Happy New Year! And what better way to ring in 2012 than with a bunch of reading recommendations! My critique partner, Kelly Hayes, and I were at a party together last month. Fun times! And we were talking about books. No surprise there. :) Anyway, Kelly was RAVING about the book she'd just finished reading and offered to review it for us. And here it is!
DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE by Laini Taylor
She also knows nothing about her own origins. It’s all very mysterious and will keep you guessing for at least the first half of the book, while the artfully rendered backdrop of Prague adds a nice gothic feel.
Karou’s life takes a dire turn when black handprints appear on doors around the world, portals for dimension-hopping traders, one of which is the door to Brimstone’s shop. These portals are being sealed by a team of warrior angels. Suddenly Karou is cut off from her Chimera family. But, being the kick-ass heroine that she is, she’s not going to take this lying down. She fights an angel named Akiva, barely escaping with her life. Then he comes looking for her and all hell breaks loose.
What follows is a complex tale of war, forbidden love, identity, magic and mythology. And the way Laini Taylor weaves all these elements together is its own form of magic. Her blending of past and present, romance and violence, reality and fantasy is seamless. Her humor is of the darker variety and at times laugh-out-loud funny. And her prose is lyrical and surprising.
By all rights I should have disliked this book. Angels don’t impress me. I avoid most fantasy like a bad virus. And a three-part series can seem more like an endurance test than a pleasurable reading experience. Not only did none of this bother me, but I got sucked into this story like I had walked through a portal into a world I didn’t want to leave. Bring on that second book!
Stacy Nyikos: THE WAR HORSE by Michael Morpurgo (middle grade)
Jody Feldman: SHELTER by Harlan Coben (young adult)
Scott Parker: THE HUNGER GAMES by Suzanne Collins (young adult, science fiction)
Alyssa Goodnight of the Writers' Road Less Traveled: UNRAVELING ISOBEL by Eileen Cook (young adult)
ADULT BOOK REVIEWS
Sarah Laurence: THE LAST NUDE by Ellis Avery (historical fiction) *includes author interview
Jenn Jilks of Cottage Country: LEFT NEGLECTED by Lisa Genova
Patti Abbott: THE SISTERS BROTHERS by Patrick deWitt
Staci of Life in the Thumb: BOOKS CAN BE DECEIVING by Jenn McKinlay (cozy mystery)
Riccarla Roman on Beth Yarnell's blog: DOWN THE DARKEST ROAD by Tami Hoag
Lucy Sartain of Ranting and Raving: STORIES I ONLY TELL MY FRIENDS by Rob Lowe (autobiography)
Linda McLaughlin: JACK KENNEDY: ELUSIVE HERO by Chris Matthews
Sarahlynn of Yeah, but Houdini didn't have these hips:
BEOWULF ON THE BEACH: WHAT TO LOVE AND WHAT TO SKIP IN LITERATURE'S 50 GREATEST HITS by Jack Murighan (literary criticism)
Note to Reviewers: Any errors (broken link, missed review, etc), just shoot me an email or leave a comment. Thank you so much for your reviews!