Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Publication Date: September 27, 2011
Format: Hardcover, 420 pages
Little, Brown & Company

Goodreads Summary

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?


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MY TAKE: 5/5 STARS

As I sit here and ponder on the magnificence of what I’d just read, I can truly, honestly say that I will probably fail to write a review that will give this novel its due justice.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone lived up to the hype – and more. It delivered in spades and didn’t – not once – disappoint. Even the ending, which would have normally driven me to rant for days, couldn’t damper my irrevocable love for this exquisite masterpiece. Laini Taylor created a complex world with equally complex characters. The history, the legends of angels were molded and twisted into something unbelievably multifaceted and unique.

I often found myself stopping just to savor the words. The prose was as beautiful as the heartbreaking story of reincarnated love itself. 


I fell in love with Karou’s blue hair, her grotesque but beautiful art and her wry humour. The anonymity of her past added to the sublime beauty of her character. Her’s and Akiva’s love story were one of the most heartbreaking and beautiful story I’ve read in a while. I have the deepest hope that the second book to this series will bring some happiness to these two. But since there will be three books, I am not holding my breath.

We’ve been bombarded with a lot of angel books lately or an impossible romance between two mortal enemies. But trust me when I say, Laini Taylor wrote this book with the absence of clichéd plot lines in mind. This book is highly imaginative, dark, deceptively funny and deliciously sensual.

The only problem I have with this book is that I’d have to wait for a long time for the second book and with how this book ended, the wait will be extra, extra painful. 

IMM #7

In My Mailbox is a weekly event hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren, which features books that I procured this week…mostly purchased since, well, I haven’t got the courage to beg from the publishers lol. Okay, okay, I bring you this week’s episode of HOARDERS, Books Edition. 

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The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
Sacrifice by Laura J. Burns & Melinda Metz
Enthralled by Melissa Marr & Kelly Armstrong et al. 
Dark of the Moon by Tracy Barrett
Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor
So Silver Bright by Lisa Mantchev
Blood Wounds by Susan Beth Pfeffer
Cold Kiss by Amy Garvey
The Girl of Fire & Thorns by Rae Carson

Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews
A Weekend with Mr. Darcy by Victoria Connelly
The King of Plagues by Jonathan Maberry
Patient Zero by Jonathan Maberry
Whispered Lies by Sherrilyn Kenyon & Dianna Love
Wisdom’s Kiss by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
Hotblood (A House of Slide Novel) by Juliann Whicker
Under the Stars by Rebecca A. Rogers
Fitzwilliam Darcy, Rock Star by Heather Lynn Rigaud
Black Magic Sanction by Kim Harrison
The Erotic Treasury (????) by Susie Bright

As well, this week, I’ve gotten another copies of A Long, Long Sleep and Remembrance which brings my total copies to 3 and 2 respectively. Watch out for some giveaways because I noticed that I’ve got some duplicate copies of other titles as well through no gaffe of my own doing this time.

What’s in your mailbox?

Review: This is Shyness by Leanne Hall

Publication Date: August 2nd, 2010
Text Publication
Format: Paperback, 272 pages

Goodreads Summary

A guy who howls. A girl on a mission to forget. 

In the suburb of Shyness, where the sun doesn’t rise and the border crackles with a strange energy, Wolfboy meets a stranger at the Diabetic Hotel. She tells him her name is Wildgirl, and she dares him to be her guide through the endless night. 

But then they are mugged by the sugar-crazed Kidds. And what plays out is moving, reckless…dangerous. There are things that can only be said in the dark. And one long night is time enough to change your life.

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MY TAKE: 4/5 Stars

I’ve been sitting here staring at my blinking cursor. You know it’s bad when you’re suffering from a mild case of ‘reviewer’s block’ (get it? heh). Maybe I shouldn’t blame myself per se, perhaps I should hold this book responsible for rendering me speechless, grasping for words to describe the mentally stimulating experience I just had.

The entire book happened in one night…or one day, depending on how you look at it. Shyness is a city in perpetual darkness and in most instances, lawless and timeless. It’s quite difficult to explain all the things that make this book unique. I can’t decide which I love more, the world of Shyness in itself or the characters. At first glance, this book can be classified as dystopian; set in the future where a city lay in all its derelict goodness. Normally, I’m big on asking the whys, when and what of a certain outcome in a book but I found myself accepting all the reasons why it was always nighttime in Shyness.

There were theories thrown in the book – most of them out of this world. And this was what made Shyness unique. From its peculiar and unforgettable characters, to a world lacking in daylight and adult supervision, Shyness had the ability to silence all the questions I’d normally ask.

Questions like:

Why the heck is the city over run by sugar-crazed kids and monkeys?

What the heck is Wolfboy? (A much hotter image of a changed Teen Wolf came to mind.)

How is it possible that the gargantuan sun chose not to rise in Shyness and yet a stone’s throw away, along the border, it chose to perch on the horizon like an egotistical fireball taunting the citizens of Shyness?

The characters of Wildgirl and Wolfboy were equally charming. They had me laughing and wishing for those nights when nothing else matters but to live for the moment. On the surface, these two were just two kids who have that instant attraction – out to see where the night was going to take them. But each one had agendas why they stayed together. These two played with me and teased me until they almost drove me insane. It took them forever to kiss even though they were fighting the urge to do so the entire night. And when the sublime moment finally happened, it left me wanting to write a note to the author demanding for a sequel. Honestly, it wasn’t enough. Well, this book isn’t enough. There has to be more.

