Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor — A Twilightian YA Dressed in Prague Rags

I liked Karou’s character. She was kind but not spineless. When she showed vulnerability, it only made me like her more. But that was pre-Akiva, of course.

For instance, how her relationship began with Akiva showed that it was rooted in just physical attraction. After being in a relationship with a good-looking asshole, it seemed weird that she would let herself be drawn to someone based on just their appearance. She began to act like an idiot from the moment Akiva showed his sparkly self and tried to kill her. Sound familiar? Thought it would!

Akiva is the same skeevy much-older hero that many YA novelists like creating. He stalks a teenager, follows her home, and then watches her sleep. Yeesh!

Madrigal, I couldn’t find a believable character at all. Your race has been fighting a war for centuries. Out of all the seraphs you have seen butcher your people, you pick one, and then decide to let him live? Why didn’t you do this for others if you claim to believe in peace and all? Also, why are you so good and flawless? And if a high human aspect is the standard of beauty, doesn’t that make you a hypocrite?

The main issue I had with this book was that its two halves present as two different stories. The first one is written in melodious language and had the potential to turn into something unique! The second half feels as if written hastily and has no surprises in it. I really really didn’t want Karou to be Madrigal sigh but the visions clued me in as to how the second half would go.

Karou lost even more of her charm in the second half. How could not know what Akiva had done? The portals exploded; Kismish (by the way, in Urdu that word means raisin lol) burned himself to cinders right in her hands, and all of this only started when Akiva came to town.

For a war general, the White Wolf, seemed to act like a horny teenager too. He ranted in front of one of the enemy, telling him the biggest secret that was keeping the Wolf’s race alive. After being used to war and subterfuge, how can anyone be this dense?

I could nitpick some more but I think you get the idea. Let’s see what happens in the second one!

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