Narrated by Khristine Hvam
Published: 29th September 2011 by Hodder & Stoughton
Format: Audiobook, 12 hrs and 31 mins
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal
"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 17-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.
I listened to my very first audio-book last month, and I have things to say about it!
My decision to listen to Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor as my first audio-book was calculated – I thought Taylor’s lyrical writing would lend itself perfectly to experience. And I was right! I can’t imagine a more perfect book to have started off with.
I’ve always thought I wouldn’t like audio books because they’re read so very slowly (and my reading rate is super fast), and because I thought that the voices the narrators give the characters would be weird and jarring. But I was wrong!
Khristine Hvam is an amazing narrator. She brings the story to life so vividly that it’s hard not to immediately get sucked in. It’s not just Taylor’s gorgeous prose – Hvam works really hard to immerse readers in Prague and in Karou’s life. Her interpretation of the characters was brilliant. I hadn’t originally imagined any of the characters sounding like they do in the audiobook, but I think her choices of accent, cadence, and tone are on point. My favourites were probably Akiva and Brimstone, but it’s a hard choice.
To my surprise, I didn’t mind at how slowly the story was being told. I listened to the first half of the story when I drove up to Sydney and back down – two three-hour blocks of uninterrupted listening! It made the drive so much better and I really enjoyed it. I didn’t mind the pace of the story because the experience is so different from traditional reading that there’s really no comparison – I’m only just beginning to appreciate how great it is to have the story unravel around me while I’m doing something else.
I was a bit sad when I finished listening to Daughter of Smoke and Bone. The audiobook has been a perfect way to get back to the story-world I love so much and experience it in a totally new way. I’ll be listening to the rest of the series soon (that Audible subscription is one of the best things in my life now!), and after that I’m considering looking into the other books that Hvam has narrated. I think she’s found herself a new fan!