Author: Lani Taylor
Narrator: Khristine Hvam
Pub: 2011; Little Brown
Audio Length: 12 hours; 32 minutes
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Series
There once was a girl with blue hair
Raised by monsters in a teeth lair
Secrets of her identity
Until, finally, hope prevailed.
THIS BOOK! It was freakin' amazing. Seriously. I remember the hype forever ago and I was all - *shrug* *shrug* - I'll pass. After all I need another new YA series to follow like I need another grey hair. But then, I was looking for an audio (which ROCKED and I will get to that in a jiff) to pass the time driving to workout and viola.
I don't really even know where to begin and feel that no matter what I say it will not do this novel justice. If you haven't read it, you just need to quickly run out and find it.
Our main character, Karou, is a fantastic female protagonist. She's an art student in Prague with blue hair and a mysterious "other" life. Her family are monsters and she keeps this hidden from her best friend, Zuzana (who btw is such a fun secondary character; she really pops!). Brimstone, her monsterly father figure, is a wishmaster and he does so through the collection of teeth. Karou's partial identity is through these otherworldly endeavors of running Brimstone's errands. BUT whenever Karou gets a little too inquisitive about what Brimstone does with these teeth, he shuts her down.
And then there's this angel - Akiva, who is determined to shut down the portals of Brimstone's world and the human world. I admit, I was reluctant when I first found out one of the characters was an angel. I just could never jump on the winged bandwagon (give me vamps any day). But he was so different, and Taylor's world building and mythos created with the Seraphim and Chimaera was fantastical.
I cannot believe how emotionally vested I became with ALL of the characters.. I don't read much fantasy because I have a hard time connecting with both the imaginary creatures and otherworldness but this story unraveled in a magical way that I felt I apart of of it.
The Audio Aspect
It is safe to say that the narrator, Khristine Hvam, has impressed me so much I've become a HUGE audio advocate. I never thought listening to a book could pull me in the way Hvam's voice and Taylor's storytelling did. And although I know I would enjoy The Daughter of Smoke and Bone on its own, the masterful of voice made it extra special.
Hvam changes her voice for each character, but not over the top, because it doesn't take away from the story, but only adds to it. There's this fallen angel, Rasgud, who you picture to be creepy and viscerally unappealing, but then to HEAR Hvam speak for him, it's - well - trance worthy.
There were no extra sound effects but whatever Hvam could produce and she did it beautifully. I cannot repeat how I want to find all of her narrations and climb in them.
Finally, AudioSync is offering The Daughter of Smoke and Bone for free here August 2 - August 8.
Quick. Go there and get it.