The narrator, Khristine Hvam, was absolutely excellent. She read beautifully and the tone of her voice was a perfect fit. All the characters were uniquely portrayed and I found nothing at all to complain about as far as the audio went.
I was a little apprehensive to read Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Angel reads and I don't always have the most amicable relationship. Also, a few people who's opinion I trust did not fall in love with it. I think because of that I did not let the story fully engulf me until I was about a third of the way through the book. The characters were engaging from the start and the humor aspect was fun but it was a slightly slow start. However, once the story really started to develop it completely grabbed me.
Karou is anything but a typical young woman. She was raised by Chimera, demons ~ though she does not really understand that demons are really what they are. She grew up in a Wish Monger's shop and fetches him teeth whenever he is need. Yes, teeth. Teeth of all kinds, though she knows not what the teeth are for. In exchange he grants her wishes. Minor things, like her hair growing Peacock Blue or the sudden appearance, or disappearance, of tattoos.
Karou is a vivacious art student living in Prague, making up her life as she goes. She doesn't know who her parents were or where she came from. Her life is full of secrets and mystery yet, she is full of life and fun and a hard girl not to like. Though she is also utterly lonely inside the secrets she's forced to hold.
“Karou wished she could be the kind of girl who was complete unto herself, comfortable in solitude, serene. But she wasn't. She was lonely, and she feared the missingness within her as if it might expand and...cancel her. She craved a presence beside her, solid. Fingertips light at the nape of her neck and a voice meeting hers in the dark. Someone who would wait with an umbrella to walk her home in the rain, and smile like sunshine when he saw her coming. Who would dance with her on her balcony, keep his promises and know her secrets, and make a tiny world wherever he was, with just her and his arms and his whisper and her trust.”
She has a wonderful best friend that warrants mention. Zuzana is a creative character and so, so much fun. She brings an element of lightness and playful cynicism. I adored her and think I would enjoy a book with her as the protagonist.
“Hey! My body may be small, but my soul is large. It’s why I wear platforms. So I can reach the top of my soul.”
Karou's life changes entirely when the portals to her Chimera family are closed which coincides with Akiva (angel-boy) appearing in her life...and attempting to kill her.
Akiva will reveal answers to many of Karou's questions. Together they will unravel the mystery that is Karou and it will threaten to break them both.
Taylor writes with such a delicate hand. It has a nearly lyrical flow to it and I was enraptured by it. There were some shifts in points of view that did not always work though. Several times I became almost annoyed at the shift, it felt like we were rehashing too many details and I wanted the story to pick up its pace. I'm impatient that way... There is a ton of story here but there were times when the pacing was just not quick enough for me. Though, I think that may partially be because I couldn't wait to figure out where things were going. Again, I'm impatient that way.
By the end I was fully in love with many of the characters and the story itself. I am very excited to continue the series.