Reading progress update: I've read 224 out of 390 pages.

Daughter of Smoke & Bone - Laini Taylor

This is an "errors" update. Just things I've noticed that irritate me or that I have to wonder about. Actually, I'm really liking this book, so that's not why I'm pointing them out - I'm pointing them out because that's what I do, and because I don't want to cram them all in my review later. So.


On page 38, Karou told me that Twiga's head was bowed "like a horseshoe". Earlier, she told me that Twiga had a giraffe's neck. Obviously it wasn't actually a giraffe's neck and was more like a snake's neck, because giraffes can't bend their necks like that. Ever. Have you ever seen a giraffe take a drink? Yeah. They have to bow down at the legs and shoulders, because their necks aren't flexible enough to just arch down to the water.


On page 59, we get this sentence: He could feel its bitter aura of magic as an ache behind his eyes. Taylor should've said like an ache, not as. It doesn't make the sentence seem more poetic, it just makes it incorrect and funny-looking. I'll give her credit, though - I think this is the only time I've seen this particular error, so it was most likely a slipup.


(Why does the site's spellchecker think "should've" is wrong? Has it never met any kids from the 21st century before? Or Ron? How about Ron, because he said it all the time?)


I'm also really tired of seeing the word lostness used to describe Karou. And Akiva, incidentally, I think it's been used for him a couple of times, too.


I'm annoyed with the third-person omniscient writing. An entire chapter will be written from Karou's perspective, except for one or two paragraphs that are obviously from another character's eyes. It happens all the time. When we switch from Karou's POV to Akiva's, we actually get a page break, but all these stupid little POV mistakes aren't marked at all, they're just thrown in like I'm not supposed to notice.


Oh, and the foreshadowing is soooo clumsy. I don't want to see any more of those little sentences that Taylor throws in, like "If she'd known where Brimstone was sending her, she might not have," and "She really should have asked," and "She was not exactly wrong," and so on. You don't need to keep telling me about things before they happen, I'm already interested, okay? So stop spoiling these scenes, because I'm a really good guesser when books are concerned, and chances are I've already figured out what's going to happen before it happens, because some clumsy sentence gave me a tip most authors would've skipped.


(But "would've" doesn't register as a spelling mistake.....)


And hey, if Akiva's wings can be "glamoured" into invisibility, and he's solid flesh and blood, then shouldn't his wings have an anchor in his back? And shouldn't they have to cut through holes in his jacket and shirt? So, I'm assuming he doesn't walk around with giant unexplained holes in the backs of his clothes, which means that the "glamour" not only makes things invisible, but also patches clothing. I'd have liked to see this more explained, since they make it sound like second-class invisibility.


On page 144, they're talking about the Apocalypse like it's fact. Zuzana's religion was never specified, and Karou doesn't believe, so why did they target that particular word?


On page 159, Karou was cowering in Akiva's shadow. The word "shadow" was actually used. But on page 198, his wings are bright enough to light the entire room, even to the point that she can draw in the glow. I find it hard to believe that there would have been a shadow on page 159, since both his wings were extended and probably showering light all over her.


On page 182, we get the scene where Karou and Akiva are flying above the tourists, and it's from Kaz's POV. Akiva holds Karou's hands together and then lets her go and flies back. Then we get this sentence: The two spoke, gestured. But then, we get to watch the exact same scene from Karou's POV (so unnecessary, I'd have really liked to see Kaz's chapter cut altogether, since he doesn't speak their language and didn't understand a thing), and Akiva holds her hands and then lets her go. The two do not speak or gesture in Karou's version of the scene, before she blasts him again. They just kind of stare at each other.


On page 191, Karou gets into the elevator with Akiva. There's no mention of his gigantic wings, and whether or not they easily fit - I mean, I assume he can crumple them down until they'd fit, since he can get through doorways, but most apartment elevators are teensy. Karou should have said something about his wings.


Oh, and one final thing - the TMI stuff. Ugh. Maybe I'm paranoid, but I'm seeing a lot of similarities between this book and The Mortal Instruments. Little things. Like Karou wanting to draw the angel and not quite being able to get him right. Like the inked eyes on the hands, like the loads of tattoos in the first place. There are others, I unfortunately know a lot of TMI by heart, so sometimes little phrases or passing thoughts seem uncannily similar to stuff from TMI.


But hey, I'm actually liking this book, so I'm trying not to think too much about where Laini Taylor's influences came from. This book is kind of like the YA demons/angels book the way it should have been written, and if I compare it to TMI I'm afraid I might start to hate it. So I won't compare it again.


And now, for the fun part! Trying to say all the stuff I like about it, without making it a review. I love Zuzana. She's actually a real character. So often in YA books, the best friend is just a throwaway, a cardboard prop to make the main character seem more sympathetic (and it doesn't work). But Zuzana is spicy and funny and just bursting with personality. And best of all, she actually cares about Karou! And vice versa. It's such a nice change. Zuzana is awesome.


And Brimstone is awesome. I just....he's awesome. The whole thing about him is awesome. His backstory, his mysteries, his powers, his appearance, his mood swings, his personality, his relationships, his creepy little shop and his job and his wishbone. He's just amazing. Everything about him is exactly what I like in a character, kind of an old-fashioned folklore style demon dude who sells wishes for teeth. He'd fit perfectly in Hellboy's universe. I love him to pieces, and I'm actually furious that he hasn't been around more.


Karou is cool, too. She's a little petty and selfish, but at least she knows it. And she's actually got spirit, and she's a strong female character without being a witch about it. She's got flaws and opinions and she's really consistent. I think she's great. I normally don't get too attached to main characters because they're main characters, you know? But her, I like.


And Akiva is awesome. Whiny and pathetic, but awesome. And so adorably stupid. I love the way he talks, it's really different than the way everyone else in the book talks. And his wings look like Tyrael's from Diablo II, except...featherier? So pretty.


(The spellchecker didn't underline "featherier". O.O)