"Errand requiring immediate attention. Come."
The note was on vellum, pierced by the talons of the almost-crow that delivered it. Karou read the message. 'He never says please', she sighed, but she gathered up her things. When Brimstone called, she always came.
In general, Karou has managed to keep her two lives in balance. On the one hand, she's a 17-year-old art student in Prague; on the other, errand-girl to a monstrous creature who is the closest thing she has to family. Raised half in our world, half in 'Elsewhere', she has never understood Brimstone's dark work - buying teeth from hunters and murderers - nor how she came into his keeping. She is a secret even to herself, plagued by the sensation that she isn't whole.
Now the doors to Elsewhere are closing, and Karou must choose between the safety of her human life and the dangers of a war-ravaged world that may hold the answers she has always sought.
©2011 Laini Taylor (P)2011 Hachette Audio
@ Scattered Figments
I listened to this on audiobook courtesy of my beautiful monthly membership to Audible. It was astonishingly good. The prose was colourful, imaginative and sophisticated. There were moments when I found my brain chewing over a dazzlingly brilliant metaphor or simile that just left me reeling in a post-literary glow. I don't even care how dodgy that sounds.
I am in love not only with Taylor (who has very pink hair, by the way), but with her wonderful protagonist, the tattooed, blue-haired Karou. She was a girl who lived between worlds and who knew just how to sharpen the pointy-end of a witty one liner. I am in love with all of Taylor's characters. Akiva (a swoon-worthy Seraph) was a fairly typical male interest who was rather predictable. Nonetheless, he was a literary hottie. Karou's best buddy, a tiny Czech girl by the name of Zusana kept me giggling throughout.
The characters were beautifully drawn, the setting made me want to hop on the next plane to Prague and Taylor's writing made me want to keep chipping away at the dense old block that is my skill at crafting words. I don;t want to write too much about the plot here as I wouldn't want to give the game away. I will, however, say that the structure of Taylor's narrative was, if not a breath of fresh air, then a good old spritz of Fabreeze to the somewhat stale and tattily-woven fabric of some YA reads.
A rare 5 stars for this and a whole lot of bated breath for the sequel!Lx
First: I really enjoyed this book. I actually fell asleep listening (not 'cos it was boring but because it was late) and this gave the whole experience a definitely dreamlike quality. Re-listening awake, its still good, even for a not so young adult. Of course seen in context of the fantasy genre as a whole, this ticks all the well known boxes, another world on the the side of a door (CS Lewis, Pullman), angels (Pullman again) so the underlying ideas aren't really new. But this need not matter as it is beautifully, lyrically written and read (even if in a US accent). And it takes the ideas and adds romance, which is certainly lacking in all the other versions. So I'm on tenter hooks for the next instalment.
This is a wonderful book. The style is quite modern but it is beautifully written. I absolutely loved the narration as well and have been looking for more more more from the writer and narrator both. MUST get this if you love fantasy. So good.
Loved the story. Bought the next volume in the trilogy right away and now I cannot wait until September 2014 when the next volume of trilogy is published. One of the best narrators I have listened to. Very enjoyable indeed.
Akiva and Karou, main characters. Chemistry and tragic impossibility.
Loved it!!!!!! I will be searching for more books read by her.
I read so I don't kill people!
This book starts in a deceptively simple way, with a girl acting as a carrier for her family. Albeit this is a rather unusual family of mixed creatures. Karu herself lives in Prague, and has a fairly normal school life, but one day she sees something she shouldnt, gets very hurt, and makes the reader start to wonder just what is behind the doors, and why is she collecting teeth?!
This is an interesting story, where you are kept guessing as to who exactly is good or bad, and it doesnt get any easier as the protagonists history is revealed. Easily one of the best of the current paranormal slew of angel based books, and one suitable for older children, but not younger ones due to some of the fights and deaths, none of which are in great detail, and well justified in the storyline.
Gave it four stars, as I hate books ending on deliberate cliff hangers, why cant they at least write a partial ending, and be a good enough read anyway for me to buy the next book? That said, a lot of ends were tied up, so wouldnt be too frustrating to read alone.
So, in 3, engaging, exciting, and immersive.
I would compare this to wicked lovely, another book that keeps you guessing without making too much of this as a plot device.
I liked most of her voices, she makes it really easy to keep track of who is speaking.
Does addiction to the storyline count??
Does need a bit of concentration at times, so not the best book for driving to, but a good bedtime or sunbathing book.
I'm sorry to say that this is the first audiobook I ever stopped listening to. I listened exactly halfway through and when it did not pick up I decided to just drop it and wait for my next credit.
What I should say is that this is not terrible, but also not very good. I think the mistake I made was listening to this as an adult, because I do think I would have enjoyed this as a teenager. If you like the Twilight films chances are you will love this book, and if so don't let this review put you off.
The story in itself isn't so bad and after a few hours I even thought the book did show some promise, but as is made painfully clear it turns into a love story and not a very good one. Slow, sleazy and a serious amount of words describing two people looking at each other. Again and again. Other 'side'-parts of the book, mostly when Karou, the hero, hung out with her friend Suzana made me cringe. Tried to be funny but didn't work.
