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.
Sadly, 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?
I 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.