TITLE: Daughter of Smoke & Bone
SERIES: Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Book #1
AUTHOR: Laini Taylor
NARRATOR: Khristine Hvam
PUBLISHER: Hachette Audio
PUBLICATION: September 27, 2011
FORMAT: Unabridged Audiobook, 12 hours 32 minutes
GENRE: Young Adult, Fantasy/Paranormal
SYNOPSIS FROM GOODREADS:
Around the world, black handprints 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 grown 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?
I received this audiobook for review from Hachette Audio. I did not receive any compensation for my review, and the views expressed herein are my own.
I devoured this book! It is one of those books that is impossible to put down!!
Karou is a beautiful 17 year-old young woman with hair the colour of lapis lazuli. She lives in Prague, where she attends an art school. She has filled dozens and dozens of sketch pads with her work. Her best friend, Zusana, and her classmates are awe-struck with her sketches of chimaera – creatures that have mismatched body parts, some even part human. What Karou’s friends don’t realize, however, is that the chimaera are real; they are Karou’s beloved family.
Karou does not know how she came to become a part of this strange family. Her pseudo-father, Brimstone (who has the head of a ram, but with human arms and torso), collects teeth but Karou has no idea what he does with them. Although stand-offish and a little brusque, it is evident that he cares deeply for Karou. Twiga, who has the neck of a giraffe, assists Brimstone in his work. Karou’s mother figures are Issa (whose bottom half is serpent and her top half is human) and Yasri (the cook, who has a beak like a parrot). As a child, Karou lived in the shop with her chimaera family. Where is the shop exactly? Brimstone calls it “Elsewhere.” Now that she is older, Karou lives in the regular world. When Brimstone needs to see her, he summons her by sending Kishmish, a black crow with wings like a bat who carries messages like a carrier pigeon.
Brimstone often sends Karou on “errands,” which consists of meeting with people all over the world to collect teeth. From Brimstone’s shop, Karou can enter through portals all over the world. When the shop’s door is re-opened, Karou is magically transported to exotic destinations like Marrakesh. In exchange for the teeth, the traders receive coins which can grant wishes. The coins have different values, just like money: The greater the wish, the greater the coin that is needed. Simple wishes can be granted with scuppies. Then come shing, lucknow, gavriel, and the all-powerful bruxis.
It is difficult to say much more without ruining the story. It is difficult not to fall in love with Karou, Akiva, and the chimaera. I was completed transfixed by this world with magical portals and other-worldly creatures. It is a story of love, betrayal, and loss. Taylor has created a world that is so rich in detail that I felt as though I was part of the story.
This story was not narrated – it was PERFORMED – by Khristine Hvam. The word “narration” does not do Hvam justice! She has extraordinary vocal talents, and she created unique voices for each character. I highly recommend listening to this story as opposed to reading it. You will not be disappointed!!
I will be eagerly waiting for Daughter of Smoke & Bone to continue with the next in the series, which is slated for Fall 2012.
MY RATING: 5 stars!! Highly recommended, and definitely one to be cherished and read again and again! Thank you, Hachette Audio, for the opportunity to review this audiobook!
This book qualifies as:
#87 for my 2011 100+ Reading Challenge
#37 for my 2011 Audio Book Challenge
#37 for my 2011 "Whisper Stories in My Ear" Challenge
#19 for my 1st In a Series Challenge 2011