Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Karou is living a double life: one as a student at a Czech art school, and the other in a mysterious world filled with chimera (creatures that are part human, part animal). This other life is so mysterious that Karou does not even know what the teeth she is sent across the world to collect are for, or even where she came from.
Then Karou begins noticing hand prints burned on the magical doors that lead to her foster father Brimstone’s office, and soon she has met the culprit – a beautiful seraph named Akiva. As Karou falls in love with him, and he with her, she remains unaware that the chimera and the seraphs have been warring for centuries.
The descriptions are so beautiful and lush that I could practically taste this book. I’ve heard criticisms of the cover looking photoshopped but I rather liked it and felt it fit the book. I raced along, trying to figure out Karou’s origins and what was going on. The characters all felt very alive and unique, although I do wish Karou’s friends, Kaz and Zusanna, weren’t dropped off at the end so suddenly. Karou was a great heroine, who was smart and strong and creative with her otherworldly advantages.
My only reservations that kept this from being a 5-star review were a) I wasn’t expecting this to turn into another angel-romance, and b) the fact that this is the first book in a series. The ending is wrapped up quickly and not well enough, so I guess I will have to read the next book, Days of Blood and Starlight, when it comes out in November (although it won’t be a chore…).