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Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Narrated by: Khristine Hvam
Series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Book 1
Length: 12 hrs and 32 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (706 ratings)

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Summary

"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

What members say

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Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

ASTONISHING

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.
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A rare 5 stars for this and a whole lot of bated breath for the sequel!Lx

27 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

A well crafted piece of fantasy

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.

15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Who, or what, is Karu?

If you could sum up Daughter of Smoke and Bone in three words, what would they be?

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.

What other book might you compare Daughter of Smoke and Bone to, and why?

I would compare this to wicked lovely, another book that keeps you guessing without making too much of this as a plot device.

What about Khristine Hvam’s performance did you like?

I liked most of her voices, she makes it really easy to keep track of who is speaking.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Does addiction to the storyline count??

Any additional comments?

Does need a bit of concentration at times, so not the best book for driving to, but a good bedtime or sunbathing book.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant

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.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Normally a big YA fan but, meh...

I love reading and listening to YA literature. Most good stories can be enjoyed by people of all ages. But this book just did t do it for me. I'm quitting before the end. The characters are childishly gruesome and the story is predictable. The narrator doesn't help. She has an overly bubbly tone and the accents are pretty terrible. Pick a better story, like The Red Queen.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

First audiobook I ever stopped listening to

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.

14 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Definitely YA

I listen to a wide range of books and quite like Young Adults fiction & fantasy.unfortunately, this one is a bit too much bad ass woman power and weeping angel for my liking. My daughter (13) will love it and it's perfect if you are looking for a modern/fantasy/slightly soppy Romeo and Juliet Superwoman story...but hopefully with a happy ending, never made it that far...saying that, it might develop over time seeing that it is a series, but not for me...

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Enjoyable in every way

Would you consider the audio edition of Daughter of Smoke and Bone to be better than the print version?

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.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Akiva and Karou, main characters. Chemistry and tragic impossibility.

What about Khristine Hvam’s performance did you like?

Loved it!!!!!! I will be searching for more books read by her.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

YES, definitely!

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A Fairytale Feast

Dazzling fantasy and lore. A romance filled with gripping twists and turns. Loved the story!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Start of an epic series

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Starting this much-loved series that has been on my tbr forever was my main reading aim for the beginning of the year.

I do not like angel stories, I avoid them at all costs. There’s only one thing worse than this and that’s angel and demon stories. An hour into this listen and it was beginning to become apparent that there were creatures and then there were angels. What I found was that this wasn’t a Christian depiction of those beings but otherworldy, yet set in our world. I was able to get into this aspect.

I loved lots about this book but primarily, I loved Karou. She was a character of quirks and giftings that was fascinating. She was also a character full of heart and passion and that was catching. There was an amazing friendship between her and Zuzana that was funny, loyal and heartbreaking too. I was unsure about Brimstone, he creeped me out whilst I found him endearing in moments.

Akiva was a late entry to the proceedings, certainly in the background for much of the first half of the book but when he came face to face with Karou, oh boy, I just sat back and listened. There was something deep and mesmerising when these two were together and they convinced me of their pull pretty quickly. They made me think of Romeo and Juliet, in fact their whole tale did. When all was said and done, the story of Madrigle gave that perspective that slotted everything into place, but it was not a comfortable tale within a tale.

The narration was exceptional for this book. Khristine Hvam narrates with emotion and a wide range of impressive accents. She helped me truly sink into the story.

So, am I fan? Yes I am. Can I deal with these angels and creatures? In this situation, yes I can. There’s maybe a lesson to be learnt for me not to toss certain tropes and contexts out of hand immediately. The proof of this story is really in the fact that I’ve already started book two, mere hours after finishing book one. Thank you to everyone who’s ever recommended this book to me over the years, I got there in the end.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • The Walkie Talkie
  • 07-09-15

One of my favorite series

I first read this book just before it was released and was immediately captivated by it. having read the whole series now it was really interesting to listen to the audio book version of it. The lyrical magic of the writing fits beautifully in an audio book. I love it.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Jodie
  • 29-11-11

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....



SPOILER



... 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.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Zee db
  • 09-04-19

Brilliant series

I will read anything Laini Taylor writes, she has a beautiful mind and a lyrical writing style and her world-building is superb.
Khristene Hvam did an admirable performance and I will gladly listen to her narration of the rest of the series.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kerryn
  • 16-08-15

Can we just...

Totally lived up to the hype! The story and writing was beautiful and absolutely fantastic, the narrator was surprisingly great (I love the accents especially!) and the ending was completely heartbreaking...

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Moonglotexas
  • 14-09-14

What a different and awesome book!

If you could sum up Daughter of Smoke and Bone in three words, what would they be?

Eastern fantasy mystique

What did you like best about this story?

It is so unusual in style and story line. I loved every minute and hungry for the next!

What about Khristine Hvam’s performance did you like?

The accents and interpretation of lines brings the book to life brilliantly. She makes the story fly!

Any additional comments?

Buy it now!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • GGx
  • 14-05-14

Keep Going!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

When I first started reading this story I got really bored and ended up putting it down, but it had come highly recommended by a trusted source so I turned back to it several months later and pushed on through. I'm so glad I did.

What did you like best about this story?

The characters in this story are really captivating and whilst they seem to start out ambling aimlessly through the pages without very much excitement at all, that soon changes and you find yourself willing them forward.

What about Khristine Hvam’s performance did you like?

I've given the performance four stars; it could have been five since Khristine Hvam performs this audiobook brilliantly capturing all of the individual characters with one voice. The only slip ups which dropped the star for me were several mispronunciations of words like gibbet (which appeared a lot in the text and so it got distracting), which you can forgive the reader for if they don't know the word, but what was unforgivable and very annoying was the complete change of pronunciation of the character's name Liraz, which she ended up changing to Leeeraz, towards the end of the series.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

What I loved most was the intertwining of plot: how so much that happened was dependant on events previous with cause and effect being wielded like a master. It had wonderful continuity and fluidity, and you found yourself willing Karou and Akiva to achieve their goals.

Any additional comments?

It is a slow start, but don't let that stop you. Loved it.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Darren
  • 01-01-13

This story rocks!

I loved this story and the sequel. Laini Taylor is one of the best contemporary fantasy writers.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Hilde-Gunn
  • 15-07-12

Innovative and well-written

Would you listen to Daughter of Smoke and Bone again? Why?

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.

What did you like best about this story?

I liked that it is innovative and deals with a completely new concept in the YA-world.

Which scene was your favorite?

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.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Elain
  • 16-03-12

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.


  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
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  • phrynne
  • 05-02-12

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.