After I finished The Future of Us, by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler, I realized how fast I've been tearing through books lately, and since hubby is still reading Ashfall, by Mike Mullin, I figured I had one more book binge in me before we were back to sitting on the couch scrolling through the contents of our dvr. So I better make it a good one. Daughter of Smoke and Bone, by Laini Taylor.
My crit buddy Jade had been so excited about this one, I put it on the pile for her and never really looked at it until last night. Once I got to page 8, (of this ARC edition, which is still subject to change, and I shouldn't quote from it, but isn't the point of an ARC to spread the word about the book?) I was HOOKED, and now I'm bound to finish this book before Jade gets here. Shhh, don't tell her. I'd never read any of Laini Taylor's previous novels, so as I read, her words and imagery cast a spell over me. This is the passage where it all began:
As Zuzana took the book, a couple of other students, Pavel and Dina, crowded in to look over her shoulder. Karou's sketchbooks had a cult following around school and were handed around and marveled at on a daily basis. This one—number ninety-two in a lifelong series—was bound with rubber bands and as soon as Zuzana took them off it burst open, each page so coated in gesso and paint that the binding could scarcely contain them. As it fanned open, Karou's trademark characters wavered on the pages, gorgeously rendered and deeply strange.
There was Issa, serpent from the waist down and woman from the waist up, with the bare globe breasts of Kama Sutra carvings, the hood and fangs of a cobra, and the face of an angel.
Giraffe-necked Twiga, hunched over with his jeweler's glass stuck in one squinting eye.
Yasri, parrot-beaked and human-eyed, a frill of orange curls escaping her kerchief. She was carrying a platter of fruit and a pitcher of win.
And Brimstone, of course—he was the star of the sketchbooks. Here he was shown with Kishmish perched on the curl of one of his great ram's horns. In the fantastical stories Karou told in her sketchbooks, Brimstone dealt in wishes. Sometimes she called him the Wishmonger; other times, simply "the grump."
And that's only the start. It gets more intriguing and amazing the longer you read (I'm at page 122). Check out the Goodreads page for more info. Believe me, I'd love to tell you more, but you'll just have to read it yourself. I'm evil, I know.
Don't forget there's still time to enter to win a signed copy of Cassandra Clare's City of Fallen Angels! And at the end of the month, a giveaway of an ARC of The Name of the Star, by Maureen Johnson.