So...this is my first post since the end of May. I apologize. I've been busy.
I read this book because a couple of people raved about it, and quite honestly, I have wasted enough brain cells on the self-published paranormal teen romances I have read recently, and I was ready to read something published by a real publisher. This post is not a rant about the generally unfortunate quality of free and/or cheap teen paranormal romances out there, but let me just say I won't be reading anymore of them for quite awhile. And that is enough on that.
Daughter of Smoke and Bone is somewhat difficult to define. I would have to classify it as part urban fantasy and part (I know!) teen paranormal romance but it is not quite either of those things. It is really so much more. Whatever it is, I thought it was brilliant. The cover flap tells very little of the real story. It is about a girl named Karou, who was raised by "monsters" and yet tries to live a moderately normal life. We meet her in Prague, where she is a student at an art academy and recent victim of a broken heart. Between her arrogant, seedy street actor ex-boyfriend, her delightfully waspish best friend, and her errands to various parts of the world, collecting teeth for her foster father, her life is anything but normal. And it quickly becomes even more remarkably strange, including a desperate fight for her life, the tantalizing hope of love, shocking revelations, and overwhelming tragedy.
This story is very dark but very beautiful. The characters are complex and fascinating, the world is remarkably well-constructed, and the story is intriguing and well-written. If you like fantasy or teen romance, or fascinating stories that you can lose yourself in for a few days, you will probably like this one. I am now eagerly awaiting the sequel.