Monthly Archives: November 2011

Daughter of Smoke and Bones by Laini Taylor

Reading Daughter of Smoke and Bones, the first installment in a new trilogy by Laini Taylor, is worth the frustration of the agonizing wait for the next two installments. The book, a spectacularly written YA paranormal, seamlessly integrates science fiction and reality and offers a heroine who is neither a wallflower nor defined by her sassy quips, which is often what passes for “character” in some of these hastily marketed books. In Karou, the heroine, Taylor has created a unique and captivating individual, one to whom the reader can connect and whose story we are eager to follow.

Karou, however, is only one of the many reasons why Daughter of Smoke and Bones is a must read for fans of the paranormal/scifi genre. Taylor has created a richly layered world that both complements and stands in opposition to our own, and the characters she chooses to inhabit this world are as memorable as their environs.

The difficulty in reviewing this book is not to give too much away. Karou, an art student in Prague with naturally growing blue hair, runs mysterious errands for her adopted family of otherworldly black market dealers who specialize in wishes and trade in teeth. Karou’s identity is the biggest reveal of the book, as is the truth about the black hands that have been appearing burned on doors all over the world. While some of the plot devices are not unique, Taylor has breathed new life into them, rendering them, if not original, unforgettable.

Why you might love this book: Creative and memorable in character and plot, this book is a great read.

Why you might not love this book: If you hate waiting for the next installment, you may want to hold off until Taylor complete the trilogy.

Rating: 5 out of 5 black cats.

 

Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers

ISBN-10: 0316134023

ISBN-13: 978-0316134026

Advertisements

Drink Deep by Chloe Neill

I would be lying if I said I hadn’t been waiting for the arrival Drink Deep, the fifth installment of Chloe Neill’s Chicagoland Vampire series since I read all four of the previous books in the series in two days over the summer. I would also be lying if I, like most of Neill’s intelligent readers, weren’t waiting with two specific questions in mind (SPOILER ALERT if you haven’t read the fourth book in the series):

  1. How is Neill going to bring master vampire, love interest, and man candy, Ethan Sullivan, back from the dead?
  2. How many books will it take to do so?

While I am certainly not able to answer these questions in this review, I can tell you that, as readers, we are destined to do some more waiting in this book. We are waiting, endless pages, for Merit to quit mourning Sullivan and get back to being the sassy “Ponytailed Avenger” that has made her one of the leading lights in the paranormal/urban fantasy lit market. We are waiting for Neill to allow her heroine to solve the latest “mystery” offered for this book: this time it is the natural landscape of Chicago that has gone haywire, with lakes turning black and skies turning red. Perhaps most frustrating about all of this waiting is that Neill shows her hand a bit too early in the book, and the reader will have figured out what is causing all the trouble long before the book gets around to revealing it.

All this waiting, however, is not without perks. Merit, even languishing in grief, is better than no Merit at all, and there are a number of entertaining side plots to keep us entertained. Moreover, Neill leaves the reader with a satisfying ending with a big enough cliffhanger that this reader will definitely be coming back for the next installment.

Why you might love this book: In a word: Merit. Also, you knew you were going to read it anyway!
Why you might not love this book: Neill has dug herself a bit of a hole here, as this book has to stand next to the other books in the series, and it just doesn’t have quite the same sass and style as its predecessors.

Rating: Three out of five black cats.

Publisher: Penguin USA

ISBN: 9780451234865