So Daughter of Smoke and Bone is about a teenager named Karou who is living a life at school as a Czech girl who has no parents and no knowledge of her past, only that she lives in this place where no one knows where it is with a man named Brimstone who has taken care of her and taught her magic spells. And meanwhile in the fantasy world, seraphim and chimaera are at war and one day when Karou is finally curious enough to step out through this door in her house she's always been curious about, after a nice day of jokes with her BFF Zuzana and causing her ex-boyfriend Kris to break out into an embarrassing itchy rash, she finds a chamber with Brimstone at the helm full of dead chimaera of various shapes and sizes, some almost beyond identification. And now all of a sudden, she's on her own and has no steps in the next path. What is she to do? What is happening to the magic world?
Now, this book has some very big words and sometimes good descriptions, and being able to fly in public and having a world only accessible by certain doorways being marked with scorched fingerprints is clever and different and the book has the feel of a real fantasy book but I'm sorry to say I was more frustrated than engulfed, most of the story seeming to never take off even though every chapter seems to be preparing to do so and it is when it's three quarters done when it came to full-on agony. Here's what I think from a writing point. I think fantasy lovers will love this book. Why? Because it basically questions everything. For me though, the details were so complicated and cluttered and huge that by the end I still didn't have a good description of what a seraphim or a chaimera really looked like. Now maybe in the fantasy genre we should know already like, for instance, dragons, but there was never a description as simple as "like a dragon, only..." I would've loved that. Given how long this book is, I'm pretty sure there are details but it's kind of hard to pay attention. Most of the details I could pay attention to were kind of empty, like how Karou drops out of school when the epidemic of hands gets too high, simply passing it off, with not enough heart and thought put into the concept. And at the beginning, when Karou gets Kris to leave by causing him to itch, it's funny but kind of soulless.
This is what happens when you focus on one genre too much. This book is basically ALL fantasy. No real crime, horror, romance (there is some, but it's downright weird and pops out of nowhere after flipping in knots), etc. To be fair, Crime is my favourite genre, so if there was a book all about crime, would I have liked it any more? Actually, I don't think so, because I like a book with some believable drama and a discussion wielding conflict rather than just saying, "Sling the guns! Get to the basement!" Also, to have a good book you need memorable characters, and for me the only one I could think of as human was Zuzana. Every time she's not with the characters, you don't care enough to differentiate all these names and think of what they look like, except for Karou and her deep-blue hair, I guess. But Azhaed? Liraz? Razgut? Maybe it's because I haven't been to Checzloslovakia (if that's how you spell it) but I prefer books with names that are NOT so out there they distract you trying to think of pronunciation.
My school library has the sequel, Days of Blood and Starlight and the other town library has the last book only, so if I'm going to read the next book and continue the series I don't know. Cause I can honestly say this book felt in every way like the tedious and weird first chapter before the better one but I'm not sure if I can trust books with this sort of writing.