Other reviews at The Book Babe's Reads.
For lack of a better word, Daughter of Smoke & Bone was...interesting. I enjoyed the dark atmosphere, and the overall uniqueness (chimera!), but there were a few things that could have been better. For instance, the romance was just kind of meh. I wanted to like it, but I couldn't get past the "insta" factor, and for all the explaining involved with that, it was still instalove.
I liked both of the main characters, Akiva and Karou. But I definitely liked Karou more - she had more time for development, and she was a mysterious and highly interesting character. I wanted to know what her secret was, maybe even more that she wanted to know! Akiva was less likable, with his thundersome personality, and his lack of feelings. I don't blame the poor guy, but still.
There was a jarring sensation the first time that I read a chapter from Akiva's point of view (due to having read about eight from Karou's), so that may have had an effect on my overall opinion of his character. Really, I'm not sure what I thought of Akiva. I mean, I don't think that Karou should trust him. His character kind of makes me nervous!
Speaking of characters that make me nervous... Brimstone and Issa did too - but they did it in a good way, that actually made them my favorites. Brimstone... I'd like to see more of him, because his character has an obscene amount of power!
The writing was beautiful and descriptive, full wonderful world development and a few plot twists, but near the end it was just a little confusing. I blame it on the fact that it felt like we'd switched stories entirely. Very strange, but overall I don't think it hurt my enjoyment of the book. I'd recommend reading this one - and I'm interested to see where the next book takes this series!