Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor (Read By: Khristine Hvam – Duration: 12 hours and 33 minutes)
Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor (Read By: Khristine Hvam – Duration: 15 hours and 21 minutes)
Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor (Read By: Khristine Hvam – Duration: 18 hours and 8 minutes)
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Quick Series Recap
The Chimaera and the Seraph are enemy races battling a never ending war. Karou is the focus character of the series, a blue haired girl raised by the Chimaera that is in love with a Seraph named Akiva. The series follows the two, along with other characters along the way, as they fight for their love and peace between their races.
My Reaction to Each Book
Note: I write my reaction to each book as I finish it, not once I’ve completed the entire series. That may be why things are written in a certain way, or I use the language that I do.
Daughter of Smoke and Bone: I’m going to preface this by saying that I got into this book for about the last 20% of it. It did take me a very long time to connect with the characters, their world, and the overall story. Here are my big reasons:
- The freaking time jumps! I hope that these were more clearly defined in the physical copy of the book, because they were confusing as hell in the audiobook. All of a sudden the narrator was talking about something in the past, but there were no break or indication, and it seemed like a continuance of what was just happening in the present, and it was all just very confusing at times. It wasn’t always immediately obviously that something was a flashback, and I had many instances where it took me a solid 30 seconds or a minute or whatever to even realize it, prompting me to have to rewind to fully grasp what was happening.
- Karou annoys me. I’m just not digging her as a character. To be fair, she did get better as the book progressed and she learned a little bit more about herself, but I’m still not fully committed to her. I think mainly it’s her childishness and utter idiocy at times that turn me off. She also acts invincible, and that bothers me, because she acts irrationally, which usually has shitty consequences, etc.
- What was with the details of this book? Some things were hardly described, and other things were described in E X C R U T I A T I N G detail and so drawn out that I had to physically restrain myself so that I would not throw my phone (my mechanism for listening to the audiobook) off of a bridge. For example, the world that Laini Taylor build for this series is freaking fantastic with so much potential, so I struggled with why it wasn’t getting the love that it deserved. I never felt like I was fully understanding or envisioning what the author was attempting to describe when it came to the world, I never felt like I was part of it, which made it very difficult to connect. But then, complete opposite side of the spectrum, we got ridiculously intricate details about stupid things, like teeth, or a wishbone, or Karou simply walking down the damn street! Argghhh.
The ending though, OH MAMA! How everything tied together and how everything played out at the end made everything I dealt with for the first 80% of the book mostly worth it. While some of the “big reveal” was slightly predictable, other things were not, and I was happy to have some real answers to the questions that had been plaguing me from the beginning of the book. All of the haphazardly mentioned things across the various chapters finally all clicked together, and IT. WAS. MAGICAL. I’m sorry that I’m being super vague here, I apologize for that, but I don’t want to spoil anything. All I want to say is that if you start reading this and you’re struggling, I promise it does get a little better!
Days of Blood and Starlight: My feelings for this book are pretty similar to the feelings that I had about book one of this series, though this one didn’t have annoying time jumps so yay! Karou still drives me a little bit insane, but Zuzana has solidified her spot as one of my all-time favorite character. I love her spunk, her I don’t give an eff attitude, and her humor. I still hold strong to my confusion about why certain things are described in detail and other things the reader is just expected to accept without explanation. My biggest issue with this book was how s l o w it all progressed, and how boring it was overall (except the ending, which I again was super sucked into). For a book about an age-old war, there wasn’t much action or war going on. I truly feel like the purpose of this book was to set everything up for what I’m hoping (seriously, fingers crossed so hard) is an epic ending. This book seemed to focus on providing any necessary history, shaping the world, and building characters.
Dreams of Gods and Monsters: I am so freaking happy that this series is over, this book especially. In each of the other books in this series, I was able to get through the annoyances that I had and still overall enjoy the book, but I can’t say the same about this one. I honestly don’t even have that many things to write about this book other than to express my elation that it’s finally over. The only think I cared about (and the only reason it’s getting 2 stars from me) was that almost every unanswered question that I had was answered. The story lines all tied together in pretty intricate and (yes, I’ll admit it) impressive ways, and the overall story finally made sense. However, this book was NEVER ENDING. Even when the book reached a point where it would have made sense to end it, it didn’t freaking end. There was just more and more and more. I guess another “good” outcome was that I did discover what my biggest problem with this entire series was, and you can read more about that in my Final Thoughts section below.
Laini Taylor’s writing style in this series is beautiful, it’s basically wonderfully written poetry, and I appreciate it for its beauty and wonderfulness. But… I really think that is the main reason that I struggled with this series. The entire premise of the story was an intense war, and then the fluffy (for lack of a better word) writing distracted me entirely from that and did it a total injustice. I never, not even once, felt like anything intense was happening because of how it was being described to me. I didn’t connect with the characters, I didn’t connect with the world, and I didn’t connect with what was going on because the true details were buried so deep in all this fluff that I couldn’t find it. Perhaps I feel this way because I listened to the audiobooks, where I tend to prefer easier writing styles because I’m not actually seeing what I’m reading, instead of reading the physical books. Shrug, I’m not sure. All I can say is that this writing style was not for me, and this series was not for me.
Would I Recommend It?
Unfortunately, I’m going to have to say no. I appreciate the elaborate story lines that were in play throughout the series, and the way that everything tied together and completed in the end, but the struggle to get through these books was not worth it.
Did you struggle with this series as much as I did? If you loved it, please help me understand what the hell went wrong with me when I read these!