’s when we learn about Karou’s background. It was interesting to find out what was going on and who she really is. Her friendship with Zuzana was adorable and it’s good to see that the girl plays a constant important role in her life. She isn’t swept away when the plot kicks in. Laini managed to write her into the story in a subtle way, making sure she is there when Karou needs her the most.

The romance between Akiva and Karou had a touch of insta-love, but it’s quite understandable when you know the whole story. However, it wasn’t my favorite aspect of the story. I loved Karou and her feisty, intelligent personality. I wasn’t a huge fan of Akiva for some reason. He always felt a little flat to me and I didn’t feel connected to him. I did warm up to him in the sequel - my favorite part of the series. Days of blood and starlight was amazing and I had to give it 5 flowers. Karou takes an important role in the upcoming war between the two different camps. We get to see glimpses of Karou’s past and are introduced to new characters like the White Wolf, Ziri and the nasty Jael. Ziri was adorable and stole my heart right away. Jael was creepy and provides an interesting bad guy.

The war breaks loose in Dreams of Gods and monsters. It’s a battle with many consequences and it’s fascinating to see how old enemies unite against a common enemy. All these threats make the story intense and fast-paced. I was constantly turning pages, wanting more. The other two books ended with crazy cliff-hangers, but this book has a spectacular, perfect ending. I couldn’t have wished for more.

Laini has found her way to my list of favorite authors and I look forward to her new books.

author image

Mel@thedailyprophecy

Mel is a microbiology technician who is obsessed with Disney, fairytale retellings and fantasy. If she's not reading or blogging, she's either busy with gaming, hanging out with family or watching a TV show. She loves summer and bright nail polish. One of her dreams is to travel the world. She has found her Prince Charming and they are together for 7+ years.

29 comments:

  1. Hey :)

    Sorry for my bad English, but I wanted to write a comment on your blog for long time. And here I am :D
    I finished the first book a few days ago and I have to admit that I had some struggle with the book. I felt confused the most of the time, but not in a good way, more like: "I think I didn't get something I should have" and so it was quite frustrating. I also felt like there was a lot of insta-love. I haven't read a love story where they fall in love that fast.
    But I loved the world building, it seems like there is so much more Laini Taylor could write about and I'm glad you liked the second book more than the first one.
    I agree with your former review for "Daughter of Smoke and Bone" and so I hope that I'll like the second book as much as you did.
    Anyway, I have to continue on with the series. This cliffhanger killed me!

    Kücki ♥

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    1. Your English is fine Kücki! I hope you like the second one too. It felt like she got more into the story and the world was better explored.

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  2. I read Daughter of Smoke and Bone a couple of months ago and I really enjoyed it but I got slightly bored towards the end and also gave it 4/5 cupcakes. I will definitely be continuing the series though as I've heard it gets better and better and the first one was enjoyable. Great review! :)

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  3. Haha, I actually have given books higher ratings after I read them the second time. Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson comes to mind. I didn't love it the first time, but the second time I was fangirling and flailing and EVERYTHING.

    I actually started this series this year. I've been holding out for so long because it felt mainstream at the time and I finally gave in a few months after the third book's release and I was like WOW. THIS BOOK IS WRITTEN SO BEAUTIFULLY. I loved Karou's fiery and free spirit. And like you, Akiva, I'm not into him that well even if he is supposedly handsome as hell. I'm 1/4 into the second book but put it side for now to give attention to other books. Hopefully I'll finish the rest of the series soon!!

    Faye at The Social Potato

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    1. So interesting how our taste suddenly changes!

      I can't wait to see what you'll think about the other two books :)

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  4. You've definitely sold me on this series, it's one I've been saying I was going to start all year and then never did. I should really fix that and soon, but my TBR is already too big to handle. I feel like I might struggle with book one in the beginning, because I've seen a lot of others say the same, so I will make sure I push through it if I do.

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  5. I like this format a lot. <3 You are awesome Mel. And I love your review :) Hih, I always write one review per book, never put anything together (A) but I do love your way of doing it :) Anyway. I own these books. But not reading them yet :p Just not ready for it, as I wanted there to be more romance. Hmph. But aw. I am so so glad you loved this series. <3 Thank you for sharing about it sweetie :D I'm more excited about reading these one day. <3

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    1. Thanks for the feedback Carina! That's what I normally do too, but this might be a fun idea for already published books I binge-read :)

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  6. I really like this format of reviewing a series as a whole. So far the only series I did this with is season 1 and 2 of the Debt Collector series by Susan kaye Quinn, I review each episode and the season as a whole and I always find it interestign how different the reviews are for the different formats. Would love to see more series reviews and I think it's great you reviewed the whole series without spoilers! I only read the first two books in this series and I really need to get the last book eventually. My favourite book of this series so far was the first book.

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    1. Thanks for the feedback Lola, I will try to keep this format for some other series!

