Monday, 2 July 2012

Just yesterday I finished reading "Daughter of Smoke and Bone" by Laini Taylor. I bought this book in a great effort to read big books. I don't like to read big books or extra long novels since I get bored easily with unnecesary explanations or descriptions. I'm more into short stories but this time I decided to give a chance to a "big book" since an old co-worker of mine invited me to her book club to read "Daughter of Smoke and Bone". I was quite reluctant at the beginning: it was a big book, a fiction novel (my ex-coworker is in love with fiction. I wasn't.) and the price of the hard cover here in Colombia is just outrageous compared to Amazon or Barnes and Nobles prices. So, I said to her a big NO.

But I came back to my favorite bookshop in town and found the book again. I grabbed it and as soon as I read the first pages I got caught by the rythm of the dialogues, the descriptions of Prague and the principal character' attitude. Great start I thought. I kept reading and the shop assistant just said "the guys from the book club don't make boring choices. You look so into it, you should get it". Although I knew about his strategy to sell the book, he was right! I bought it and started reading.The narrator of the story could tell soo much about how the principal character, Karou, saw the city that I could imagine easily the landscapes and the temperatures she felt while she was wandering in narrow old streets.

That was the first impression that kept me reading night after night and made dream of fantastic places with people that are not part of my life anymore, people I've loved and forgotten and people I still keep dearest at the bottom of my heart. The narrator's words made me remember not only people but feelings and sensations I had buried a long time ago. After these descriptions, there was one thing that kept me following Karou in her missions around the world: her warrior-like self-sufficient attitude to deal with mishappenings. That attitude reminded me of myself trying to cope with my job, my desire to see it all, to travel, to deal with strangers. Her attitude was somewhat like me and that kept me cheering her up everytime something happened to her. But that was only the tip of the iceberg: one night I dreamed of  my last failed date thanks to a detailed description of Karou's emotions when falling in love with the enemy. Next morning I woke up all mad at Karou because she reminded me of what I was trying trying to forget. I thought, this book is really making an impression on me and it's not only what happens to Karou but how the narrator weaves words to really describe moods and thoughts. That was a kind of score for "big books".

Although the plot follows a quite Shakesperean fashion (Romeo and Juliet forbidden romance), the author keeps loose ends almost until the end. That is why it kept me reading like a teenager all excited to see what was next. The descriptions and unfolding of the flashbacks that explained the loose ends were unexpected and I wanted more. It was getting really awesome until the narrator decided to finish the story with a "to be continued." The love story was cut too soon and could have evolved into something beyond the mere romance and dissapointment of the truth. It didn't have an epic or Shakesperean ending but a blurred one. So, I felt heartless after so much happening in 418 pages.

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