Author: Leigh Bardugo
Publisher: Square Fish
Release Date: June 17, 2014
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
~ GoodReads Synopsis ~
Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land. She finds starting new is not easy while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. She can’t outrun her past or her destiny for long.
The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling’s game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her–or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm.
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I am going to be completely honest, this book was so slow until like the last quarter, and that is exactly how it was for the first book. Apparently I didn’t do a review for Shadow and Bone, but I would have given it the same 3.5 star rating. Also, just because it was slow, doesn’t mean I didn’t love it, and does not mean I’m not totally excited to read Ruin and Rising, because I did and I am! (I’ll do the cross out thing for possible spoilers again.)
First I want to hit on the relationship Alina has with Mal. Maybe it’s an unpopular opinion, but I just don’t like them together.
Like the only time she was physically attracted to him was when the Darkling pretended to be Mal. Other than that time, I can’t remember a time she physically wanted to be with him. I think Mal is really harsh on her, too. I get why, I get she’s never able to be alone with him and be with him, but she’s learning and adjusting to such a high role of power to protect and help so many people, including him, and he really just needs to lay off. I do hope something happens between Alina and Nikolai, which I’m sure something will from that certain comment toward the end that was adorable. I feel like in every single way, Nikolai is so much better for her. 1.) He understand what she’s going through and doesn’t treat her like she’s some arrogant pedigree, 2.) he actually shows an attraction to Alina, more than just a barely-there friendship, and 3.) she actually wants to be with him, I feel like.
As for Alina’s new power-hungry state of mind, I hate it. Like I get that she has these amplifiers that are making her this way, but I hate that frame of mind. It does add a little differentiation within the genre of YA fantasy because usually the heroine is strictly the heroine with no bad tendencies, so it is a littler interesting. Also, at least she’s developing through it. A lot of heroines show little development in character and even less development in understanding responsibility. I appreciate that Alina knows what is at stake (Ravka), and understand that it may cost her Mal, or her life, to save it.
AND FOR THOSE OF YOU THAT HAVE READ THIS BOOK, can we talk about the ending???
HER POWERS ARE GONE??? WHAT??? I’m flipping. I know they’ll probably come back some how, and she’ll probably get the last amplifier, but oh my goodness that was a shocker. I also hated how happy Mal seemed about it, like support your girl Mal, don’t be a butthole.
I guess that’s it, and I’ll try to put out a review for Ruin and Rising when I get around to reading it. Let me know down below how you feel about the Grisha trilogy and Alina’s relationships.
Thanks for reading!