Daughter of Smoke & Bone

Thanks to Heather Rowles I started reading the EXCEPTIONALLY AWESOME Daughter of Smoke & Bone series by Laini Taylor.

This book is classified as Young Adult Fiction but I don’t know if that’s fair. I heard a comedian (Colbert?) say “Young Adult is just a term for books that people ACTUALLY read.” That seems about right to me.

I listened to the first two books of this in the Audio Book form. It’s still a life transforming method of book ingestion. Driving is better. Cleaning is better. Walking around randomly is better. It’s a good way to entertain the brain when your body is busy doing some mindless task.

I loved the characters, the story, and the concept. It has action, adventure, a love story, and magic. The story is surprising and gripping. Best of all there are strong and believable female characters AS WELL AS believable male characters (I feel like sometimes you get one or the other but not both).

I would recommend this for anyone who is interested in picking up a new fantasy trilogy.

The narrator, Khristine Hvam, really adds to the experience. The voices are great and she brings the characters to life. I liked listening to her so much that I actually contemplated finding some other series she has read and adding it to my “To Read” list.

The only complaints I have are about how the story doesn’t always flow correctly in the audio book form. I have two examples:

Audio Book Issue 1 – Perspective Shift

When we switch from one character or one location in the physical books it’s pretty clear that we have a page break or section break indicator within the chapter. You’ll see this as *********** sometimes or other visual indication. In the audio book form you just get thrown directly into the new section without any mental preparation or indication. You’re left scrambling to figure it out.

Audio Book Issue 2 – JUST GET TO THE POINT ALREADY

This is maybe less about the audio book and maybe more about the way I read with a suspenseful book. In audio book form when you know some big reveal is coming it is PAINFUL to listen to the narrator read. JUST TELL ME NOW!! I definitely screamed that in the car. When reading a book I have the ability to skip over purposefully suspenseful or excessively flowery prose to figure out where we’re going. I can mentally gloss over the flourish and see the structure underneath. With an audiobook no flourish is spared. Maybe you would like this. I don’t. There are some pretty breathless suspenseful romantic parts that were overdone. If reading the physical book I could have taken these at a faster clip. Listening to the audio book I have to slog through all the prose to get to the reveal that I already know is going to happen.

Despite those two points I would definitely recommend you pick this up in audio book form.