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  7. I'm really happy that you've ended up loving this series overall! I agree that it ended marvelously! I loved each one so much. I loved Karou and Akiva's relationship because of the backstory, which I think added some substance to the "instalove." I instantly loved Ziri so, so much too. <3 Great review!

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  8. I listened to the first book on audio and it was perfect in my opinion. I loved the first book and I've been putting off reading the other two because I would rather listen to them on audio but I don't think I can wait anymore.
    Thanks for the great review. I'm glad the entire series is worth it.

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  9. I love the format you use for series reviews. I'm considering picking up this series again! I gave DoSaB 3.5 stars when I read it too. Perhaps I'll like it more the second time around too. I found Akiva to be a bit flat too, so I'm glad he developed more in book 2. I can't wait to meet these new characters. Laini's writing is definitely amazing and I'm so glad Suzana maintains a role in this series. So often you see the BFF get swept aside. Lovely review, Mel <33

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    1. Thanks for the feedback Rachel :) I'm going to use this format for more reviews then. Yes, it was great that she stayed important for the storyline. That's how I like to see it.

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  10. I like this series review, format and all! :) And I absolutely love this series! I think Laini Taylor's writing is brilliant and I totally get it when you say that it's easy to get lost in her words. I think the second book might be my favorite if I had to pick one, it was just so darn exciting. And I LOVED Zuzana. She has to be one of my favorite secondary characters EVER.

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    1. Thanks Nicole! I'm going to use it for more series reviews :)

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  11. I don't know what happened with this series, but I think I DNFed around the second book or something along the lines. Reading your review has made me want to re-read it, maybe I'll like it better. My main problem was that it was just too..long, so I should probably try being more patient. Still, I adored Laini Taylor's writing too. I'm glad to know the characters get better, and the new characters seem really interesting. Also, Zuzana! <3 Great review, Mel and I like the format you've used for this series review. :D

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    1. Perhaps the book doesn't work for you or it wasn't the right time? I'm curious to see what you think the second time :) Thanks for the feedback!

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  12. Ah yes, this series. Like you I thought DoSaB was good but not amazing. DoBaS was easily my favourite too, and I'm still not entirely sure how I feel about the ending of DoGaM. I liked it but I still haven't completely made up my mind... Maybe because I just want more of this world XD The series had such an epic plot and great characters! Especially Ziri, Zuzana, and Mik!

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  13. I haven't read this series at all, I'm so behind it lol but I'm planning on to reading it soon though - I'm glad you liked it though. Great Review! I love the way your layout looks & blog format :D

    Benish | Feminist Reflections

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  14. Ah! So first of all, I really like this review format, I had to say it! I hope it works out for you :)

    And I am so, so happy that you gave the series a second chance and ended up liking it more this time around :D I fell in love with these books straight away ♥ Karou was a wonderful protagonist, her friendship with Zuzanna was beyond adorable and I loved Akiva pretty much from the word go. I think Laini's delicious prose is what MADE the series for me though! Like you, my favorite of the trilogy was DoB&S, followed closely by DoS&B. I loved DoG&M too but it fell a tiny bit flat for me - only compared to the previous two books. I agree though that it ended the series perfectly! Excellent series review Mel ^^ xox

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    1. It felt good to review the series this way, so I'm going to keep it up for other binge-reads. Her writing-style is goooorgeous.

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  15. I had to skim this after a few paragraphs because I haven't read the last 2 books yet, but I intend to soon! I thought Laini Taylor's words were breathtaking and her imagination so vividly wonderful. So glad to hear you enjoyed it and I can't wait to hear everything breaking out in Dreams of Gods and Monsters!

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  16. I've been on the fence about this series, unsure of whether or not it would be worth the read because I've seen many lukewarm reviews. But, I've still been a bit curious and after your review it seems like it may still be in the running for a series I read in 2015.

    Thank you for reviewing the entire series all at once! I actually really like that set up and don't see it very often.

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    1. Thanks Auggie! I'm going to try to keep up with this format for certain series. I liked writing it this way.

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  17. I've only read the first one,but I loved it a lot.I am a sucker for complicated,dark and intense books,and this one is one of my favourites in that category.
    I also loved the characters,especially Karou and Zuzana.

    Mishma @ Chasing Faerytales

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  18. I plan on reading this series at some point next year. The books are huge so I'm sorta terrified. But I already read Night of Cake & Puppets and was in awe of Laini Taylor's writing.

    Glad you enjoyed these!

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  19. YES! to Laini's way with words. She is hands down one of three authors whose words just reach right into your heart and soul. You can *feel* the words on the page they are so poignant. I loved getting the "whole" story of Akiva and Karou in DoSaB. I find that storyline so freaking epic even if it eventually fell a little flat for you with Akiva :/ But I agree with you on how she does get gruesome with all her books. And I love it. LOVE this series! Great review, Mel!

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