The Daughter of Smoke and Bone: Forgive me, I'm a Monster
I know I mention this in every review I do, but I am not one for romance. So it's a little stupid that I pick up paranormal-adventure-YA stories and bitch about the InstaLove. But this was recommended to me, and I was told that the writing was great, so I figured, what the hell?
So it is really good. The writing is tight, and has a lot of sensory detail in the broken-wishbone-memories passages. The world(s) in this story? Wow. This combines a ton of different myths, and the chimaera characters that come out of it? Awesome. I am officially in love with Brimstone, even if he does collect teeth.
I find Karou to be really relatable. (I am also incredibly jealous that she gets to live in Prague AND have twenty-five languages at her disposal.) She's artistic, fun-loving, and gung-ho for adventure. I do miss her Prague friends, after Karou vanishes with Akiva. Zuzanna is both creative, funny, AND loyal. Why couldn't we see more of her? Chino is a poor best-friend replacement.
Now, for the gushy crap... it isn't too bad. For one, those chapters are very brief, and Karou and Akiva have a realistic connection. I enjoy the way their love story is told in scattered, world-building memories. That said, the mythology is ten times more interesting than the relationship. I also still think that the impossibly-beautiful-window-stalker theme could use a boot. (Seriously, fictional love interests: KNOCK ON THE DOOR AND SAY HELLO.)
I also appreciate that the Karou didn't forgive her boyfriend everything. He made a giant, cruel mistake that cost Karou the people she loved. For that, she ditches his sorry angel butt and goes off on a vengeance-seeking quest. That officially deems me a heinous, evil monster--because that totally won me over. Karou's character development, already intense enough, is going to blow up in the sequel. She's going to face this frightening new/old realm with only a fallen-angel-squid-man attached to her back, and she's not remotely deterred. Y-A-Y.
I can't help it. I'm a fan of adventure. Karou has potential to be a badass rebel in the warzone, and it would be nice to see a new Karou in her (technically-speaking) "old" environment. Karou deserves a fabulous quest and, if she has to ditch her window-stalking dream guy to get it, all the power to her. But ignore me: I'm a heinous monster.