I'm really making this sound worse than it is, as said before I probably would have liked this fifteen years ago. Overall, don't bother if you don't like Twilight and books/shows similar to that.
Definitely ,narrators voice worked perfectly.
Magic,devils and angels,with a touch of romance-but not gushy
Perfect if you want to sink into fantasy for a few hours
If you read one fantasy book this year PLEASE make it this one.
I saw a lot of people raving over this story and when it appeared on my recommendations, I decided to get myself the audio version from Audible and delve right in to Karou's world. And I am SO glad I did. As with most audio books it has taken me a while to reach the end of this book, but now that I have: I have to say that 12.5 hours was NOT enough. I'm so glad there are sequels!!!
Daughter of Smoke and Bone is an epic story of fantastic beasts, an incredible war and an epic, mysterious love story that just keeps unfolding, showing you more hidden gems of amazing writing and talented storytelling in every single chapter. Characterisation is superb: even the characters that I hate, I still had to love their creation and existence (Thiago for one). The human and non-human characters are all so relatable and perfectly described so that I could picture the whole adventure really clearly in my mind.
I know from experience that this book can come off looking like just another YA fantasy love story from the outside, but once you're inside this story it's a whole 'nother thing! This book is a whole world to step into that you'll never want to leave: beautiful, joyous, tragic and so powerful that I'll be thinking about Karou, Brimstone and Akiva for a very long time to come! I can't wait to get some more storytelling from Laini Taylor - she is a writer to love for the rest of your life.
I would also like to particularly mention the outrageous talent of the narrator of this book, superb voices that really made me feel every iota of emotion in the story and did wonders to really clearly characterise each individual.
Having discovered Audible I have found an electic mix of genres which I have thoroughly enjoyed, one of the best being 'Daughter of Smoke and Bone' by Liani Taylor. This is the first of two books which are set in different worlds with secret interlinking doorways as access points. Essentially, it is a love story but one of forbidden love between two individuals from opposing, warring sides. I say 'individuals' because you really need to read this book in order to appreciate the differences and subtle similarities between them, each a wonderful combination of angelic yet diabolical nature and totally ruthless at times. Having spent the past two weekends painstakingly decorating, I was thoroughly entertained and transported by the storyline, the twists and, indeed, the narrator herself Khristine Hvam, who apparently effortlessly changed her accent and timbre of voice according to who was speaking. Marvellous....as is the second of book as well!
There are a couple reviews complaining about the narrator of this book. Yes, she is american, so yes, her accent is a little whiny and nasal. If you absolutely CANNOT stand american narrators then I don't recommend this audiobook, but the sample is plenty long enough to figure out whether you like her voice or not.
I have enjoyed her narration very much, despite my usual aversion to american accents in audiobooks particularly fantasy. In this case, I think she suits the book very well and her reading is rich and involved with the story. Her slavic accents are great and she handles male characters pretty well too.
The book itself is good, it might share some aspects with other fantasy universes but that is a really difficult thing to avoid, and there was plenty of originality here that kept me interested. I wouldn't recommend it for pre-teens and it is probably a perfect teenage girl book but I think it has more than enough integrity and depth to keep an adult listener interested. It felt a little short, perhaps, but there was a lot of character backstory to block out and hopefully it will lead up to more plot advancement in future books. Looking forward to listening to more of this series.
"Original story idea, not enough chemistry"
I really liked the premise for this book. The mystery of the teeth and why Karous is running the mysterious errands is enough to keep you hooked but ultimately I didn't....
... buy into the chemistry between Karou and Akiva. There just wasn't enough to it and I found that I didn't care enough about their relationship. I would also have loved to hear more about Karou's other family but there just wasn't enough details on this either.
I really liked Karou as a character, she was interesting and brave but otherwise I don't know if I will bother with the next book. This book just didn't draw me in enough.
"This story rocks!"
I loved this story and the sequel. Laini Taylor is one of the best contemporary fantasy writers.
"Innovative and well-written"
I almost never listen to an audiobook twice unless it is part of a series and the next book in the series has come out and I can't remember the previous book. So, I guess I will listen to this book again when the sequel comes out.
I liked that it is innovative and deals with a completely new concept in the YA-world.
Ah, it is hard to pick a favourite scene since I enjpyde the whole concept so very much. I like that the author has managed to create an entire new world and that it is logical in it's own way.
"A magical fantasy world"
I've chosen this book on a whim and was very happy I did so. It is a magical story, somewhat different from the typical fantasy set-up: you won't find the was of angels and chimerae in many books. I was starting to feel a bit bored when getting to the middle of the book, but then it was as if the whole new world has suddenly opened before me and I became totally engrossed again.
I am pretty sure, it is mostly meant for teenagers, but still it was refreshing to find a fantasy book without mountains of gore and pages of love-making.
It is also very well narrated.
"Story starts well"
Sadly it quickly becomes tedious. Too much drama and too many stunningly beautiful people. The story gets lost in the endless descriptions. The narrator did her best with what she had.
The story line, the way it gripped you and them as you read the more revealed of what things were and why.. found it all very fascinating and gripping
Brimstone - as he is a contradiction of sorts and a strong grounded character
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