#87- Daughter of Smoke and Bone
Let me preface this by saying that I am not a fan of fantasy books. I read books to imagine a different life for myself, so I usually prefer books with characters I can relate to and place into my own life. For that reason and a few others this book was not one of my favorites.
Daughter of Smoke and Bone is about a girl named Karou (also a pet peeve, when authors include names that are impossible to pronounce, whatever happened to plain old Anna or Kate?) who lives a secret life. On the surface she goes to an art school in Prague and maintains a relationship with her best friend Zuzana (another one of those names) and draws mysterious creatures in her sketch book. To everyone else these are strange creatures that Karou imagines in her head. To Karou, they are family.
Karou was raised by mystical creatures called chimaera, parts of animals and humans morphed together to create a creature of magical proportion. They can be leaders and fighters and although they are scary, Karou loves them. In their world they trade teeth for wishes, and Karou is sent on missions all around the world. She opens one door and is sent into another country and when she knocks back on that door is sent back into the shop to give her teeth for approval to her father figure Brimstone. He has been taking care of her as long as she can remember and in return for her teeth errands he gives her strands of beads with wishes on them. She uses these for petty reasons such as turing her hair blue or giving her enemy thick ever growing eyebrows, much to Brimstones dismay.
She is living in her happy strange world, that is until one day, when all of the doors burst into flames and a strange man comes into her world, named Akiva. He is trying to kill her, saying that she is the devil. On a run for her life and trying to figure out what is true and what is false, Karou leads us down a mysterious path to the story of her life.
Here's the deal. I found myself really intrigued with this book in the middle, it was fast paced and I didnt want to put it down. That is until they started adding in all of this confusing flashback back story. I couldnt figure out what was important and what was real current life and I found myself flipping through the pages impatiently wanting to know the ending. I think one of the most important parts of a book is making sure to give your readers enough of the ending throughout the book so that they arent constantly flipping pages confused and wanting more.
For those reasons and my general dislike of extreme fantasy books I wasnt a fan of this. I could see where different reading styled people would really enjoy this book and I am not completely opposed to suggesting it to people, there is a reason that it made the top 100. I just wasnt a fan.
“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.”