This is my review of "Daughter of Smoke and Bone" by Laini Taylor. below is the blurb taken from Amazon and below that is my review.
"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 seventeen-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."
There was so much promise and potential here, old stories and new concepts blend together effortlessly. Teeth, the magic shop, the Chimera, the hierarchy of wishes, the girl who doesn't know who she is.
The first 160 pages are great,even excellent in places.
Characterization is good, the plot moves along at a nice pace and the writing is of a high quality; then the whole thing quite suddenly devolves into every bad romance novel ever written. From that point it is simply an exercise in dullness.
Every third sentence becomes a description of the main character's love interest or his description of her, the plot is completely abandoned. Almost nothing happens for the rest of the book, at all. Chapter after chapter is surrendered to another seemingly unending flashback to characters I don't care about and the author never tries to make me care about.
The quality of the writing drops too, a paragraph is even closed with "all hell broke loose" a cliché I thought had been consigned to the realms of poorly written fan fiction years ago.
I don't understand why the romance is even included let alone why it needs to consume half of the book. When used correctly it should enhance the story and deepen the characters but here it beheads the story, leaves it bleeding to death in some back alley in Prague and proceeds to reduce the characters to shallow, dull facsimiles of their former selves.
Why do some YA authors put so much effort into creating complex rich worlds, stories and characters and then gleefully throw them away on the wind in favour of tired storylines that weren't interesting when they were new? it's "The Hunger Games" trilogy all over again and I'm baffled by it.
It's all about the sun master, white snow and red blood and the sun. Always has been.