Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor – Audiobook

Title: Daughter of Smoke and Bone
Author: Laini Taylor
Narrated by: Khristine Hvam
Publisher of Audiobook: Hachette Audio
Release Date: September 27th 2011
Length: 12 Hours 31 Minutes
Originally listened to in January

Synopsis: Provided by Goodreads:

Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands”; she speaks many languages – not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When one of the strangers – beautiful, haunted Akiva – fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

My Review:

I was so fed up with not being able to read many books due to the amount of work I had to do at University that I decided to give audio books a second try. I needed one with an interesting story line and a narrator that would keep my interest. This was suggested to me by Kayleigh at K-Books, she thought I’d like this narrator so it would be a good introduction.

So lets split this review into two parts: the book and the reading.

The Book:

I didn’t know much about The Daughter of Smoke and Bone only that there was quite a lot of hype surrounding this series and it was said to be a really good read. I didn’t know anything about the characters or the main plot, but thought I’d give it a go regardless. One thing that struck me instantly was the unusual setting of this book, it’s set in Prague which is rather unusual. I’ve gotten used to YA Books being set either in the UK or in the US, this was rather refreshing. I really enjoyed the new setting. Although this mean that some of the names were alien to me and I had to get used to them, I had the added advantage of it was being read to me by someone else so all I had to do was mimic them – easy.

I felt the characters were easy to enjoy, they were amusing and entertaining and interesting all at once. All of them. Taylor has clearly given a lot of thoughts into the characters she was creating for this world. The characters are split also into three species: Humans, Angels and Chimeras. Never before have I read a book that has Chimeras in it! Let alone a war between Angels and Chimeras! I loved this original idea, it was a brilliant read and just like the setting being unusual and yet awesome, this war was the same. I’ve read Humans vs Angels and Angels vs Angels and so on but this was just brilliantly refreshing.

I expected the romance, but even though I saw it coming, I did not see it all coming. I hate spoilers so I’m desperately trying not to give anything away, but I just did not see this relationship unraveling the way it did. I loved that! The fact that although I saw bits of it coming from a mile away, other parts took me by complete surprise!

The characters that stood out to me were: Karou, Brimstone, Akiva, Zuzana, and Mik. Again, weird names, because I was listening to the book rather than reading it, I had no idea how to spell these names! Ha. It was refreshing. I enjoyed reading…listening to this book and when I eventually get to start the second, I hope it’ll continue the awesome.

The Reading:

The narrator was Khristine Hvam and she was absolutely  brilliant. I don’t know her background, in fact I know absolutely nothing about her, but what I do know is she can do both male and female voices brilliantly and she can pull of multiple accents. Expected of an audio book narrator I’m sure, but still I wanted to praise this.

I enjoyed listening to her read the story as it helped me with accents that I don’t know, if I had read this to myself they would have all been American or British because that’s all I know! So I’m glad I was able to hear it correctly. Khristine put the right amount of emotion into her reading, and the right amount of attitude. I really enjoyed her, I think she’s quite talented. I am very curious as to what else she has narrated. I’m quite the cover whore when it comes to books, so I’m wondering if this will be the equivalent for audio books, fishing for narrators I enjoy!


I enjoyed this experience and although I wasn’t completely smitten with audio books after finishing this one, I was definitely open to trying more. Taylor’s world was brought across wonderfully by Hvam and it was just beautiful and easy to enjoy. I imagine it would have also been a good read, had I got a hard copy of it.



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