Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Book-to-Film: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke & Bone has been on Hollywood's to-film list for a while, along with the rest of the YA cannon.  It looks like this one might actually happen, though.  Universal Pictures has the film rights to this story, and has recently found a director to helm the project.  From Collider:
Universal Pictures has chosen a director for the studio’s adaptation of the Laini Taylor YA fantasy novel Daughter of Smoke & Bone.  Heat Vision reports that commercials director Michael Gracey will take the helm of the project, which revolves around a 17-year-old art student whose father sends her all over the world collecting human teeth for a mysterious purpose.  The young woman soon realizes that she’s part of an ancient struggle between angels and demons, and finds herself in a love affair with a warrior angel.  Stuart Beattie (Collateral) initially penned the screenplay with subsequent rewrites by Taylor, and Joe Roth (Alice in WonderlandSnow White and the Huntsman) will produce.
Here’s the synopsis for Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke & Bone:
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?

I found the book to be totally bizarre, in all the best ways. I don't even know what genre it is. (action/adventure? paranormal? fantasy? romance?) I can appreciate the imagination and creativity behind this kind of story, but I found the romance to be a bit MUCH. There were many innovative things going on in the first half of the story, but the second half got completely bogged down with all the swooning going on. I fear that a film would amplify the angst, instead of enhancing the already well-imagined world that Karou and her conflict-filled comrades inhabit.  We'll have to see about this one.  (Note: I have not read, nor do I have any immediate plans to read book 2 or book 3 [to be released 4.8.14] of this trilogy, but I hear it gets better.  Not sure how much better, but maybe there's hope.)


  1. I have yet to start the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series. I'm not sure what I'm waiting for, because I hear great things. I'm sorry the first installment didn't win you over completely, Melissa. There's still a chance you might get back into it though. :) Now, with the announcement of a film adaption, I think that might just be the motivation I need! Thanks for the post!

    1. Hi Marlene! Thanks for stopping by, and thanks for your comment! You're probably smart to wait and start this series until the last book comes out - that way you won't have to wait a year between novels until the sequels are released. I didn't totally dislike Daughter of Smoke and Bone, it's just that the parts of the novel that drew me in were discarded halfway through when the hot angel dude showed up. That was disappointing for me, personally. But I can still appreciate the creativity behind this series, and totally understand the hype surrounding it. I hope you enjoy it, when you do get around to reading it. But if not, I'll be happy to gripe with you. :)


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