Thursday, December 12, 2013

Daughter of Smoke and Bone 2.5
/sighs of delight

Night of Cake and Puppets, Laini Taylor
Last night, I devoured a novella written by Laini Taylor, set just after Book 2, Days of Blood and Starlight, that focuses on a single night, told from the first-person perspectives of Zuzana and Mik.
  • The fact that I only just got to reading this now was a result of a gross oversight on my part.  Reading material that serves as "special features" to the best fantasy writing I've ever read?  Yes please.  I put the book I am currently reading on hold as soon as I learned of it.
  • And Laini's writing is as sharp and strong as ever.  Those similes!  And it's filled with delicious sentences you want to re-read yet you don't want to slow down at all...  As I began reading, I was immediately transported back to Prague and so invested; so relishing Taylor's voice, that it pained me to think of returning to the book I was reading in Taylor's wake.  If the novels in the DOSAB trilogy are a series of a exhilarating amusement park rides, NOCAP is the sumptious bed you retire to at the vacation day's end, but it is so soft and luxurious you make sheet-angels of delight -- you've found a retreat from the intensity but still feel the thrill of your holiday.  You know all of that incredibly entertaining dialogue I raved about that peppered DOSAB and DOBAS?   NOCAP lives in that space; it unleashes Zuzana's wit, her internal monologue, the sweetness of her interest in Mik (and his in her), her creativity, and this remains the narrative's playground.  
  • Hilarious holiday.  I laughed so loud, so often.  
  • You could enjoy this novella without having read the other books (But why would you? Have I taught you nothing?!). There is no doubt existing fans will relish it all the more, of course.  The chief subject is the romance, however, be warned.
  • I have read a few novellas over the years.  I often find the scope of the story for these shorter texts is too ambitious.  Not so here.  This is an excellent short tale.
  • It must be said: Zuze and Mik are not your average 17-year-olds.  But I like that Laini Taylor gives youth more credit and spunk than I'm used to adolescents being attributed in YA fiction.
  • I was impressed with Taylor's treatment of sensuality.  The natural desires of the characters were addressed to satisfy the realistic curiousity of a YA reader, but not indulged.
  • There are some minor cuss words and blasphemy.
  • This is the first time I have ever considered another human's tale of wooing to be worthy of a touch of envy.  I got my own fairytale.  I typically still enjoy romance stories without coming anywhere close to considering trading places.  I still wouldn't here, but props.
  • So fun.  So scrumptious.  SO FEEL-GOOD!
  • It is an incredibly satisfying read.  I think it will enhance our love for Book 3, Dreams of Gods and Monsters, due for release April 8, next year; watch this space for a chance to win your very own copy of the final installment upon its release from Hachette.  Eeeeeep!

This novella is available as an ebook or Audiobook.

I read it in an hour.  I do read fairly fast.  But even if you read at half of my speed, this glorious read will only occupy the time of your average feature film.  And it will be so. much. better.  And you don't have to drive to the video store...and it'll cost you less...and you won't have to return it...

I purchased a kindle edition for USD$2.99 (NZD$3.71, at last night) on Amazon, and had it open and tantalising me in my Kindle app a minute later...where it shall live to be reread again and again.  OOooo...I am so excited to read Books 1, 2, and 2.5 in quick succession leading up to April 8!  Anyone who borrows or buys the audio, I'd love to hear what you thought of the reader!
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