Well I finally finished my 1st book of 2012 and I am really glad it was this one. I think I loved it. I kinda really do think so.
The story was really well constructed...I mean really. The prose was practically perfect (there was a little bit 50% the way through were I thought it was going to turn & pulled me out a tiny bit but that only lasted a few pages).
What really blew me away the most though (aside from the utter originality & creativity of the story itself), was how quiet Taylor was in revealing her immense talent.
The world building was truly tight but also extremely subtle in its build and even where she put her twists. Obviously that's because it was incredibly well thought out but even bette,r was how deftly she was able to have the entire story interweave and unfurl at times almost simultaneously without ever being pretentious in the least. That alone was just so impressive to me because let's face it, we've all read much less capable author's who get so dazzled by their own cleverness that we hear their ego/voice through the book or character's.
However, this time is probably one of the very few instances in which the author has real cause for a little arrogance to come through because good lord, I thought what she achieved was pretty brilliant. Although...I am so, so happy she didn't let her innate talent get overshadowed by ego.
I just got really into this book. This to me was another great example of storytelling & what was so cool is the narrative starts off one way (in the present tense) & then toward the last half of the book, the narrative turns to flashback, and then weaves a bit in & out of flashback to the present. However, it was such a smooth transition and made so much sense, I almost didn't recognize how unique Taylors dexterity is. And that's what I mean by talent. In lesser hands, that could've been an absolute train wreck to attempt.
Also, what surprised me were not the usual plot twists but the reveals within the story itself if that makes any sense. See at 1st, when Akiva thinks about Madrigal, I thought I figured it out too early..."Oh typical, the big shocker will be that Karou is reincarnated. Big surprise."
Boy was I wrong. I mean, Madrigal is actually reincarnated but where I was wrong was in the name...the how...the why. Taylor twists the readers view by cleverly masquerading it as "resurrection" instead & then proceeds to turn the whole idea on it's ear with a crazy compelling storyline about the whole concept. Madrigal's soul was contained in a wishbone!? A freakin' wishbone?? And when that wishbone snaps, she is released. Then we get the backstory which was riveting and heartbreaking, borderline poetic and then even better... Madrigal doesn't consume Karou but is a part of who she is already because Karou is her already her own being? Sheesh, that was pretty brilliant. I'm not really doing it justice in summarizing but I thought it was so brill taking a known concept & making it not only out-of-the-box, but completely her own.
The other thing I really appreciated was Taylors lack of cliffhanger in spite of the fact of where the story ended and that's it's a trilogy.
There is absolutely no marketing gimmick to try & tempt the reader to 'please, please, please keep reading & buy my next book!' At least I didn't think so. It ended as a 'to be continued...' as it should've. I mean, if you're gonna write a trilogy and it's as good as this, would any reader find where it decided to end a good place? No because you want to keep reading & find out how it ends of course, but this was suitable. I didn't feel frustrated or lead on.
Daughter is lovely, sad, bittersweet and tense, and and most times I found the visual descriptions so spot-on it achieved me experiencing the various character's feelings and behaviors to the point where I truly got it. I was in it. The scene resonated clearly and I understood the depth of what was going on. I love that!!
Overall, I found it a sadly aching romantic story but one that is truly beautiful because of the entire underlying message about the power of hope & keeping the faith (which again in lesser hands could turn into a seriously maudlin theme).
Taylor gave the reader the real beginnings of a journey here and I can't wait to read what's in store. I honestly can't imagine what that will look like & look forward to Taylor continuing to do the better imagining for me.