You can read all of my reviews at Alluring Reads.Another instance where Jenni was bitten by the hype-bug. There is simply no avoiding the raving that goes on for Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke & Bone. With the release date of Days of Blood & Starlight looming, I decided it was time dig into my copy and see what all the hubbub was about. I can safely say that I was left... well, underwhelmed, I guess. I was taken aback by the fantastic, imaginative and rich world building, but for me, the bulky writing left something to be desired. Actually, no, it left nothing to be desired, it was beyond descriptive and it actually started to feel laborious to read. I can often enjoy a novels rich detail, but there also has to be something actually happening in the story for me to be able to appreciate it.When I put the book down I sat back and starting thinking about the 420 pages that I had just read. I came to the conclusion that not a lot actually happened in those pages. I mean we met Karou, an art student living in the beautiful city of Prague and learn that she is living a double life. By day she is a great artist living her life in a great city and spending time with her best friend Zuzana. By night she is a human who leaves our world through a secret door that must be opened from the inside and she is an errand runner for Brimstone, the Wishmonger of the chimaera. Most of Smoke & Bone is simply world building, we get flashbacks (tons of them) of Karou's abnormal childhood and once she is introduced to the love interest we get more flashbacks and then once the secret of her life is revealed we get... wait for it.... more flashbacks! Now I can appreciate that perhaps this novel was simply setting the stage for an amazing series and I truly hope that is the case here, but even so, I longed for more of what was going on in the here and now and less back story.The back story did, in a way serve its purpose, I came to understand Karou's odd upbringing and I felt her desperation at her loss. She was a really great character, she was witty when a situation called for it and she was unrelenting when she needed to be as well. It is always refreshing to see a strong female in novels and to watch her hold her in the most serious of situations (yes there is a grand total of two actions scenes to be found here.) She was the only character that I felt I had enough to connect with, Akiva was constantly brooding and yea he was sweet, but I didn't get enough interaction with him to really begin to feel for him or even fully understand him. The best part as far as characters go in this tale was the unique chimaera and even the spin Taylor put on the typical angel. The chimaera are described as the most imaginative hybrid of animal you can fathom and the pictures I had in my head were mind blowing. The burning wings of the angels was also something that was beautiful to envision.The last 70 pages of this novel would have easily been 5 stars for me, but because I struggled so much with the rest of the novel I just can't give it that. I had a strong urge upon reading the final page to stand up and do a victory dance for finally making it through and not resorting to skimming. That being said the final 70 pages was definitely enough to make me want to read the follow up in the series. As I said, I have high hopes that Smoke & Bone was setting the stage for a truly magical story to unfold because the potential is definitely there. I hope to see a lot more actually happening in the next book because I think I definitely have enough back story for now.