My Thoughts On: Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor {the Audiobook}

Posted May 22, 2012 by Asheley in Uncategorized / 35 Comments

Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor
Published by Hachette Audio
Publish Date: September 27, 2011
Length: 12 hours, 32 minutes
Narrator: Khristine Hvam
Source: I checked this out thru the library’s Overdrive system!

Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands”; she speaks many languages—not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When one of the strangers—beautiful, haunted Akiva—fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself? –(summary from Goodreads)

Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor

My Thoughts: I’ve read Daughter of Smoke & Bone before, you guys. I’ve had a love affair with Laini Taylor’s lush language and descriptive writing and gorgeous setting and incredible characters. I hung on every word of the book and when I finished it, I think I hugged it for a long time – all the while wanting to simultaneously smile and cry at the same time. Ah, there were so many emotions!

That’s what is so awesome about a book that you love so much, isn’t it? I found all of that with this book, right away, within a chapter or two. The setting was the first thing that stole my heart but it was the story that grabbed it. I’ve recommended this book to no less than a bazillion people, and I’m happy to say that I’ve had positive feedback from the ones that have actually heeded my advice and read it. Literally, I found nothing wrong with it. (You can read my initial thoughts on Daughter of Smoke & Bone HERE.)

So why did I choose to read this book again via audiobook listen instead of with the print version? Great question!

The first thing you need to know is this:
I actually LIKE to “re-read” via audio

I have a hard time devoting 100% of my attention to anything. I’m just being honest. When I’m lucky enough to be by myself, I’m easily distracted. When I’m not by myself, I don’t even attempt to listen as it isn’t even worth how much I miss because of how insanely noisy my life is. So really, it isn’t always in my best interest to choose a shiny, brand-new book that I’m dying to read as an audiobook for the first time.  

(disclaimer: I’m currently listening to The Name of The Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, slowly, for my first read-thru via audio – but I’m following along nearly word-for-word with the book. So this one doesn’t count!)

The second thing you need to know is this:
I LOVE this book so much. Like, so much…
(as if you couldn’t tell by my opening paragraphs and initial review)

I recommended this book to a fellow reading pal a while back and she chose to listen to it by audiobook instead of reading the print version. She loved it, going as far as to tell me how great the audio is and that the reader is awesome. Because of her audio recommend back to me, it’s been on my radar since then. No time like the present, friends. I recently downloaded it thru my library’s Overdrive system and reacquainted myself with Prague…and with Karou and Akiva…and Brimstone and all the rest. *sigh* It felt like coming home. Gah, I love this book so much.

The third thing you need to know is this.
People get ready, Book #2 is coming.

That’s right, everybody: Days of Blood & Starlight is projected to be published in early November 2012 by Little, Brown & Company. I sometimes to like to re-read the previous books before I continue with series books, so like I said earlier – it was just time. 

I don’t need to tell you again how much I love the story; I’ve done that before. You can read my initial review. But I DO need to tell you how much I loved the audiobook. In fact, if you follow me on Twitter, I almost feel sorry that you had to read all of my tweets about it. Because they were plentiful, crazed, and gushy. 

As a re-read, I loved Daughter of Smoke & Bone even more than when I read it the first time. I picked up on so many little things that I missed initially. The first time, I devoured the book and missed a ton of foreshadowing. With the audiobook, the reader goes at a pace slower than my brain reads, so I was able to focus on what she was saying and not accidentally skip anything important – and because I’d read it before, if my mind wondered for a few seconds or a minute, it was okay because I knew the story.

OH! the story. And OH! the emotions. You guys, they are not lessened just because you have read the book before! They are only intensified and then some. Because you KNOW what is coming. You KNOW.

Khristine Hvam is a fantastic reader. Her voice is crisp and clear, and the gal can do accents like nobody’s business. And when in Prague, there are accents. When dealing with parallel worlds and all sorts of mythologies and beasts, there are accents! This was my first audiobook with this particular reader and I will actually seek her out for future audio.

Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor is published in audio form by Hachette Audio and is 13 hours, 32 minutes long. It is well, well worth your Audible credit, your dollars, or a check-out at your local library.

(If you choose not to go the audiobook route, I still very highly recommend this book in print form! It’s delicious!)


Have you read Daughter of Smoke & Bone
Did you love it as much as I did? 

If you haven’t read it, is it in your to-read pile?


