Reviews

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

halynah's review against another edition

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5.0

FASCINATING, BRILLIANT, UNPUTDOWNABLE, OFFBEAT! One of the best fantasy I've ever read!
Excellent pacing, great character building, exciting events instantly make you forget the reality and immerse in an intricate world of Ravka. Can't wait the next book and I so hope that the certain somebody who shall not be named for the sake of spoilers , will redeem himself in the next installments - such a charismatic character must not be wasted entirely on Team Evil!
Excellent beginning of the series - highly recommended!!!

mreadz's review against another edition

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3.0

I won’t lie, I’m reading these books so I can watch the Netflix adaptation. This book was okay overall, I hope like the others more though.

skittyrreads's review against another edition

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dark slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.0

This is the most mid YA fantasy I have ever read, let me go over my points in a list.

PROS
• The world and worlding building is fascinating, complex and layered. While we're told a lot a lot of the time I personally didn't mind because I did want to know more- I love the power system and how versatile it is.

• Genya is my fave, loved her, thought she was easily the most complex character here.

CONS
• All the other characters suck big time, Alina is nothing for half of the book, and then her personality is Mal for the other half. She's either complaining or unknowing, BORING! Hate Mal, wet sack of a character, blames Alina for the most random shit, literally has nothing going on, FLOP! And the Darkling needs to stay away from teenage girls, I did like his villainy however and thought his plan was particularly insidious, even if his goal of world domination or whatever is tropey.

• Plot moves so quickly yet nothing happens for like 40% of the book, and the reveal that the Darkling is evil comes very quickly and Alina just. Accepts it as fact when not even a paragraph ago she wanted him, it feels rushed and doesn't transition well into the second half of the book.

• We get it, if you're not Alina you suck. Get out of here with that.

• The prose itself is very easy to read but again almost nothing is actually interesting about it, whatever is easiest, it goes for.

Very peak 2010's YA fantasy, not that excited for Siege and Storm.

rlisaacs's review against another edition

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4.0

This was a great first book to a series. I love the world building, the concept of Grisha, and I do love Alina, even if there were times when I wanted to give her a little smack upside the head and be like, "You idiot, get your crap together and think about this."

I also really liked Mal, though we honestly saw little of him in this book in my opinion. What I saw I liked, but I've also read reviews talking about the other two books and I'm nervous of my opinion changing. But right now, as of the end of Book 1, I do like him. (I don't really understand how you could not like him in this book. I mean
Spoiler as soon as he figures out Alina ditched the Darkling, he deserts the army and his regiment to take off into the freezing mountains to go and find her. And his intention was always to help her with whatever she was trying to do by leaving, regardless of what that might've been. Well, he might've been pissed if she'd actually just been leaving the Darkling because of some lover's quarrel, but I think he still would've helped her anyway.
) He has one particular word he says while they're alone together in the mountains, just after he's first found her and led her to some relative safety. Alina's thanking him, and he just says in response, "Always". And if at least that remains true for the next two books, then I'll still love Mal.

The Darkling... not gonna lie, aside from him being handsome and mysterious... I didn't really see the appeal to him that I'm assuming all the other Grisha and even Alina see in this book. (Well, prior to him... you know.) He just didn't actually express enough of himself for me to feel like forming a solid opinion. Again, just for myself. I think I understand that his being an amplifier, being the Darkling, and having his power and position like all somehow make him magically appealing to the others.
Spoiler Every time he touches Alina, she talks about feeling a call or a surety or something, and I'm certain this is referring to his power or his ability as an amplifier. And I'm sure that likely has some bearing on why she and everyone else finds him so appealing at first. Didn't work for me... but I'm not Grisha! LOL
Anyway, soon as his other side was shown, I found him easy to hate.

And I did like Alina. I really did. But she is definitely your typical female heroine in a YA book. She's different from everyone else (though let's face it, to be the main character in a fantasy book, there typically has to be something about you that's different from everyone else). She's not very pretty in her own opinion, but fix her up a little and she's stunning. (Granted, we learn the cause of the circles under her eyes a little ways in and I liked that this was the cause of that being why she was always tired, not hungry, etc. But still.) She's practically the only one who doesn't talk behind people's backs. She struggles for a bit with what she is, but then suddenly figures some things out and her powers kind of fall into place and become easier to learn about.

I still love her, even in the moments where I disagreed with something she did. (For example, I loved how she remembered why it was that no one realized she was Grisha prior to the incident on the skiff. I love where her heart was at, even as a child, when she managed to do that.) So I do love her character... but yeah, the base elements that typically make up your YA heroine are definitely still there and evident. (Nothing particularly wrong with that, just something I felt should be pointed out.)

I loved this book though. I didn't want to put it down, because I kept wanting to know what was going to happen next. Even when she was just in the Little Palace and everything seemed fine, I wanted to keep reading to see where Alina would go next, what new thing would she learn, or when was the Darkling going to come back and throw us another little curve.

Four solid stars. Can't wait to start the next one.

laurabroadberry's review

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adventurous emotional mysterious sad tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? N/A
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? N/A
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

haidi's review against another edition

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adventurous challenging dark emotional mysterious tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

yara_adorablebooks's review against another edition

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5.0

Wauw, echt een goed boek! Zeker een must-read als YA liefhebber.

sarahs_bookdragon's review against another edition

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4.0

Loved it! Excellent plot twists, wonderful world building. I'm hoping that it continues to surprise me.

yara_adorablebooks's review against another edition

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4.0

Wat een eiiiinde! OP naar deel 2, want de serie is er sneller dan je denkt :)