Tag Archives: Daughter of Smoke & Bone

WWW Wednesday, 24-April-2019

24 Apr

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community. 


Currently reading: I’m still moving forward with Becoming Madame Mao by Anchee Min but it’s starting to drag. It feels like nothing has happened in a while and I’m starting to get a little bored of this one. I hope something major happens soon, it feels like it’s due.
I’ve made decent progress on Hawkes Harbor by S.E. Hinton despite being so busy the past week. I try to read a chapter before bed each night, but I keep falling asleep too quickly to finish. I think I can have this one finished next week, though.
I started The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing by Mira Jacob over the weekend. I’m having flashbacks to Lahiri’s The Lowland so far but I’m not sure if it will continue that way. It’s just something about brothers fighting in India that’s got me comparing them.
I started the long journey that is A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin. This monster is 36 disks long and I’m on disk 3. And I’m happy with that. It will be on here a while longer, I’m sure. This is going to be fun.

Recently finished: I finished Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli and absolutely loved it. I can’t wait to see the movie as soon as I find a copy. I adored Simon’s voice and I’m not sure how that will translate to film, but I can’t wait to see them try.
I finished The Power by Naomi Alderman over the weekend. I’m still feeling out how I feel about this book. I liked the idea and how it played out, but I’m not sure how I felt about the characters. Sometimes, it was just a little too much for me.

I’ve got two book reviews posted as well. The first was my review of Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor. I’m still vacillating about reading the rest of the series. I have an opinion poll on the review page so please check that out.
I also posted my review of News of the World by Paulette Jiles. My book club will be meeting next Monday to discuss this so I’m glad I was able to review it before then. I’ve been falling so far behind that’s become a problem.

Reading Next: I’ll read Survival in Auschwitz by Primo Levi as my next physical book. It’s been sitting on my shelf for so long. I’m glad to finally get it off.


Leave a comment with your link and comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Book Review: Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor (4/5)

18 Apr

It seemed like this book was everywhere for a while. And, as is my custom, I added it to my TBR with the knowledge that I wouldn’t read it for years. And that’s exactly what happened. Better late than never.

Cover image via Goodreads

Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor

Summary from Goodreads:

Around the world, black hand prints 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 grows dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherworldly 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 beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery 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?

Parts of this book I really liked. I enjoyed the Chimaera and their backstory. It was interesting to hear how they endured the fight with the Seraphs but I liked learning about them through Karou’s eyes when they were family to her. I disliked the insta-love. It’s something that always takes me right out of a book and there were two cases of it in this book that made it hard for me to keep on believing the characters and story. I’ll get into both of these later. In the end, I’m iffy on if I want to continue on with the series. I feel like this book was a big build-up but that there wasn’t any resolution. This is another thing that frustrates me with series. I felt like there needed to be something more definitive to end this book before the second one began. I’m left really on the fence.

Character credibility is hard to judge in a fantasy book like this one. Karou seemed credible as a human as far as she could be considered a normal human. But her world was so warped and different that anything she did that was unusual or inhuman could be contributed to that. The same can be said for Akiva. It was the insta-love that did me in. Unless it’s a part of the fantasy, that two beings can tell if they’ll be compatible by seeing each other, I don’t buy it. Especially because in both cases, they were mortal enemies. I can’t imagine any circumstances where someone attacked me and I fell in love or where I was dying on a battlefield and a medic from the other side gave me some small assistance and I risked my life to find that person. Maybe the second is more probable, but it was still too much for me to process. It stopped me caring about the characters for the last third of the book.

Zuzana was my favorite character. She was fierce and a great friend. I’m sad to think she won’t be as involved in the later books as Karou heads to Eretz. I liked her (not instant) relationship with Mik and the puppet show she put on. It was fun to think of a character so small and strong spending the day with Karou and Akiva on a prolonged double date.

There wasn’t a lot I could relate to in this story. The best would be the opening scenes where Karou is putting up with Kaz. I had a high school boyfriend who was equally cocky and flippant and unrelenting and I wish I had wishes to make him itchy and uncomfortable. That would have been awesome. Other than that, I didn’t have much to relate to and it didn’t bother me much. I don’t look for a lot of relatable life experiences in fantasy. It’s escapist for a reason.

I liked the richness of the Chimaera world best. It was well described inside Brimstone’s shop and the details that were presented throughout the story were wonderful. Taylor did an amazing job of building a very unique fantasy race and giving it regional variations within the race. It was really a joy to read.