About Asheley

Asheley is a Southern girl. She loves Carolina blue skies, Ben & Jerry's ice cream, and NC craft beer. She loves all things history but prefers books over everything.

You can find her somewhere in North Carolina, daydreaming about the ocean.

Find Asheley on Litsy @intothehallofbooks!


35 responses to “My Thoughts On: Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor {the Audiobook}

    • Oh Ash! I love audiobooks. I love to listen while I'm driving and while I'm cleaning or cooking…you should check one out of the library and give it a try. There are all kinds of audiobooks so there's bound to be something that you'd enjoy! The Night Circus is a good one – I know you loved that book – and the reader is FANTASTIC, the best really.

      Not everyone loves them, but I think everyone should at least try them!

  1. I listened to the audio and LOVED it. The narrator was indeed Fantastic – I loved the Czech accents and just the entire thing! I already know this is going on my "best books read this year" list.

    • Oh yes! It made my favorites of 2011 list easily. I can't wait until the next one comes out, I'll be reading it as soon as I can get my hands on it! Probably the same way…print first, audio for the re-read. I hope they get the same narrator. She was excellent!

      Thanks for stopping by Tanya! I hate that this didn't win the Nebula! It was my choice for sure. I know I say it often – I LOVE your blog.

  2. Daughter of Smoke and Bone is DEFINITELY in my to-read pile, and I can't wait until I catch up on my review books so I can dive into it.

    I also really like the idea of "rereading" via audiobook. It's like a whole new experience, almost!

    • Natalie, it's so great. I mean, it really truly is. It's one of those that I think deserved the buzz and hype, and I'll be reading pretty much whatever Laini Taylor writes. I need to read her backlist.

      I *LOVE* re-reading via audiobook. I find it SO relaxing, especially when I get stressed out. I tend to follow along in print a little bit, but YES it is a whole new experience. To me, it just makes it much more fun.

      LOVE it when you stop by!!!

    • I've totally latched on to this idea! After reading this post, I started going through my library's database to see which of the books in my reread pile were available at the library on audiobook. Lucky for me, a lot of them were, but I've told myself I need to make a bigger dent in my "first reads" audiobook pile first!

  3. I loved this book so much, and you know, I have only listened to one audio book ever. I didn't much care for the narrator so I have been hesitant to pick one up again. But I think doing an audio book as a re-read is a really great idea. I need to check out what my local library offers in that department.

    AND I am also super duper excited for Days of Blood and Starlight. I fell in love with Karou and Akiva and BRIMSTONE (gosh I just loved that character) and I am so excited, and nervous, to see what happens next:)

    • Oh Heather! I love them. Some of my favorite narrators are Jim Dale, Tim Curry, and Khristine Hvam. I've read on another blog that Jesse Eisenberg does a good job too.

      My county library system did not have a great selection in terms of audiobooks and did not offer the option of checking out via Kindle, so I opted to go outside of my county and pay $25 for a year to get a card in a nearby county. It is well worth it for me, as I am able to use the Overdrive system to check out audiobooks and ebooks for my Kindle. I can download to my phone or ipod and the selection is huge. It really isn't that expensive for me when I factor in how long of a drive it is to my local library from my house and how much better of an electronic/audio selection the neighboring county has – just about $2 per month. I still use my local branches for my print books. So if you find that your library doesn't have the best of selections, consider a card in a neighboring county – perhaps they have a reasonable membership as well.

      Also, if you want some recommendations, let me know! I listen while I drive, while I cook, and while I clean mostly – and I LOVE it for re-reads. Love it! I'm listening to Graceling now. Just started it. 🙂

  4. Ems

    I am reading this book as we speak and I LOVE IT SO HARD. Holy cow, it's gorgeous. I think this is going to be one of those ones that I only gush about and don't have anything really substantial to say. I'll just fall over and die, it's so awesome.

    Also, I love doing re-reads via audio. I'm doing Harry Potter that way this year, and when I finish those (I'm on OoTP), I'll do Lord of the Rings. Makes my commute bearable!

    • Yay Ems Yay!!!!!!

      It IS gorgeous. I felt the same way when I finished. I found absolutely nothing wrong with it. Fall over and die, yes yes yes! Now that Book #2 is soon I'm having increased heart rates and stuff. No kidding.

