The opening page of Daughter of Smoke and Bone reads: Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love. It did not end well. That opening line smacks you in the face, prepares you for the incredible, and urges you to start flipping the pages immediately. But honestly, it's a bit of a false advertisement. The angel/devil mythology is not even that explored (or at least, the devil part is not). And the exciting sense of foreboding evoked by "it did not end well"? Although some terrible event is lightly alluded to throughout, it does not occur until the final pages, requiring us to wait for the sequel to witness the fallout and inevitable reconstruction of the relationship. That said, it is the ending that saves this book from mediocrity. If the ending hadn't been so gut-wrenching, this book would likely only rate 2 stars. Despite beautiful writing and a mysterious premise, the first half lagged terribly. The pacing made it hard to get into, and I feared that something was wrong with me; everyone else seemed to LOVE this book, so why didn't I? Even more exacerbating than the slooooow start is our heroine Karou: a dreadfully dull character. Bright blue hair and fantastical chimaera friends should make an interesting protagonist, right? In this case, no. Karou is boring until complex and hidden facets of her character are revealed (at the very end, of course). I will certainly read the sequel, but I hope Taylor works out her pacing issues. Until the last 100 pages, Daughter of Smoke and Bone felt like an empty read for me. There was gorgeous prose and intrigue and world-building, but unrealized potential is woefully insufficient for a good novel. I flipped the pages without any real urgency; I just wanted to find the good parts, if there were any to be found... There are good parts, excellent parts even, but waiting so long to read them tried my patience.