Impossible to Scare
Walking to school over the snow-
cobbles, Karou had
no sinister premonitions about the day. It seemed like just
another Monday, innocent but for its essential Mondayness,
not to mention its Januaryness. It was cold, and it was dark
in the dead of winter the sun didn’t rise until eight
— but it was
also lovely. The falling snow and the early hour conspired to paint
Prague ghostly, like a tintype photograph, all silver and haze.
On the riverfront thoroughfare, trams and buses roared past,
grounding the day in the twenty-
century, but on the quieter
lanes, the wintry peace might have hailed from another
time. Snow and stone and ghostlight, Karou’s own footsteps
and the feather of steam from her coffee mug, and she was
alone and adrift in mundane thoughts: school, errands. The
of bitterness when a pang of heartache
intruded, as pangs of heartache will, but she pushed them aside,
resolute, ready to be done with all that.
She held her coffee mug in one hand and clutched her coat
closed with the other. An artist’s portfolio was slung over her
shoulder, and her hair
— loose, long, and peacock blue
gathering a lace of snowflakes.
Just another day.
A snarl, rushing footfall, and she was seized from behind,
pulled hard against a man’s broad chest as hands yanked her
scarf askew and she felt teeth
— against her neck.
Her attacker was nibbling her.
Annoyed, she tried to shake him off without spilling her coffee,
but some sloshed out of her cup anyway, into the dirty snow.
“Jesus, Kaz, get off,” she snapped, spinning to face her
ex-boyfriend. The lamplight was soft on his beautiful face. Stupid
beauty, she thought, shoving him away. Stupid face.
“How did you know it was me?” he asked.
“It’s always you. And it never works.”
Kazimir made his living jumping out from behind things,
and it frustrated him that he could never get even the slightest
rise out of Karou. “You’re impossible to scare,” he complained,
giving her the pout he thought was irresistible. Until recently,
she wouldn’t have resisted it. She would have risen on tiptoe
and licked his pout-
lower lip, licked it languorously
and then taken it between her teeth and teased it before losing
herself in a kiss that made her melt against him like sun-
Those days were so over.
“Maybe you’re just not scary,” she said, and walked on.
Kaz caught up and strolled at her side, hands in pockets. “I
am scary, though. The snarl? The bite? Anyone normal would
have a heart attack. Just not you, ice water for blood.”
When she ignored him, he added, “Josef and I are starting a
new tour. Old Town vampire tour. The tourists will eat it up.”
They would, thought Karou.
Excerpt granted with permission by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, New York, N.Y. Copyright (C) 2011 by Laini Taylor
Karou isn’t a typical young woman; an art student, she fills sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she speaks many languages—not all of them human; and she runs “errands” for the demon Brimstone. Who is she really, the alluring heroine of Laini Taylor’s breakout bestseller, Daughter of Smoke and Bone? Karou’s past is as mysterious to her as the reason Brimstone fills jars with thousands of teeth. But as a brutal otherworldly war is unleashed, taking everything Karou holds dear, and a haunted stranger appears who fixes Karou with his fiery eyes, she senses a violent shared past and a star-crossed love. Karou’s world is falling apart as she falls deeper in love—but will she regret learning the truth about herself?
Hardcover Book : 432 pages
Publisher: Hachette Book Group, USA ( September 27, 2011 )
Item #: 13-543071
Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.25 x 1.08inches
Product Weight: 17.0 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
I liked the characters and overall story and Laini writing style was well worth the read. But I didn't care for her take on the star crossed lovers reaching across time. I'd like to read the rest of her story but I'm unsold on the continuing of the love story...
I really loved this book. Taylor has such a delightful, prose-y style.
Really enjoyed this novel, and am anxious to read more from this author! I really believe all the "Hunger Games" readers would really appreciate the similar type of creativity in this book. I'll definitely tell my friends.
The ending was a surprise!! The book was very interesting!!