      Oh the HP audio! Love Jim Dale, you CANNOT go wrong with him! He did The Night Circus too, so if you haven't listened to that one, he does an AMAZING job with that book. I did a re-read of that one and fell so much more in love with the book after hearing his brilliant voice read the characters.

    • Ems

      SERIOUSLY?!?! I am SO getting that one. One of my favorite books ever, read by my favorite oral reader ever…it's a win/win situation! Thanks for the heads up!

  5. I absolutely loved this book, and I can't thank you enough for the bringing it to my attention. I recommended it to a couple people, and they loved it too! I find that lately I'm listening to more books through audible or on CD from the library than reading a printed copy. Maybe it's because I don't have a lot of time right now, but I really enjoy audiobooks, especially when you have a great reader (like Khristine Hvam).

    I downloaded The Name Of The Wind a couple weeks ago, too, because a) I heard good things about the book and wanted to read it, and b) I thought my soon-to-be husband (only 3 more days ~ woohoo!) would enjoy it, which he is, and he'll listen to a book before he'll read it. I went ahead and download the second book, The Wise Man's Fear (43 HOURS! gracious) because he's liking this first one so much.

    I try to be careful with my audible credits, only buying books that I enjoyed so much, I know I'll "reread". They're great at work because, like you said, it's okay if you miss a little bit because you already know the plot and you can easily catch up.

    I still need to join the Wake County library system…I wonder if you can do it online? I'll have to check into that.

    • The Name of the Wind is incredible but chunky at 28 hours-ish. So I'm actually reading and listening to others while I'm tackling it. I'm almost finished – I love it so much, I tend to get wrapped up in the emotion and need a short break. But WOW 43 hours – eep! I'll probably wait a little while before doing book two. The reader for those books is AMAZING and also did work on the Chaos Walking series by Patrick Ness, which you know is one of my favorite series EVER. You will like the book, no doubt, but it is very long.

      I am the same way with my audible credits, only buying what I know I'll listen to over again. For the rest, I use the Wake County Overdrive system (which I find much better than the Pitt County system in terms of what they offer for the price). For an avid reader such as yourself, I highly recommend the $25/year price PLUS you can instantly download Kindle books as well, which our library in Pitt County doesn't offer. I'm not sure about joining online, but I have just tweeted you the link to the branch I always call when I have questions about anything (which is often!) and they can hopefully take care of you over the phone. They're super nice and helpful from my experience with them thus far!

    • I didn't mention that the reader for The Name of the Wind is Nick Podehl. He's fabulous.

      And YES, Daughter of Smoke & Bone. So great. I can't wait for Book #2. I'm sure it'll be just as awesome as this one.

      Congratulations on the wedding, Susanne!

  6. It's not in my to-read pile yet, as I don't own it, but it is something that I WANT to read. I'm so glad you enjoyed it. I love when people gush about books, because it just makes me even more excited…though I don't get my hopes up that I will love it just the same, I do wonder, and that's always good. 🙂 Sounds like a great read. That's awesome there is a sequel. Glad you liked the audiobook. I still need to check out an audiobook…yeah, never listened to one.


    • Oh Lauren! I hope you like this one! I just love books like this, though, so I'm not surprised at how much I absolutely love it. It's really flawless and executed brilliantly in terms of setting, language, and characterization – and the audiobook re-read was super duper.

      Oh my goodness, no audiobooks! Some people do not like them, and I understand that, but you may really fall in love with them if you give one a try. However, if you find one that doesn't have a great reader for your first one, you may never listen to another one ever again…so I recommend asking around before you listen to your first one if you decide to – someone out there can give good recommendations for where to start so you won't hate your first experience just because of a bad reader. 😉

  7. I love love loved this book. I couldn't even review it. it was just that good. I had no words for how blown away I was. That's why I ended up doing the trailer. I wanted to share my love the best way I could. :0)

    This story was so unique. I'm still kinda speechless about it.

    Your idea is awesome. I am the same way as you as far as busy noisy life. I think thats why I can't get into audio books, but I never thought to use them as a second read! I dont normally re read books either, because I dont have the time or attention span to stay interested if I already know what's happening, but an audio book second time around could work for me! And I'm going to try this with DOSAB! I have read other audio book reviews on this one, and they are all glowing.