I’m going to insta-love bash again. It was just too much for me. Call me unromantic if you like, but I think two characters need more than instant attraction to build the kind of relationships that you risk your life for or go to battle for. Romeo and Juliet was unrealistic to me and this wasn’t much better. Madrigal and Akiva shared a moment. And that moment led to a year-long mission and a life-risking decision. It was too much. And I’m a bit afraid to keep reading this series and see how much was risked over a shared moment.

The audiobook I listened to was narrated by Khristine Hvam. For the most part, I enjoyed her narration but there was one notable exception. The voice she used for Razgut had me pulling my earbuds out and almost falling off of my bike. It was so grating and terrible and I understand why she chose to do such an altered voice, but it was way too much for me to handle. I wish she’d gone with something a bit quieter at least.

Unfortunately, I think the major theme in this book was love. It scares me a little when I can only find that theme in a YA novel. Karou does want to save her family, but that desire was pushed aside. I’m being hopeful that a desire to reconnect with the Chimaera will continue to drive her forward but the end of the novel isn’t giving me a lot of hope. Honestly, I’m surprised she didn’t give up and decide to stay human.

Writer’s Takeaway: I’ve not been brave enough to attempt a trilogy or to even give serious thought to doing so. I believe a well-written trilogy needs to have two mini-endings before there’s an overall ending to the series. Harry Potter accomplished this with school years, the Hunger Games did it with subsequent games. I often grow frustrated when there’s no discernible ending between books and it feels like a long chapter break. That’s how I feel about this series now. Using the last third of the book for a prolonged flashback and then ending abruptly left me with a sour taste in my mouth.

Because of a lackluster ending and a bit too much insta-love, I had to go with Four out of Five Stars for this one. And I have to know, should I continue the series? Will it get better?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Related Posts:
Daughter of Some & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone #1): Review | Books, Tea, and Insanity
Daughter of Smoke & Bone- Laini Taylor (Review) | Teacher of YA
Daughter of Smoke & Bone | Leslie D.
25 Reads: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor | Story and Somnomancy

WWW Wednesday, 10-April-2019

10 Apr

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community. 


Currently reading: It’s still steady-going with Becoming Madame Mao by Anchee Min. I only had two lunches last week to read and this week isn’t looking better. I’ll keep making my way through, though. No rush on this one.
I’m really enjoying Midwives by Chris Bohjalian. I squeezed a little extra reading time this weekend even though I couldn’t afford it. I hope to finish this one soon and not have it linger on this list for more than one more week.
I got my hold on Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli and was finally able to start it! I hope I have some long drives to get through this one quickly because I’ve been waiting for it forever!
I started reading The Power by Naomi Alderman on Sunday. Not too far into this one yet. I’m excited to stay one step ahead of my book club, though! We didn’t get our copies of this until Monday. Staying ahead is letting me focus on books I want to read, not just those for groups.

Recently finished: I was able to finish up News of the World by Paulette Jiles which was a lovely little book. I hope I remember it well enough for our next meeting because it seems so far away. I’ll get around to a review at some point. I feel so behind in reviews that it could be a week or two before I finally get to it! Better this than struggling for content, though.
I finished Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor Sunday morning. I enjoyed the story but it’s clear this is the first of a series. It was very unfinished and I was a bit disappointed. I hoped there was something more I would get before the book ended, but it was a set-up for the next books. I’m still debating if I’ll finish the series.

I posted two reviews this week. The first was for Thunderstruck by Erik Larson. Not a favorite read, but a solid one. I enjoy Larson’s style but this topic didn’t grab me as much as earlier ones have. I’ll have to try again soon. I gave the book Three out of Five Stars.
I also reviewed Wonder by R.J. Palacio. This book was a joy for me and I hope I can see the movie soon and experience it all over again! I gave the book Four out of Five Stars.

Reading Next: I’ll grab another book off of my shelves next. I’m feeling great about getting through so many! Next up is Survival in Auschwitz by Primo Levi. I added a number of concentration camp memoirs to my TBR after listening to Anne Frank’s diary a few years ago. This one was a little harder to come by but I have a copy and I look forward to reading it!


Leave a comment with your link and comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 3-April-2019

3 Apr

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community. 


Currently reading: I made a little headway with Becoming Madame Mao by Anchee Min but not much. I’ll be on this for a while, to be sure. I’m still getting used to the style, how it switches from first-person to third-person. I’m not sure I like it yet.
I’ve gotten to halfway through Midwives by Chris Bohjalian. I haven’t been reading as much before bed because I’m making sleep a priority and getting to bed earlier. It’s been great, but it is eating into reading a smidge.
I’m really liking Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor on audio. It’s getting really interesting and keeping me listening as long as possible through each workout. I might be on to a series I’ll finally finish!
Since  News of the World by Paulette Jiles is so short, I’m making great progress with it. I should have this one wrapped up later this week at the latest!

