[Review #82] Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor Cover - Review Title: Daughter of Smoke and Bone
Series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone
Book one
Author: Laini Taylor
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Young Adult
[Goodreads | Book Depository]


Around the world, black hand prints 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?


Whatever I expected from this book was definitely not what I read from this book. I picked up Daughter of Smoke and Bone simply because most reviews rave about this book in every way. Now I’m left here wondering why I didn’t feel the same way.

Maybe I didn’t enjoy this book as much because I hadn’t really wanted to read it of my own accord? I only did read it because I wanted to see what the hype was about, and since I have only seen rave reviews of this book I thought it would be one of those books that I would fall in love with and claim I would have regretted not giving this a go.

Well. Honestly? Daughter of Smoke and Bone was not as riveting for me as it seems it was for most reviewers. In fact I finished this book feeling relieved I had finally finished it.

I was very surprised to find out that the plot is more about romance than anything else. I’m not a huge fan when the romance takes the forefront of the plot, I like it when it’s secondary. Don’t get me wrong there are definitely other elements to the plot. In fact the first half of this book didn’t have any romance; that was my favourite part. But when the romance does appear it suddenly felt like this is what the book thrives on. Therefore, I ended up being very disappointed.

The saving grace of this book for me was the beginning and the whole first half. The beginning of Daughter of Smoke and Bone was intriguing, interesting and had me really wanting to find out what Karou was. I liked the mystery more than knowing exactly what was going on. When Akiva was introduced I was even more intrigued. Who was he? What was he? As I read on I grew more and more interested. But then suddenly the story changed; and then it went down hill from there.

The end half of this book bored me to no end. I felt like I was reading a different book. The story it was now telling felt like it was taking too long to tell, this part of the story made the world and the back story make a hell of a lot of more sense, but I also felt like it took too long to get to the point; to get to the reveal which I had already half figured out. I just got incredibly bored. When we finally found out what was really going on, all the mystery and excitement died right there and I just wanted it to end but there was still quite a bit to read.

The ending felt cliché to me and I don’t really have any interest to pick up the next book. I didn’t fall enough in love with Karou or Akiva for me to want to read on.

In summary:
– I just couldn’t get into the last half of the book, I loved the beginning and was intrigued but what came next disappointed me.
– I wasn’t a fan of the romance and the way it unfolded or the back story behind it. It wasn’t what I expected.
– The premise was interesting, the characters were great, put the plot just fell flat for me. The romance felt too overbearing.
– This just wasn’t the book for me.

Unfortunately Daughter of Smoke and Bone didn’t do it for me. If you’re into YA romance with an urban fantasy twist and paranormal and supernatural, give this a go. You will like it a whole lot more than I did! My not liking of this puts me in the very small percentage.

Miss J


13 thoughts on “[Review #82] Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

  1. I haven’t read this yet but bought it for the same reason as you – all the positive reviews. Like you, I don’t like romance at the forefront of the plot either. I don’t think I’ll be in a rush to read it now.

    Great review.

    • I feel like I’m the only one that feels like this about this book! The romance doesn’t really consume the plot until half way through till the end, I was surprised because the beginning of the book doesn’t set that up, so I was confused. But to be honest, the second book in this series might just be more based on the impending war rather than the romance.

  2. I am sorry you didn’t like it, I really enjoyed it but I totally understand not digging a book that everyone loves..I felt that way about the Raven Boys..everyone including my husband liked that one and I just couldn’t get into it!

  3. Eh, sorry you didn’t like it :( I really liked it when I read it last year, but I do agree with you that in the second half, the romance seemed to take charge of things. I did love what Taylor did with the angels, though. Finally they were represented as warriors instead of sparkling, harmless beings ( how cold of me : D ).

    I have a feeling that this book and the Unearthly books by Cynthia Hand are the only books about angels that haven’t completely messed things. When I think about other books with angels, my eyes cross. ( completely off topic, but true )

    • Yes! I liked the concept of the angels and the chimaera, I liked it a lot more than how the last half of the book read :/ For me I can never like a book as much if it revolves or thrives around a romance. It’s way more entertaining when the romance is a by product of the plot and real story. And I’m not a fan of romances based on things like literal soul mates or whatever. This romance felt like that in a way, even though its not, so I think that’s why I couldn’t really enjoy it.

      Haha me too! Angel books are usually a miss for me so when I come across one that works I feel like its a miracle!

  4. Sorry to hear that this didn’t work out for you. I wasn’t crazy about the last few chapters, either; I felt like the story really lost its momentum there and got too lovey-dovey. I liked the book overall, though, and have to get around to reading the sequel eventually.

    • Oh definitely, the momentum felt like it slowed right down to a crawl which surprised me and I found I couldn’t get over it. I do think that this is also because I was really enjoying the first half but at the same time I wasn’t sure if I actually liked it. If that makes any sense. So when the last half come and didn’t make up for my indecision about liking it, I ended up getting bored instead :/

  5. I was curious about this one too. But since you said the romance takes over the story about halfway, I’m thinking I need to pass on it.

    Nice review though! It helped me make an informed decision!

    • I definitely think it’s worth a shot if you like the sound of the plot! I seriously feel like I am the only person that didn’t like this book at all, so there’s a 90% chance you will really like this!

  6. Pingback: [Sunday Catch Up] May 6th – May 12th | Miss Book Reviews

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