Mini Review for Night of Cake and Puppets by Laini Taylor

34733250Night of Cake and Puppets
By: Laini Taylor Illustrated by: Jim Di Bartolo
Release Date: September 12, 2017
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Format: Print ARC
Source: Publisher

My Rating:

In this stand-alone companion to the New York Times bestselling Daughter of Smoke & Bone series comes the story of Mik and Zuzana’s fantastical first date- as a gorgeously illustrated gift edition with bonus content included.

Petite though she may be, Zuzana is not known for timidity. Her best friend, Karou, calls her “rabid fairy,” her “voodoo eyes” are said to freeze blood, and even her older brother fears her wrath. But when it comes to the simple matter of talking to Mik, or “Violin Boy,” her courage deserts her. Now, enough is enough. Zuzana is determined to make the first move, and she has a fistful of magic and a plan. It’s a wonderfully elaborate treasure hunt of a plan that will take Mik all over Prague on a cold winter’s night before leading him to the treasure: herself! Violin Boy is not going to know what hit him.

New York Times bestselling author Laini Taylor brings to life a night only hinted at in the Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy—the magical first date of fan-favorites Zuzana and Mik. Originally published as an ebook, this new print edition will include breathtaking black and white illustrations, plus bonus content in a gorgeous package perfect for new and current fans of the series.

My Thoughts:
I absolutely looooved this novella! It had been far too long since I’d been in this world. I always loved Zuzana and Mik so reading how they got to know one another and their first date was so much fun.Now, in all honesty, I still haven’t read the last of the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series. I know, its awful. You see, I love these books so much I couldn’t say goodbye. I pre-ordered the book and it’s been sitting on my shelf just waiting for me. I just can’t do it yet. I don’t want to say goodbye. Reading this novella really got me back into it though so I think I might just pick it up soon

NoCaP was written just as beautifully as the books were and the advanced reader copies did have some of the artwork. A lot wasn’t finished but I know in the hardcover it’ll be beyond amazing. I loved having little illustrations as I read. I fell so in love with Taylor’s writing all over again. I read Strange the Dreamer recently and it was incredibly written but it does have a much more serious aura than these books. I had forgotten how funny Laini Taylor was! I laughed out-loud and I want to know these characters. They are all so unique and clever.

For all of those new to this series- you can totally read this first if you want! It doesn’t give away any major spoilers and it’s a great introduction to the world and writing style. This review can’t be long since this is a novella but just know that this is a must read! Go forth and pre-order.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone Review

Daughter of Smoke and BoneDaughter of Smoke and Bone
By: Laini Taylor
Release Date: September 27, 2011
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company

My rating:

Laini Taylor is an amazing story teller, she builds up a world so detailed and creative you just don’t want to leave. I first read her series about your not so typical fairies the Dreamdark series (Blackbringer and Silksinger). Then I read her short story book, Lips Touch: Three Times. All just beautifully done. I see her name and I know I’ll be reading it sooner than later no matter what the subject matter is.

Summary (via 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?

The Story:
The most basic description of this book that I’ve seen is that its about a forbidden love between an angel and a demon, which brings to mind a lot of other series out there. Daughter of Smoke and Bone is not at all like the the vast majority of those. Laini Taylor weaves together a world original and detailed that takes age-old ideas (angels, demons, forbidden love, monsters etc) and makes them fresh and new again. The story has an elaborate mythological feel that will keep you riveted. The story moves at a wonderful pace once past the first few chapters (I got a tad bogged down with the art class scenes). Its a very complex story yet you are not confused as you read. Parts of the overall arc are slowly revealed to you letting you get a grasp of the overall story being developed in small bursts. I guess the best way to describe all of Laini Taylor’s books are that they are multi-leveled. You can tell so much thought and attention was given to small details that strengthen the characters and world.

The Characters:
These characters are so unique and drawn so clear, you rejoice at their triumphs and cry when they fail. Brimstone…lets just talk about how awesome he is. His entire being is just so interesting to me, a monster creature collecting teeth (from all over the world) for his mysterious work. This creature is as close to a father figure as our heroine, Karou has. Here’s her description of him in chapter 5,

Brimstone’s arms and massive torso were the only human parts of him, though the tough flesh that covered them was more hide than skin. His square pectorals were riven with ancient scar tissue, one nipple entirely obliterated by it, and his shoulders and back were etched in more scars: a network of puckered white cross-hatchings. Below the waist he became else-thing. His haunches, covered in faded, off-gold fur, rippled with leonine muscle, but instead of the padded paws of a lion, they tapered to wicked, clawed feet that could have been either raptor or lizard– or perhaps, Karou fancied, dragon.

The inner dialog of Karou is incredibly thoughtful and funny too. Its a treat to be residing in her thoughts and experiences. Laini Taylor creates characters that ‘are’ as they are described to be. You know, you’ve read the books where the love interest is just a list of adjectives but you really never see any of it in him or his actions? Well, Akiva, Karou, Brimstone, all of them are as they are described. Your mind creates such a clear view of who they are its really amazing.

Final Thoughts:
I don’t think you necessarily need to be a fan of books about angels to get intrigued in Daughter of Smoke and Bone, the world is crafted so well. Of course, if you are a fan of that genre (Angelfall by Susan Ee anyone?) you’ll love this too, or at least I do. Oh, and if you are a Twilight fan Stephenie Meyer has recommended the series.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone trailer:

The second in the series Days of Blood and Starlight is also available.

To buy this book:
Barnes and Noble