A while ago, I finished reading/listening to Daughter of Smoke and Bone. There are three stories in this single title. There is the story of Karou. There is the story of Madrigal and Akiva. Then… there’s the story of Karou and Akiva.
I really loved the first thirdish of the book which was primarily about Karou and her life in a world filled with humans and monsters. I found all the prose to be excellent, and the dialogue to be fitting. The words read like poetry, and the reader of the book, Khristine Hvam, has one of the most beautiful and seductive sounding voices I have ever heard. It was a moment of “Yes, please read to me wonderful lady.”
The next two thirdishes of the book are mixed narratives between Karou/Akiva and Akiva/Madrigal. The Akiva and Madrigal stuff is awesome and makes me feel giddy. I really can’t say more about it without spoiling everything that makes it super cool, so I won’t spill any beans.
HOWEVER, THE KAROU/AKIVA STUFF IS LAME. BORING. Stupid. Ugh. Karou constantly talks about how beautiful Akiva is (he’s an angel and they are perfect or something) and I find it to be really meeeeh. There are a lot of other things about it I don’t like, but, again, can’t say much without spoiling it.
Honestly, its hard for me to deal with how quickly I went from “Yes, awesome, amazing, wonderful, IMAGINATION WORLD!!!” to “Ugh. Really? Wow… Not cool.” It was a roller coaster of love/hate during the last two thirds of this book. Especially because I felt so much attention was given to Akiva out of nowhere… I really enjoyed the times Karou spoke with her family the Chimeras. Brimstone is awesome and amazing and just UGH.
I gave this book a listen without even knowing the story. Had I read the summary, I probably would have never bothered since I really dislike angels in general. Even the quote at the beginning of the book was like “Oh, I really hope this isn’t literal.”
The worst part? I liked most of this book so much that despite how gross Akiva and Karou as a pairing is to me, because let’s face it: angels are super hot and beautiful and always end up with the main character, I am so invested into the overall story, history, and feel of the world Laini Taylor constructed. I won’t pick it up immediately by any means, but I will definitely work through the series as Summer sets in.
For now, I am listening to Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas and reading Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers. Expect to hear about them if they are super amazing… or incredibly disappointing.