I was so thrilled when I heard of this book being praised by several other reviewers that I followed. I believe in you guys. and I've always wanted to read a book that was set in Russia. I always found the chilly, cold, snowy weather and the dark, gloomy background extremely exquisite. and I thought, I think imma give it a go.
It was not as thrilling as I had expected.
I was on Tumblr the other day and searched for Shadow & Bone, looking at some of the beautiful fan arts there and judging by the visual and quotes, I really think I might fall in LOVE this book. Just give me a good, heartfelt romance, a bunch of action here and there, solid world-building and I'll be fine. Certainly I am not that hard to please (ha-ha).
I just CAN'T stand the heroine. She did get better towards the end, at least there was a character development, but idk I don't think I can relate to her right from the start when she talks about her 'ugly' looks all the time. why is that even an issue here? You've got another things to worry about aside from your looks, c'mon. And her interaction with Mal. I just can't see them as a romantically involved couple, ya know? It felt more like a brother and sister relationship. The kiss didn't happen up until approx. 1/4 of the book left, and when it happened I was like, "no, wait. where did that come from?" I know Alina always whined and whined about Mal ALL THE TIME, but that whining is not going anywhere near my 'believable romance' meter. All of the sudden Mal was like, "Finally, I see you, Let me kiss you."
I SHIP ALINA AND THE DARKLING THO. (UGH, yes, it was a love triangle *sigh*)
Because right from the start, we get to find him rescuing her and her interactions with him is all we've got instead of Mal. We only get glimpses of their (Alina-Mal) past, when they were still kids, they only have each other crap blahblahblah so Alina loves him to death blahblah I could give a shit about that.
I was giddy with excitement everytime The Darkling uses his power oohh. I love The Darkling. I knew it from the very start I would fell for this character. I love me some dark/villain-y characters, I've always drawn to them in a weird way :3 Mal was just too boring for my liking. But there are many many others who also ship Alina-Mal so I think it's just me.
I love how the book started up until Alina was brought to the kingdom (forgot the name). The life in the kingdom was just not so eventful and a bit dragging. it was just a series of Alina thinking she was the ugliest around, Genya the beautiful one, whining about Mal, her goddamn blue kefta, and a lots of practice of her summoning the light (Alina is apparently the sun-summoner who's going to destroy the Shadow Fold but she wasn't strong enough and in needs of an amplifier to make her stronger.) then there was the ending. it was a huge plot twist that I found myself finally squealing "finally, something happened!".
I love love LOVE the dark and chilly Russia, it was gloomy, nice and snowy. I love the sinister feeling I got when I read a book, and this book kinda gives me that (tho I still think the action and thrills aren't enough) I don't have a problem with the world building also. Leigh Bardugo has managed to create a new world that I would love to delved into.
- so it was like this. I love the 1/3 of the book, I found the middle of the book boring and lack of action and too uneventful for my liking, and the end of the book was okay.
- I still don't like Alina for being whiny for almost the entire of the book.
- I found Mal boring and their relationship should be maintain as siblings instead of romantic couple.
- I love The Darkling.
- I love the fantasy aspect of this book.
I'll definitely look for the sequel because of The Darkling and I do hope there will be a lot of action and stuff. Fingerscrossed. I do hope it would get better because I was fairly disappointed with this one.