Thursday, August 15, 2013

Review X 2 ~ Shadow and Bone & Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

Since I read these two books for the #CatchUpClub and since both reviews are pretty short, I decided to post both reviews at the same time. I decided to create only one picture for a Siege and Storm quote at the bottom of the post.
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Genre: YA fantasy
Series and number: The Grisha #1
Number of pages: 356
Edition: Hardcover
Link to Goodreads page

Goodreads description:

The Shadow Fold, a swathe of impenetrable darkness, crawling with monsters that feast on human flesh, is slowly destroying the once-great nation of Ravka.

Alina, a pale, lonely orphan, discovers a unique power that thrusts her into the lavish world of the kingdom’s magical elite—the Grisha. Could she be the key to unravelling the dark fabric of the Shadow Fold and setting Ravka free?

The Darkling, a creature of seductive charm and terrifying power, leader of the Grisha. If Alina is to fulfill her destiny, she must discover how to unlock her gift and face up to her dangerous attraction to him.

But what of Mal, Alina’s childhood best friend? As Alina contemplates her dazzling new future, why can’t she ever quite forget him?

Glorious. Epic. Irresistible. Romance.

My review:

Rating: 4.5 stars
Date read: August 4, 2013
Source: Bought

After finishing this book, I . . . I really had no words—just feelings. I had to tell myself to calm down a bit from all the excitement I was feeling before I wrote my review in my notebook.

I do have to admit that there were parts in the beginning that were kind of slow and left me a little disinterested, but then the story picked up. After that, it just got better and better. Alina was an amazing heroine that really tapped into her strength. The Darkling did the most awful things that made me keep saying “that stupid Darkling” (he was a fantastic character, though). I really liked Mal, but I didn't get enough of him. Genya showed the potential to be a good best friend. Each character added a great piece to the book.

The world and concepts in it, like the Grisha and the Shadow Fold, were unique and very well put together. It all felt rich, especially Alina’s ability. I was able to picture many of the scenes vividly in my head, and a few times I thought “that would look so cool on screen.”

This book also had romance—not a ton, but enough to satisfy me. There were romantic, perfect, little moments that made me nervous about anything that got in the couple’s way. I’m looking forward to the two in Siege and Storm—they’re one of my favorite couples at the moment (but I won’t spoil who those two are).

Overall, Shadow and Bone was imaginative and magical. There were sweet moments and there were suspenseful ones. The conclusion tied the book together like a neat bow on a gift box—and I loved how I got that impression. The whole thing was just . . . something I recommend you picking up and trying for yourself.

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Genre: YA fantasy
Series and number: The Grisha #2
Number of pages: 435
Edition: Hardcover
Link to Goodreads page

Goodreads description:

Darkness never dies.

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.

My review:

Rating: 5 stars
Date read: August 10-12, 2013
Source: Won in giveaway on All Booked Up YA

There are times when I think fantasy book aren't my thing, but then a gem like Siege and Storm comes by and makes me fall deeply in love with the genre. Some of the books that left me the most stunned have been fantasy ones—like this, and the Graceling and Eon series—and I’m craving more of the fantastical worlds, creatures, and beings that are so creatively crafted these kinds of books.

This book is page after page of “wow.” I felt a bit awed by the rich world and all its fun and cool parts of it (a dragon, a firebird, the Hummingbird, the Grisha, and oh so many more). I felt my heart being broken alongside Alina’s.
“An ache had started between my ribs, a hard, bright shard of pain that lodged beneath my sternum, pressing against my heart.” (page 329-330)
I felt anticipation and eagerness while I neared and reached the action scenes. Now . . . I just fell incredibly sad that there’s such a long time to wait for Ruin and Rising.

Overall, this series is a must-read for anyone who finds the premise of it even slightly interesting. Shadow and Bone and Siege and Storm exceeded my expectations, and I am so incredibly glad that I read both of them.


5 comments:

  1. I'm so glad you enjoyed it Kaitlin! I'm glad the pacing picked up and got better. I also love how there wasn't too much romance but it was enough to satisfy the reader. Wow, the Darkling sounds like a cruel, yet very well written and developed character. I think it's good that Siege and Storm is even better because the story is supposed to get more interesting and better. Great review :)

    Leigh
    Little Book Star

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  2. Oh my, your glowing book reviews makes me really curious about this series! I've heard nothing but good things about it. I love books that leave a big emotional impact. Great reviews!

    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence

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  3. Wow your review makes me want to read this series NOW!! I've been unsure wether or not these books were my kind of story, but when you said that it's one of those fantasy books that makes you fall in love with the genre all over again, it does make me what to check them out. I actually haven't read a fantasy book for a while so it might actually be the perfect time to read them! Excellent review Kaitlin :)

    Amy @ The Reading Realm

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  4. Great review, I really want to read this book as I have heard so much about it. What I've been doing lately is not reading the summaries or anything about the plot-line and then I just go read it because I trust people to write honest reviews, so I'm very excited to see what happens coz I have no expectations or predictions for this story. It's going to be a complete surprise!
    http://mycrazybookishworld.blogspot.com.au/

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    Replies
    1. I'm glad I'm not the only one doing that! I haven't been paying attention to summaries a lot lately.

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