Recently finished: I knew it was coming so no big surprise here: nothing new finished this week. I killed it in March so I’m not surprised with a small slow down. Though I do expect more books finished next week! Also no reviews this week. I’ll be back at them next week so don’t worry!

Reading Next: I’m still waiting for Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli. I’m getting anxious since I’ll be ready to start it very soon. I’ve got my fingers crossed it comes in this week!


Leave a comment with your link and comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 27-March-2019

27 Mar

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community. 


Currently reading: It’s been slow going with Becoming Madame Mao by Anchee Min because of a crazy work schedule. I hope to read a bit more of it during my lunch breaks this week, but I’m not planning on it. I work through ebooks slowly and this seems destined to that fate.
I’m making decent progress with Midwives by Chris Bohjalian before I go to bed at night. Though I suspect this book is increasing my anxiety because it seems impossible that someone is put on trial for doing their job and questioned so much!
I needed a new e-audiobook faster than expected and I picked up Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor. There were some issues borrowing from the library so it took a bit longer than I hoped before I could start this one, but all is good and I’m going strong! Maybe I’ll finish this one as fast as I’ve finished my last few audiobooks.
I started a new audiobook in my car while I wait on my library hold. This is my next book club selection, News of the World by Paulette Jiles. It’s a nice short one so I’m optimistic that I’ll wrap it up quickly!

Recently finished: I wrapped up Wonder by R.J. Palacio on Saturday and adored the ending! I have some minor quibbles about the style, but the story and premise were wonderful. I’ll be reviewing this in the next couple weeks (because I’m so backlogged on reviews!) and I’m giving it Four out of Five Stars.
I absolutely flew through Dodgers by Bill Beverly. The story grabbed me and made me think about race relations more than I thought it would. East was a great voice to tell this story. This should be a great discussion point for my book club when we meet in April.

Two book reviews to share as well! The first is Origin by Dan Brown. This was a fun read for me and I’m glad I’m caught up on Robert Langdon’s adventures. I’m sure we haven’t seen the last of the professor and I’ll be ready for the next one when it comes. I gave the book Four out of Five Stars.
I also reviewed This Is a Book by Demetri Martin. This was a little harder to review just because there wasn’t much of a plot to this collection of comedic stories. I liked it, though, and it had my husband giving me weird looks as I laughed out loud in bed. I gave the book Three out of Five Stars.

Reading Next: I’m still waiting for Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli to come in at the library. I’m hoping it’s soon but not too soon so I can finish my other audiobook first.


Leave a comment with your link and comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Recently Added to my To-Read List

10 Jan

I had to go really far back in my blog to find the last time I did one of these posts! Like always, let me know if I’ve got a dud or a winner. I love to hear from you all.

  1. The Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor. If I saw this book on my ‘Recommended for You’ list one more time, I was going to scream. So I added it. The story follows a strange girl living in Prague who’s swept into a strange tale involving the devil. Yes, the description is vague, but I’ll still read it.
  2. Left Behind by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins. I was talking to a friend about book series and he said that this is the only one he’s ever read. So I’m intrigued. It’s a series of Christian books about those left behind after the apocalypse.
  3. The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White. I just finished reading On Writing and in it, King recommends that all fledgling writers read this book. I bow to the King in this matter
  4. Pope Francis Speaks to our Hearts. This was a small gift from a friend around the holidays. I got it because I was the only Catholic besides my husband and he got the book on beer. It’s a lot of short quotes from Francis (which might be a little mature into his term, but hey).
  5. The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey by Walter Mosley. A friend of mine commented on Goodreads that she couldn’t put this book down because it was so good. I hope I feel the same. Grey is an old man who has shut himself off from the world. His new caretaker pushes him to interact with the world he’s missing instead of living the rest of his life in the walls of his home. I recommended this one for my book club, I’ll keep my fingers crossed that it’s picked.
  6. Everything is Connected by Keri Smith. This was a gift from SG at our NaNoel party. I love postcards and this book is a series of postcards, much like the author’s other work, “Wreck This Book.”
  7. Fiction Writer’s Workshop by Josip Novakovich. This was a gift from Nicole at our holiday party. It’s a guide that can be used to play a workshop or to workshop alone. I’ll see which one I feel like doing, haha.

There you go! Have you read any of these? Any of them sound exciting or terrible? Let me know, Reader!

Until next time, write on.