Hype can at a certain level be destructive, which is a shame. It’s the effect of a feedback loop. You need a certain level of buzz to get a novel noticed but too much and it becomes too much and it starts drowning itself out so you end up turning off.
Daughter of Smoke and Bone is a heavily hyped novel. But hype also has the effect of raising expectations. To be honest I read Daughter of Smoke and Bone to find out what all the fuss was about but I went in with pretty low expectations. It’s also not what I normally read so I’m not comparing it too much to the Urban Fantasy YA Romance category it fits into.
In her art book, Karou, an art student in Pargue, has drawings of a Issa, a serpent from the waist down and a women from the waist up, Yasri, parrot-beaked and human-eyed, Brimstone with his curled ram’s horns amongst other extraordinary sights. Karou may have a good imagination but her subjects aren’t always imaginary, those above definitely aren’t from her imagination.
In fact she travels the world doing errands for Brimstone and his shop using certain doorways around the world. That is until someone starts leaving handprints on them. And that’s where Karou’s life starts to change.
I was really surprised by the connection I forged with young Karou. And I was really feeling for Karou. I really wasn’t expecting to. In fact I was really upset by the time I got to the end.
But for those who are more aware of this niche or less emotionally weak it might find the events that lead to Karou being with Brimstone’s shop have less of an impact. And in hindsight I might have liked it to head off in another direction but now the veil has been lifted the next book has to bring something different. I’m hoping that it will.