Saturday, April 20, 2019

Mini Reviews: Daughter Of Smoke & Bone || Days Of Blood & Starlight








Daughter Of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor



Series: Daughter of Smoke & Bone #1
Genre: Young adult fantasy
Pages: 418
Publication date: September 2011
Content warning: War, death, violence
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 grows 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?


Likes: The internet said I’d like this novel, and the internet was right! (Well, mostly.) I love Karou, Brimstone, and the weird magic system. I love all of the legends and all of the settings. When I finished this book, I was excited to read the next one, which is exactly what should happen with a series.

My favorite element of the story is the worldbuilding. Karou is a human who was raised by monsters, but she doesn’t know why. She has to keep her monster family hidden from her human friends, even as she runs endless mysterious errands for the monsters. I thoroughly enjoyed discovering Karou’s past along with her. The plot is twisty. And creepy. I kept getting blindsided by events in the best possible ways. This book is definitely not predictable.

I love the settings. Prague, Marrakesh, and the monster universe are all equally vivid. This novel is full of brilliant details that make the worlds come to life. Why is this book not a movie yet?


Have you ever asked yourself, do monsters make war, or does war make monsters?Daughter of Smoke & Bone



Dislikes: I hate Akiva. I really hate Akiva and Madrigal together. They remind me of Edward and Bella from Twilight. Everything is sappy, overwritten, and insta-lovey. Akiva sees this woman (actually, she’s more of a bat-gazelle) once, and he’s ready to give up his life for her. He doesn’t even know if she’s single! Calm down, dude.

This book is like a Greatest Hits CD for fantasy tropes. In addition to insta-love, readers will enjoy:

  1. A generic fantasy book title.
  2. I can’t tell you about your past for your own safety.
  3. The main characters are so stunningly attractive that no one can think clearly.
  4. Masquerade ball that allows enemy soldiers wearing masks to sneak onto the castle grounds because everybody seems to have forgotten there’s a war happening.



The Bottom Line: I did some eye-rolling, but it’s a fun, escapist story. I’m looking forward to the next in the series.








Days Of Blood & Starlight by Laini Taylor



Series: Daughter of Smoke & Bone #2
Genre: Young adult fantasy
Pages: 513
Publication date: November 2012
Content warning: War, death, violence, burglary, attempted rape, a pit full of rotting corpses
Art student and monster's apprentice Karou finally has the answers she has always sought. She knows who she is—and what she is. But with this knowledge comes another truth she would give anything to undo: She loved the enemy and he betrayed her, and a world suffered for it. 

While Karou and her allies build a monstrous army in a land of dust and starlight, Akiva wages a different sort of battle: a battle for redemption. For hope.


Likes: I was so excited to be back in this world! I still love it. Admittedly, I don’t read a ton of fantasy, but the world in this series is one of the most detailed worlds I’ve come across. Unlike with a lot of fantasy books, I never got frustrated by vague explanations. I think I mostly understand this place!

I still love Karou and loathe Akiva. She’s a badass; he’s whiny. I was happy that they were in separate worlds for most of the book because I didn’t have to put up with Akiva being a Debbie Downer in my Karou scenes. He could mope around his own parallel universe.

That ending, though? OMG, it’s brilliant. Karou is a mastermind. I hope her plan succeeds and doesn’t get her murdered by her own monsters. The twists in this series are very well thought out. I don’t see them coming, but they make perfect sense.


Once upon a time, a girl lived in a sandcastle, making monsters to send through a hole in the sky.Days of Blood & Starlight



Dislikes: I’m disappointed that I didn’t like this book as much as the first one in the series. The world is what made me fall in love with the first book, and there’s not much worldbuilding in the sequel. It’s mostly about the war between the species. It focuses on large-scale problems, which means the characters get a bit lost. I wanted to read about Karou and her adventures, but she spends 90% of her time building a monster army. I got bored waiting for something to happen.

I feel like this novel might have second book syndrome? Not much happens until the very end. (The very end is awesome, though.) The characters are mostly just preparing to overthrow some governments and stop some bad guys. Hopefully this book is setting up an awesome finale.




