Paramount Enters a Bidding War to Acquire Young Adult Novel DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE

by     Posted 2 years, 243 days ago

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If you wrote a young adult fantasy novel in the past five to ten years, you could be in serious business with a movie studio.  They have a built-in audience and they usually open the door to a long and healthy franchise provided they don’t fail like most YA fantasy book adaptations.  According to Deadline, Paramount is confident that Laini Taylor‘s new novel Daughter of Smoke and Bone can deliver big.  The studio is reportedly negotiating a deal in the $700,000 range to pick up the rights, but two other studios want the property, which they believe than can be turned into a blockbuster tentpole.

So what’s the story that’s got the studios in a tizzy?  Hit the jump to find out.

daughter-of-smoke-and-bone-book-cover-01Sadly, the title does not refer to a girl who grew up in a steakhouse.  I’m going to give you Deadline‘s synopsis and then I’m going to show you the official book description and then you tell me which made you laugh harder.  So here’s Deadline:

The protagonist is a 17-year old art student who is sent by her awful father on travels across the globe to collect teeth for an unspecified but creepy purpose. This leads her to an encounter with an angel and revelations about her family that lead her into adventures involving otherworldly beings.

First off, is there any way that globe-trotting teeth collection isn’t creepy?  Did someone go on a wholesome adventure to get a bag of found teeth?  Also, she’s an art student, but she’s going to have an “adventure involving otherworldly beings.”  So if she has to say, fight a dragon, what is she going to do about it?  Is she going to slay it with her moody black-and-white photography?

But at least Deadline’s synopsis makes sense.  Here’s the book description [via Amazon] that’s meant to be enticing, but instead it’s really funny:

Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands”; she speaks many languages–not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When one of the strangers–beautiful, haunted Akiva–fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

laini-taylor-01I do find it a little odd that the protagonist is an art student with brightly colored hair and so is Taylor (although her hair is pink instead of blue).  I haven’t read the book and I don’t know much about Taylor so I’m hesitant to call Karou a “Mary Sue“, but the character does seem to have a similarity to her author plus a mish-mash of “intriguing” traits.

But it’s the tortured language of the third paragraph that drives it over the top: “beautiful, haunted Akiva–fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past.”  Wow.  Hi, Edward Cullen.  What’s new with you?  Blood and starlight?  Well, good luck with that.

I must read this book.  Either I’m wrong (in which case I’ll be happy to eat my words) or this is a train wreck waiting to happen.




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  • Bo

    I knew this was written by Matt before double-checking to make sure. Again, Matt with your opinions on something you know very little about. You continue to come to these opinions and then post them having not read the source material. What’s the deal, Matt? Here you are with a pretty good web-site, but you continue to demonstrate a laziness and an ignorance that is boundless. And all it takes is to pick something up and read it so you are no longer ignorant about it! Pretty simple…and yet…and yet…on it goes…amazing Matt…amazing!

    • Ryan

      Seriously, he doesn’t need to read it to know that this is a piece of crap.

    • Connie

      That is some choice reporting ace. It is always great to read an article written by someone who knows absolutely nothing about the subject. Not to worry I have learned my lesson I will look elsewhere to find actual journalism.

  • A

    Maybe instead of making vague assumptions, check Amazon or Goodreads and note the overwhelming number of 5-star book reviews.

    • Eric

      I don’t mean to harp, but Twilight has 4 Stars on Amazon and nearly 4 on good reads.

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  • Eric

    I don’t mean to harp, but Twilight has 4 Stars on Amazon and nearly 4 on good reads.

  • Snow Tod

    Seriously, are they kidding? They are doubting the awesomeness of this book?!!!! For me, Laini Taylor practically ties with Tamora Pierce and Christopher Paolini for first place on my list (and if you include Paolini, that’s saying something). It’s one of the best books ever! (And if Paramount/whoever-ends-up-getting-it screws it up, i will never watch their movies again). ooh, to suggest an actor… or two… maybe Ron Perlman for Brimstone and David Tennant/Timothy Olyphant/Benedict Cumberbatch for Akiva. And could you PLEASE get a short actress for Zuzana? I hate it when people screw up appearance details in book movies. Put a wig on them if you have to – Arya did not have red hair (or blue eyes, while we’re on the subject)!

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