‘Daughter Of Smoke And Bone’ Leaves Us Wishing For More

Daughter of Smoke and BoneLaini Taylor’s “Daughter of Smoke and Bone” feels like a fulfilled wish in and of itself: an exciting romantic fantasy that combines a European love affair with a complex war between two otherworlds, throws in some well-timed humor in all the right places, and takes readers on a whirlwind tour from the Czech Republic to Marrakesh to Idaho and back…with a layover in the devil’s foyer.

The book follows a 16-year-old girl named Karou, an art student in present-day Prague whose origins are a mystery even to her. She speaks 20 languages. She has naturally cerulean hair. She has numerous bullet scars and even more numerous tattoos. She was raised by a trio of monsters, spending her childhood in a secret den with hundreds of doors, and she still reluctantly runs international errands for the one who traffics in human teeth. Oh, and an angel is trying to kill her.

Confused? That’s okay. Intrigued? You should be.

“Daughter of Smoke and Bone” follows Karou as she uncovers the truth about who she is and why she matters, interweaving the romance of present-day Prague with the dangerous, closely guarded world of Elsewhere. The world of the book is beautiful, multi-layered and rife with its own fascinating mythology; among other things, it’s a place where wishes are not only real, but currency—ranging in value from inconsequential scuppies (the pennies of the wishing world) to the invaluable bruxis, which is achievable only through an unfathomable act of self-inflicted pain. The story is paced perfectly, paying out the otherworldly truth about Karou’s origins in delicious, tantalizing glimpses until a gobsmacker of a giant reveal that ties all the loose ends together. And Karou herself, despite her blue hair and, er, unconventional upbringing, is a fresh, funny, utterly relatable heroine. Fantasy fiction can easily fall prey to self-important cheesiness, but author Laini Taylor is a masterful, poetic writer who never strays into cliche. Whether she’s bantering with her BFF or battling her would-be seraphim assassin in mid-air, Karous always feels undeniably real.

The only bad thing about “Daughter of Smoke and Bone”? It’s the first of an eventual trilogy, meaning that we’ll have to wait another two books to find out who wins, how it all ends and whether the story’s star-crossed lovers find peace. (This first one, no surprise, is a cliffhanger.) But on the other hand, it’s nice to have something to look forward to.

‘Daughter Of Smoke & Bone’: Watch The EXCLUSIVE Book Trailer Now!

Are you a Laini Taylor fan? Have you read “Daughter of Smoke and Bone”?

‘Lying Game’ Actor Blair Redford Vows To Be First Two-Time Hump Day Hottie

When I visited the set of ABC Family’s “The Lying Game” recently, I tucked something very special into my carry-on for star Blair Redford. No, it wasn’t my undying love. No, what I brought the actor was something—dare I say?—even better: the first-ever Hump Day Hottie certificate.

As you’ll recall, we named the 28-year-old our Hump Day Hottie a few months back, but never in the annals of Hump Day Hottie history have we presented an honoree with a tangible recognition of his award. Well, no more. Blair not only graciously accepted the certificate I lovingly crafted in Photoshop but vowed to be our first-ever two-time HDH.

“I need to frame this,” he said. “This is great. You know, we talked about, I want to try to be the first person in history to receive the honor twice.”

When I pointed out what a huge feat that would be, Blair assured me he’s been training. “I’m doing all kinds of stuff,” he said. “I’m working on my brooding looks. I’m working on the smoldering stare. I put on a sweatband and train three hours a day with both of those. I’m getting both of those down. I think it’s going to help me.”

We think it will too, Blair. Would it be against our journalistic integrity to say we’d even (maybe) accept a bribe in the form of a ride on the back of your motorcycle?

The mid-season finale of “The Lying Game” airs tonight on ABC Family!

Do you think Blair has what it takes to be our first two-time Hump Day Hottie? Sound off in the comments and on Twitter!