The Bottom Line: I got bored with this one, so I’m undecided if I want to read the third one. I'm leaning toward yes.









32 comments:

  1. I always loved the covers of these books but couldn't get into the books themselves. Sounds like you had a bit of a mixed bag with these two-hope you enjoy the third if you read it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The first one was so good! For me, the series went downhill from there.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

      Delete
  2. YESSSSSSSS I love this series. I am also not a fan a huge fan of Akiva. I think I enjoyed the book mostly because of how the world is built and Karou. It also makes me wonder who's the "bad team". I feel like both sides are pretty evil. I'm going to read the last book somewhere in the future because I'm curious on how it'll end!

    Elle Inked @ Keep on Reading

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The world building is excellent! I also loved that both sides had heroes and villains. That’s realistic in a war.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

      Delete
  3. Okay, you've talked me into trying it lol! I've seen these books around a lot, but I've never actually looked at them.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I've seen these.books around so much. They aren't my typical read so I haven't picked them up. Hope you like the third if you decide to pick it up!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I read the third one. It’s my least favorite of the three.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

      Delete
  5. I'm sad that you didn't love the second one as much as the first. I've been waiting to see what you thought to decide if I'm ever going to pick this series back up. I found myself a bit bored with the first one. :/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you got bored with the first one, then you probably won’t like the second one. I got bored with the second book.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

      Delete
  6. I felt the same way after reading the second book and tbh, I don't even remember what happens in the third book. It felt totally different and I got bored with it right away and didn't like it at all. I was thoroughly disappointed. Daughter of Smoke and Bones is the best out of the 3. You may enjoy it so I'd go for it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I read the third one. It was my least favorite of the three. The first one is definitely the best.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

      Delete
  7. I keep meaning to read these, but finding the time to start a new series is sometimes a problem. Hope the third book is better than the second.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I feel the same way about series. They take so much time to read that I tend to avoid them.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

      Delete
  8. I am glad the internet was right about the first book, but sorry to hear the second one hit the dreaded sophomore slump. Is there only one book left in the series? I don't know, I feel like if I invested time reading the first two, I would need to find out how it ended. Maybe some Cliff's notes or something. (does anyone know who Cliff is?)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I decided to read the third one because I wanted to know how it ended! I should have just stuck with the first book. I got bored with the other 2. I think there are 4 in the series.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

      Delete
  9. I owned the trilogy for years and finally realized that I just wasn't going to read them. I bought them years ago when they hype for them was huge. I remember the talk about the insta-love, though. Seems like that's not the only trope used!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nope. There are lots of tropes. The instalove bothered me the most because Akiva has the personality of damp toast.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

      Delete
  10. I haven't started this series yet but both of these are sitting on my shelf. I'm sorry to hear the second book was a little disappointing. I hope, if you decide to continue the series, that the next book is better.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I did continue the series, and it didn’t get better.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

      Delete
  11. I have not read this series >.< I think I own an ebook of the first one, so maybe sometime this year
    Sorry you found the character to be unlikeable

    ReplyDelete
  12. I know this is full of fantasy tropes, but back when I read these I loved them! I'm a bit more tired of fantasy now, so I don't know how I would feel reading them now. It seems my students never tire, and a lot of them really enjoyed this series.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Not sure this would be a series for me, especially if the world-building already starts to take a back seat in the second book. I do love the eye masks on the covers though!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Ha, I had to laugh at your list of tropes in the first book! I've been reading less fantasy lately, mostly because of tropes like those!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, the tropes are why I mostly avoid fantasy. I get tired of seeing the same things over and over.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

      Delete
  15. I keep thinking these books are not for me. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. ��✨

    ReplyDelete
  16. I have been really on the fence about whether to read this series. Everyone says the worldbuilding is awesome... and some readers complain about the insta-love and other issues. I've got to say that your "fantasy tropes greatest hits" list gave me the best laugh I've had all day! I have run into all of those at one point or another. But all of them in one book? I can't figure out if that's a reason to read it or a reason to avoid it!

    ReplyDelete
  17. I soooo want to start this series!! I hope I get a chance to.

    Mary

    ReplyDelete