It’s Wednesday! Which means, it’s one of my favorite days of the week. Any day that it’s review writing day is one of my favorite days of the week! And today I get to write a review about a series I absolutely loved. I read the first two Daughter of Smoke and Bone series forever ago – like, years (I read an ARC of the first one before it was even released) – so reviews of them have not appeared on my blog. That’s why I’ve decided to write a conglomeration of all three books, since it’s hard for me to separate them now to write individual reviews of the first two. And, it feels weird to have just a review of the final book in the series. So, on with the giant review!
Actually, I lied. Almost on with the giant review! I just have one more quick announcement. Today is the 1 year anniversary of this blog! I can’t believe that I’ve been ranting and raving about books on here for 1 year already! It feels like just yesterday I was writing my first review. (Oh god, please don’t go back and look at it, I’m sure it’s just awful. I really should go back and clean up my archive – file that under the list of things to do one of these days.) But, in all honestly, I just want to get real sappy for a moment and thank everyone who’s joined along and has followed this blog (via worpress or email); you are all the greatest, and I appreciate so much that you give me a reason to talk about something I love so much!
Now, on with the review!
(click each image to be redirected to its Goodreads page)
Karou is an art student with bright blue hair that grows out of her head naturally and hamsas tattooed on her hands that she can’t remember the origin of, they’ve just always been there. She lives in an apartment in Prague, attends classes with her best best friend Zuzana, and doodles strange monsters from memories she doesn’t remember in her sketch book. Everything is normal until an angel shows up and changes everything, digging up in her a past that was long forgotten.
Karou’s world is flipped upside down when she becomes part of an apocalypse that has been in the making for thousands of years. She makes new friends, as well as new enemies and must take up her place in something that she has, partially, brought about herself to create. Her and this new strange angel, Akiva, are the beginning and the end. Join Karou as she travels through different worlds where angels and demons have never gotten along until two of them fell in love.
This series is one that I am so unbelievable fond of. It’s definitely grown on me. It’s taken me so long to finish, how could it not have grown on me. I feel very similar to the sensation that I described in my review of The Martian – as if I’ve actually experienced live what was happening to these characters and it feels so surreal to be thrust back into the real world where these characters are simply only alive in my head. But, you know, a very problematic character once said, “Of course it’s happening inside your head, but why should that mean it’s not real.” I don’t know if that makes me feel better or worse.
Moving on. My favorite thing about this series, and probably what made it feel so real, is that Taylor writes in a way as if she is writing a biography or some other piece of nonfiction. She makes the setting feel so real, as if she’s talking about places that actually exist. (I mean, what do I know. Who’s to say they don’t. *stares blankly into the void of existentialism*) This is one of the reasons that it’s so easy to get lost in the story she creates. She weaves such a marvelous place that the world and characters dance to life right off the pages. Her writing style is phenomenal and perfected by the third installment. It was so great to grow with her writing as I read each book as they were released. I’m so attached. I wasn’t ready to say goodbye.
Next stop: the characters. If you are looking for some strong female characters (especially a strong lead) and you love the young adult fantasy scene, this book is definitely for you. Every single one (and I do mean every single one) of Taylor’s characters are well rounded and beautifully crafted. She has the art of writing vulnerability, fear, and strength (sometimes all at once) down to a perfect science. I was not disappointed with anyone in these books. Not a single one.
Seeing the growth of each character as the story unfolds was one of my favorite things about this series. Taylor makes sure that her characters don’t stay stagnant, but are constantly changing, just like real people. She does an amazing job of writing this too by writing in the way of how things change insignificantly, gradually, and with little notice, but when you look back to the beginning of her series, everyone is completely different. I liked this, because it’s the same way that we tend to change as actual humans in real life. Not at all and then all at once.
Okay, I swear I’m almost done raving, but just a few more things I want to touch on. I’ve already mentioned the way the Taylor creates the story, but not the actual story she creates, and, let me tell you, it’s a wonderful one that is so unique and unlike anything I’ve ever read before. She also does something really cool where she doesn’t mild spoiler alert end with an ending or a beginning. She ends with a completely open to the future middle. She leaves so much open for interpretation and to happen. It’s really quite happy. I really loved it. end mild spoiler alert. I honestly cannot believe how unique and well tied up this story is. There are no plot holes. Nothing that I wished would have been different. Everything was fantastic.
(Okay, small side note. Actually, there was one thing I didn’t like: the epilogue. But, as far as I’m concerned the epilogue never happened. That is all. Continue on.)
Plus, major brownie points for writing something super feminist. This especially comes through in Taylor’s final installment Dreams of Gods and Monsters. Her books start out diverse and strong from the beginning, but they get even better. I found myself constantly fist-pumping during my reading of the final book. So many good things were happening. I also loved that, even though she wrote amazing, strong females, the ratio of male and female characters is pretty even. And, like already stated, they are all strong, important characters. I am just so happy that these books exist in the world and am so lucky to have found a series I am so in love with. I will absolutely be reading it again someday.
Wow, this was a long review, but there was just so much I wanted (needed) to talk about. I highly, highly recommend this series, especially if it falls into the genre you enjoy reading. This is, however, more of an older young adult setting with themes that fit that setting (guesstimate of about ages 18-22), but that does not mean you shouldn’t read it if you don’t fall into that range. I’m just giving an idea of the concepts presented in this book and what to expect from the characters.
Anyway, to sum up. Basically, if you haven’t already, read this series!
Thanks for reading and making this last year in blogging absolutely amazing. I am not going anywhere and cannot wait to see what this coming year will bring.
Please feel free, as always, to add/follow/chat with me on the following platforms:Tumblr,Goodreads,Instagram, Facebook. Also, check out my (currently very empty) Etsy Shop. And, if you want to add me on Snapchat, my username is Smashleyyy92.