First of all, I felt that Wildgirl was still a closed book. She never did tell Wolfboy the real reason why she wanted to forget or to run away. I learned more about Wolfboy than I did Wildgirl. Perhaps the author intended it – to make Wildgirl’s character hard to read.

Second of all, I wanted to know who Diana’s real father was. Although it was hinted that she had the most incredible blue eyes like Gram’s, perhaps, it didn’t make it conclusive that Diana was indeed, Wolfboy’s niece.

I thought the ending was rushed that didn’t give me reconciliation. I was sighing and smiling for the most part of the book, but the ending left me scowling and a bit dissatisfied.

In spite of that, I still think this was an amazing head-trip; totally unlike anything I’ve ever read before. It’s a well-written book that will make you fall in love with the world and its characters. Definitely, recommendable!


Waiting on Wednesday #5

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine which showcases books that I’m just dying to read!
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Expected publication: October 18th 2011 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Ethan Wate thought he was getting used to the strange, impossible events happening in Gatlin, his small Southern town. But now that Ethan and Lena have returned home, strange and impossible have taken on new meanings. Swarms of locusts, record-breaking heat, and devastating storms ravage Gatlin as Ethan and Lena struggle to understand the impact of Lena’s Claiming. Even Lena’s family of powerful Supernaturals is affected – and their abilities begin to dangerously misfire. As time passes, one question becomes clear: What – or who – will need to be sacrificed to save Gatlin?

For Ethan, the chaos is a frightening but welcome distraction. He’s being haunted in his dreams again, but this time it isn’t by Lena – and whatever is haunting him is following him out of his dreams and into his everyday life. Even worse, Ethan is gradually losing pieces of himself – forgetting names, phone numbers, even memories. He doesn’t know why, and most days he’s too afraid to ask.
Sometimes there isn’t just one answer or one choice. Sometimes there’s no going back. And this time there won’t be a happy ending.

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*chews nails* Oh man. The synopsis sounds so ominous, isn’t it? I’m simultaneously scared and excited to read this third instalment to the Caster Chronicles series. I just want my boy Ethan to have a moment of peace. But I guess, if you live in mystical Gatlin, it’s just too much to ask. 

Review: Nocturne by Syrie James

Publication Date:  January 4th, 2011
Vanguard Press
Format:  Hardcover, 224 pages

When Nicole Whitcomb’s car runs off a Colorado mountain road during a blinding snowstorm, she is saved from death by a handsome, fascinating, and enigmatic stranger.
Snowbound with him for days in his beautiful home high in the Rockies, she finds herself powerfully attracted to him and soon comes to realize that the feeling is mutual. But there are things about him that mystify her, filling her with apprehension—and Nicole can’t shake the feeling that he doesn’t want her there.
Who is Michael Tyler? Why does he live alone in such a secluded spot and guard his private life so carefully? What secret—or secrets—is he hiding?
Nicole has secrets of her own and a past she is running from—but Michael understands her better than anyone she has ever known. Soon, she is falling as deeply in love with him as he is with her.
But as the sexual tension between them builds, the clues mount up. When Nicole learns the terrifying truth—that her host is an ages-old vampire who is torn between his love for her and his desire for her blood—there’s nowhere for her to run but into the blizzard raging outside, and he’s the only one who can save her life.
Filled with unexpected twists and surprises, Nocturne is a page-turning, haunting, and deeply romantic story of forbidden love that will grab your heart and not let go.
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MY TAKE: 5/5 STARS

This book was sitting on the Teen Fiction shelves at my local bookstore. I picked it up because I was drawn to two words that were on blurb of the book: FORBIDDEN LOVE. What can I say? I’m a total sucker for this type of romances, no matter how much of a cheese-fest the book turned out to be.

Thankfully, Nocturne, didn’t turn out to be a big ball of cheese. In fact, this is probably one of my favorite romance reads of the year. I found out much later that this book didn’t belong in Teen Fiction section; I think it was placed there by mistake. First of all, the characters were adults; and second of all there were explicit sex…well, explicit by my standards.

After attending a friend’s wedding, Nicole drove through a snow storm en route to the airport. Unfortunately for her, the rental she was driving skidded off a mountain road that ended up buried in a ditch. She was saved by an enigmatic recluse, Michael Tyler, whose distaste for company was as obvious as his masculine beauty. Forced to suffer each other’s companionship, Nicole and Michael fought their attractions with one another, (futile though as it may be) and discovered each other’s past. They found love along the way but had to face the brutal fact that the two of them together was pretty much an impossible reality.

I rarely pick up adult fiction on my bookstore jaunts. I think it was by divine intervention that I found this book.

I absolutely loved it!

The snowstorm created a more eerie, mysterious backdrop to this sensual vampire tale. The characters were well drawn that captivated me from page one to the last. Their conversations were very intelligent and every scene screamed sexual tension. Michael’s inner struggles to fight off his true nature were as palpable as Nicole’s constant need to discover more about her very private host.

It’s got an amazing plot that didn’t drag nor was it told at a break-neck speed. Each layer of Michael’s identity was revealed in such a way that made me feel like rushing on to the next page.

Although this book didn’t end the way I would have liked it to end, I still don’t feel a single regret for gushing about this absolutely heartrending novel.

Syrie James’ writing is exquisite as is her talent for taking her readers to historic voyages. The lady knows a thing or two about history, that’s for sure. I’ve only read one of her works in the past, The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen, which, I’ve enjoyed very much. And after reading Nocturne, I think I’m going to check out her other works as well.