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Showing posts with label Laini Taylor. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Laini Taylor. Show all posts

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Inky Awards 2012 Shortlist Announced

Below are the details of the Inky Awards 2012 Shortlist! I had so much fun being an Inky judge; I got to meet some wonderful bibliophiles and had the opportunity to read and champion some fantastic books!

I owe a big thanks to the State Library, Centre for Youth Literature and Inside a Dog for inviting me to judge (and calling me an 'industry expert' - watch my ego inflate!)
Congratulations to all those who made both the long and short list (it was seriously tough competition), I hope that everyone who is eligible votes, and that everyone attends the awards on October 23 (I'll be there! With bells on!)

The Inky Awards are Australia’s teen-choice awards as voted for online by the readers of It recognises home grown writing talent with the Gold Inky, and titles from across the ocean with the Silver Inky.

The judging panel consisted of four teenagers from around Australia; author and 2011 Gold Inky Award winner James Moloney; and industry expert Danielle Binks. Together they whittled down the 2012 Inky Awards Longlist to five Australian titles (Gold Inky), and five international titles (Silver Inky), for the 2012 Inky Awards Shortlist.

The Inky Awards – Vote Now!

Voting is now open on

Include your username while voting and you will go in to the draw to win the entire shortlisted books!

*If you’re not registered you can register at

Voting is open to ages 12-20.

Voting closes on the 14 October 2012.

Winners will be announced at The Inky Awards event on the 23rd of October. Find out more about the event on the State Library of Victoria’s What’s On page.

Follow the Inky Awards experience via -
Twitter: @insideadog #Inkys Facebook: Inside A Dog

Gold Inky (Australian books)
Shift by Em Bailey
Night Beach by Kirsty Eagar
Act of Faith by Kelly Gardiner
Queen of the Night by Leanne Hall
The Reluctant Hallelujah by Gabrielle Williams

Silver Inky (International books)
BZRK by Michael Grant
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

'Daughter of Smoke and Bone' by Laini Taylor

From the BLURB:

Errand requiring immediate attention. Come.

The note was on vellum, pierced by the talons of the almost-crow that delivered it. Karou read the message. 'He never says please', she sighed, but she gathered up her things.
When Brimstone called, she always came.

In general, Karou has managed to keep her two lives in balance. On the one hand, she's a seventeen-year-old art student in Prague; on the other, errand-girl to a monstrous creature who is the closest thing she has to family. Raised half in our world, half in 'Elsewhere', she has never understood Brimstone's dark work - buying teeth from hunters and murderers - nor how she came into his keeping. She is a secret even to herself, plagued by the sensation that she isn't whole.

Now the doors to Elsewhere are closing, and Karou must choose between the safety of her human life and the dangers of a war-ravaged world that may hold the answers she has always sought.

All around the world burnt handprints are appearing on doorways. Beautiful men and women are wandering the streets, but their shadows belie their bodies. Change is in the air . . . and all the way over in Prague, seventeen-year-old art student, Karou, is filling her 92nd sketchbook full with wonderful drawings of hybrid creatures; serpent women and Minotaur men.

Karou is no ordinary young woman. She has never-dyed blue hair. With the wish of a bead she can speak new languages, and she’s a professional tooth collector. Because though Karou is human, she was raised by ‘beasts’. Chimaera are the bizarre and beguiling hybrid creatures and Karou’s surrogate family – raised by the horned Brimstone, and beloved of the serpent Issa. Their hidden world was Karou’s childhood.

But some evil force is threatening to tear Karou’s family apart – wrenching closed the human and Chemaera worlds, forever. Karou is being stalked by an angel with fire eyes. His name is Akiva, and he can’t stop thinking about the blue-haired girl he spies on the streets of Marrakesh. But there’s a connection between Akiva and the burned handprints – he is the first wave, the beginning of the end.

‘Daughter of Smoke & Bone’ is the first book in a new paranormal series by Laini Taylor.

If Guillermo del Toro was to write a book, ‘Daughter of Smoke and Bone’ would surely be it. Laini Taylor’s novel is a mythical wonderland, like ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’ meets C.S. Lewis’s ‘Chronicles of Narnia’. The book is filled with fascinating creatures; from crippled angels to wolf soldiers, and in the middle of them all is Karou, with a foot in two worlds but feeling like she belongs to neither.

Karou’s sketchbooks are filled with impossible hybrid characters, and all her classmates are enchanted by their drawn shenanigans. But what they don’t know is that all of Karou’s drawings are real. The ‘errands’ she runs at the drop of a hat take her all over the world – through portal doors that magically take her directly to the busy streets of Marrakesh and to the hustle of Paris. I adored Karou. Taylor has written her as a total enigma – on the one hand she is a very distinctive character, utterly unique and endearing so that readers form an instant kinship with her.

Karou was, simply, lovely. Creamy and leggy, with long azure hair and the eyes of a silent-movie star, she moved like a poem and smiled like a sphinx.

But for all of Karou’s adorable quirks and distinct style, she is a woman who feels out-of-place. She can’t help but shake a feeling of forgetfulness, of being on the wrong path in life. When burnt handprints and a man with fire eyes start plaguing Karou, she’s terrified. But for the first time in her life she feels right . . . as though she’s finally following the right directions.

The plot of ‘Daughter of Smoke and Bone’ is delectable and cunning. Taylor will keep you guessing breathless, utterly enraptured by the exotic locales and Karou’s mysterious stalker. But the real, sublime joy of the book simply comes from Taylor’s writing. Her prose is succulent, her descriptions flawless and her settings amazing. My jaw dropped so many times throughout my reading, as I was struck dumb by Taylor’s words and world. Her dialogue is especially sumptuous;

‘I’m asking the questions’ said Akiva. ‘And I suggest you answer them.’ He was impatient to get on and meet the others, but loathe to leave this mystery hanging over him. If he didn’t find out who the girl was now, he would never know.
Eager to be helpful, Razgut supplied, ‘She tastes like nectar and salt. Nectar and salt and apples. Pollen and stars and hinges. She tastes like fairy tales. Swan maiden at midnight. Cream on the tip of a fox’s tongue. She tastes like hope.’

‘Daughter of Smoke & Bone’ has been one of the real hits of 2011. This is the book everybody is talking about, and for good reason. Laini Taylor has written a glorious mishmash of fantasy and religion, fusing them to our world with an incredible story about a lost blue-haired girl. I can’t recommend this book enough, and I can’t wait for the second instalment. Laini Taylor is a wicked writer and ‘Daughter of Smoke & Bone’ is vital reading.