Author: Laini Taylor
Series: Daughter of Smoke & Bone #1
Rating: 4 / 5 stars
Wow, what a twisted, unique and fantastical world Taylor made. Karou manages her life between two very different worlds. In one life, she goes to private school with best friend Zuzana in Prague. In the other, she runs errands for Brimstone, collecting teeth from people and animals, and using Brimstone's doorway to travel across the global for said errands. Not only does Brimstone repay her with a small flat in Prague, but she gets paid in magic beads as well, which she uses to seek revenge on her cheating ex-boyfriend.
Then strange things start to occur around the globe, and sightings of creatures seemingly like angels are spotted marking doorways with hand prints, including Brimstone's. Add to the fact the secret hiding behind the door with creatures Brimstone has always refused to reveal for her, and Karou's life becomes more and more complicated. Then the inconceivable happens, and her life is thrown upside down with her two worlds split apart.
Enter Akiva, who is somehow linked to these mysterious hand prints, and Karou gets more than she bargained for on her quest for answers and to reconnect the two halves of her lives. As Akiva's story unfolds, Karou finds out they may have more in common than she ever would have guessed.
Daughter of Smoke and Bones is unique and full of intrigue as we navigate two worlds full of magic, mythical creatures, and monsters. Taylor does an excellent job of developing the characters, even the characters introduced long into the novel. I never could have guessed where Taylor was taking the plot, but it wasn't a surprise twist right at the end that was so far out of left field that it was difficult to swallow. The progression of the plot works well and plays out with increasing pace and suspense. By the end, while a large number of the mysteries are revealed, Karou still has a long mission ahead, and I am eagerly ready to dive into the next installment of the series.