    I can't wait to read the next one. November is so far away. *sniffles*

    • I totally understand about not having words to say how you feel! I've read some really good books like that recently: the Chaos Walking books by Patrick Ness, American Gods by Neil Gaiman…unfortunately I DO NOT do trailers (no creativity at all in this gal, but I'm cool with that) but maybe I'll find the words on the re-reads.

      Yes, try audio re-reads. Another reason I love them is BECAUSE of the noisy life. After the noise has died down, when I'm by myself, I can turn my ipod on and follow along with the print copy of the book if I want to, which I find so relaxing. Or just listening to the words seems to mellow me out somehow. I may have just dorked myself out even more right then, but I'm cool with that.

      Anyway, November, geez, a while away. Yes. But I will POUNCE on book two with a ferocity that is ridiculous and embarrassing. Yet I won't be embarrassed about it at all.

  8. I loved DoS&B and bet it is just awesome on audio! I've tried audio books many times and cannot seem to get into them. I don't drive long distances and am always with at least one of my kids and they want to play I Spy or some other game, not hear mommy's audio books. Someone suggested that I listen to the audio while I'm doing stuff around the house and maybe that will work for me. The hubs loves audios and I get them from the library for his commute all the time. Will try them again and see if I can make it work this time….
    Truly Bookish

    • Honestly, the small bits here and there when I'm working around the house is how I listen to the audiobooks in largest part. Most of my travel time is small trips into town for errands, so occasionally I will get little 15-20 minute bursts here and there, but at home when I'm cleaning or cooking, I can usually get a good chunk of time where I'm focused on what I'm listening to.

      Hopefully it'll work out in the second try!

  9. {i'm following your blog}

    I am leaving this note to let you know that I am following you. If you aren't already following me can you please return the favor and leave a comment on my most recent entry. Please and thank you! 🙂


  10. Um…way to convince me that I ought to listen to the audio for this. Like you, I adored this book on the first read through, but knowing that the audio also comes so highly recommended has me thinking I'll pick it up before Days of Blood and Starlight comes out. I need to review it still anyway because I'm OCD and refuse to start reviewing a series in the middle on my blog!

    • WOWSERS!!! Heidi, I will take that as a huge compliment because sometimes you are a hard sell with a series. I know you said you loved the book on the first read but you are also set in your ways where a series is concerned, which is one thing I LOVE LOVE LOVE about you. And YES you should absolutely listen to it before Blood & Starlight, if for no other reason – to pick up on the foreshadowing and subtle clues you likely missed (like me) the first time. Plus it's just a well-done, well-read audio.

      I LOVE this comment! Fist pumps everywhere!

    • Haha, you're right, I am kind of a hardass when it comes to series, but I love that you love that about me. 😛

      I'm so sold on this one though!

  11. I have been wanting to read this for SOOO long! But, I love listening to audio books and you made it sound so good, so I think I will try to get it in that format. Thanks Ashley!

  12. Confession: I own this book, but I still haven't read it. So, first of all, you've basically convinced me that I need to drop everything and read it RIGHT THIS SECOND.

    Also, I'm the same way with audiobooks! I've found that it's best for me to listen to an audio as a re-read rather than a first read. That's because I listen while at work & I have to start and stop so it can be easy to loose the flow of the story if I've never read the book before.

    I'm so jealous you can download audiobooks with Overdrive. Our library offers it, but I've got a Mac and it won't work on my computer. Sigh.

    • Oh Hannah, this book is just pure lovely. And glorious. And emotional and swoony. And perfectly written. You get my picture?

      Yes on the audio re-read! I'm so glad you GET ME on that. I really was scared everyone would think I was a huge DORK when I admitted that. The stop/start thing is too hard so it helps to already know the story a bit so I can just let it keep playing.

      With Overdrive, can you try it on your phone? There's an app for it if you have a smartphone… Also, what kind of Kindle do you have? Do you have one that offers internet? Just some ideas that may/may not work…

  13. Shannon Lee

    So yeah, I am just getting around to looking through your blog, SORRY! I know… I am so glad you loved the audio as much as I did! LOOOOOVE the narrator. Can't wait to listen to her read Days of Blood & Starlight! SOSOSOOOOOOOO excited!!!!

    • Shannon Lee

      PS if you want a good narrator and fantastic books too, Listen to Jeanine Frost's Cat and Bones books. The narrator is the most talented girl I think I have ever listened too. Her ability to read different characters and change her voice is beyond amazing.

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