Title: Siege and Storm
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Publisher: Henry Holt/Macmillan
Release: June 4, 2013
Review: 3.5 Stars
Okay. This book was okay. It was much slower than the first book, which was a big disappointment. A lot of world and character building took place, which, while important, I did not want to read so much of. I enjoyed the little scenes and conversations, but it dragged on. No big events happened until the end, and by that point, it was obvious something had to happen. The book as a whole was good and was very well written, it wasn't much fun to read.
The main character, Alina Starkov, was a bit of a bore. I love how she was able to take charge and stand her ground, but then she'd just turn around and doubt herself. The amount of self-doubt in this book, with all characters, was suffocating. She would demand control, and then think that she couldn't do it. Alina is an amazing character with a lot of potential, but she didn't embrace it in this book. Her powers grow and Alina begins to get greedy. Though I have to give her props, her powers are awesome. The character Mal was a pain in the butt. He is the main love interest in the book and I cannot stand him. The Darkling betrayed Alina in book one, but I'd rather she end up with him than Mal. Mal feels like and unnecessary character who only added complications. He's only annoying in the beginning, but as the story goes on, he doubts himself as well as Alina. He does idiotic things and says even worse. Alina wants to trust him and have him by her side, but how can she do that if he continues to run off on her? Various other characters add and subtract to the story. My favorite being Stormhund and least being Mal. I love Tolya and Tamar, and can't help but pity Genya.
A boring book I can deal with. It's not my favorite route, but I can deal. I can't get over the ending though. In the end, Alina almost sucks out the Darkling's power, just about killing both of them. She survives and escapes, as does the Darkling. Though I know that Ruin and Rising will be book three and will hopefully satisfy my need for an ending, it could have ended in Siege and Storm. Unless the ending of Ruin and Rising is amazing and spectacular, I wouldn't have minded Alina dying as well as the Darkling at the end of the book. Why? It's not because I hate Alina. I actually really like her, despite how I complained about her earlier. She's a strong character and a good heroin. But, I would have been satisfied if Alina killing the Darkling and going along for the ride. Ruin and Rising could be from another character's POV where they clean up the mess. Alas, it didn't end that way. That's okay though, because, hopefully, the ending of Ruin and Rising will be even better.
Leigh Bardugo was born in Jerusalem, grew up in Los Angeles, and graduated from Yale University. These days, she lives in Hollywood, where she indulges her fondness for glamour, ghouls, and costuming in her other life as makeup artist L.B. Benson. Occasionally, she can be heard singing with her band, Captain Automatic.
Her debut novel, Shadow & Bone (Holt Children’s/ Macmillan), is a New York Times Best Seller and the first book in the Grisha Trilogy. Book 2, Siege and Storm, will be published in 2013. She is represented by Joanna Stampfel-Volpe of New Leaf.
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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, all while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. But 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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