ARGH. Such mixed feelings about this book. I finally picked it up and finished it in a week, hopping between the audiobook and the ebook. First off, it was probably the best audiobook I’ve ever listened to. Christine Hvam’s narration brought the story to life in a way for me that was more intriguing than when I first attempted to read the book a few weeks ago.
What I liked :
The world is gorgeous. The chimaera and angels, their worlds, the whole idea behind Brimstone and the teeth…it was all vivid and surreal. From Zusana’s quirky charm to the pitiful, yet grotesque Razgut, Laini Taylor’s characters were equally captivating. So imaginative, I felt like there was an immense amount of potential to the story.
What I disliked :
Things started to fall apart for me when Akiva came into the story. I was hoping he would be our story’s villain, to be honest. But then our epic fantasy action mystery adventure slowly devolved into a romantic tale of star-crossed lovers. The world around it was still incredible, but I was disappointed at the romance being the central and driving factor for the story.
Plus, I wish their backstory was revealed slowly throughout their journey through Elsewhere. Instead, we have this epic story set-up that kind of just grinds to a halt as the backstory becomes the whole second half of the book. It doesn’t feel like a climax, it feels like two separate stories, instead of that mysterious history unfolding along with the rest of the plot. Harry Potter, Shades of Magic and even The Mortal Instruments series does this pretty well – giving you nuggets of answers across a series of subplots. Also even the original romance felt kind of…rushed? All of sudden? Kind of beastiality-ish?
Daughter of Smoke and Bones is chock full of gorgeous, inventive dark characters and worlds, but is ultimately let-down in the latter half of the book with an overdose of romance and cheese.
By no means is it a bad book though, there’s definitely enough here for me to pick up the second book. I just wish there was more action and less heart fluttering. I’m impressed with Laini Taylor’s creativity though. It may have bumped Strange the Dreamer much higher on my TBR list than it used to be.