Title: Daughter of Smoke and Bone
Author: Laini Taylor
Expected publication: September 27th 2011 by Little, Brown & Company
Source: ARC from publisher for review
Summary: "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 otherworldly 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?"
Thoughts:Daughter of Smoke and Bone has everything I love about reading. From the exotic, vivid setting, to the alluring and captivating characters and finally the elegant, brilliant writing, I easily fell in love with this book. I cannot tell you how many times I've put down whatever I was reading, just to go back, pick up this novel, and reread all of my favorite scenes. Really, it's that good.
Daughter of Smoke and Bone stands out far beyond all the other angel books. Why is that? Well, believe it or not, while this book is about the battle between angels and devils, it has nothing to do with religion. It's about war, freedom, love, sacrifice, pain, hatred, but most of all hope.
"Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love. It did not end well."
From the very first line, I was sold and trapped in the story for days. Karou is a normal seventeen year old girl, with a not so normal life. She was raised in a shop, where teeth and pain will buy you different levels of wishes. Brimstone, the Wishmonger, is the one who raised her and her family consists of chimaera, part human, part something else. She runs errands for Brimstone in exchange for wishes, where she uses them frivolously on things like her hair (it grows out blue).
All her life, she has wondered who she is, and how she ended up with Brimstone. It's not that she has lived a bad life, but that no one will tell her who or, maybe what she is. Then, while in a market in Marrakesh, she runs into Akiva, a gorgeous seraph with eyes like fire. He immediately attacks her, and she barely escapes, but yet, she can't help but feel something for him. What she doesn't know is that her and Akiva's lives intertwine in a way she never thought possible. And it will forever change.
What I love most about this book is how easy it is to fall in love with each and every character. While the story focuses mainly on Karou, you also get to experience other character's lives, such as Akiva and Brimstone. The chimaera and seraphim have been at war for as long as anyone can remember. All they know is war, but all the main characters are unique in the sense that they hope for something different. Something better that they never thought possible. The best way I can explain this story is from a line in the book.
"Hope can be a powerful force. Maybe there's no actual magic in it, but when you know what you hope for most and hold it like a light within you, you can make things happen, almost like magic."
I'm having the hardest time writing this review because, simple, it cannot be explained. It needs to be experienced by you, the reader, and everyone you've ever known or met. I'm not even kidding. Daughter of Smoke and Bone took my breath away and never gave it back. The love story behind it broke my heart, but also left me with, you guessed it, hope. This is one of the best novels I've read in quite some time. If this book is not on the best sellers list come release day, I will be shocked. I guarantee that this book will be the one everyone talks about, and really, do you want to be left out? I didn't think so.
This is a bit of a double giveaway. I am giving away an ARC of Daughter of Smoke and Bone to one US participate, but I'm also giving away a pre-ordered final copy of open to both US and international participants (provided the Book Depository delivers to your area). WOOHOO!!
To enter, please fill out THIS FORM. This giveaway will end September 14th, so I can not only get the ARC out to the winner before the release date, but also so the final copy winner will receive their copy ASAP (hopefully on release day).
Good luck, and may the odds be ever in your favor.