16 Runners
24 Chasers
shambhawip

Unapologetic Reader, Psychotic Writer

Possibly psychotic and unapologetically sarcastic. I read everything.

Currently reading

The Lies of Locke Lamora
Scott Lynch
Progress: 20 %
Dante Valentine: The Complete Series
Lilith Saintcrow
Progress: 20 %

Siege and Storm

Siege and Storm - Leigh Bardugo is an amazing writer. Her words ensnare the reader and pull them in right into her world of Ravka and the powers of the Grisha and leave us practically drooling at the awesomeness that she has created. But in retrospect, once I have put the book down, I wonder if the book really was as perfect as it seemed while I was reading it because behind the beautiful descriptions and fierce actions the character have really nothing going on for them at all. Same thing happened to me with Shadow and Bone. Alina's nothing more than a girl playing at power with her motives unclear and her ambitions unknown. Oh, she wants to save Ravka and kill the Darkling, spectacular really. Her growth and strength in this book is remarkable compared to the poor weak orphan of the first book but beneath the tough exterior and flashes of light her inner self is empty. She is not fighting for Ravka, not for Mal or herself or even for vengeance against the Darkling. But what pushes her we do not know and Bardugo leaves it at that and wants us to be happy. And surprisingly we are. As for Mal, he is the only character whose purpose in the book is absolutely clear to me. Stand beside Alina. Look pretty. Kiss her. Get insecure when she gets powerful. Get insecure when Nikolai or the Darkling is mentioned. Cuddle with Alina. Kiss her some more. And.... thazzit. He has no other purpose than to be the love interest, and he is doing a crappy thing at that too. I don't really understand this 'love' between him and Alina and I cannot really picture them together even when they clearly are. He is practically useless compared to the other two potential love interests and I cannot see him being of much use in the future either. And we also have The Darkling. The sexy beast is still sexy but without all that polished charm and filled with a dangerous edge. I love it. I just don't love the fact that he is not that present in this book. He is powerful. He is terrifying. And it may be hopeless but I'm still trying to see deeper than his actions, to undercurrents of his words to see hints that he is simply misunderstood and misguided. That is not totally evil. It's easy to see how impossible improbable that is. But I do think his feelings for Alina are real and if there ever was hope for him once, Alina destroyed whatever chance we had in Shadow and Bone. That heartbreak has hardened him more and made him more ruthless. But Siege and Storm does not give us anything more to go on with about this mysterious character and I wished he would have been there more. Darkling is the main pillar of the series, not Alina or Mal or anyone else and his absence from the bulk of the novel somehow made it seem like something vital was missing. This gap was filled to a point by Nikolai, a new character. Smexy and extraordinaire. He was sarcastic to a fault but had more depth than Mal had in two entire books. His character is interesting and really what saved this book from going to hell in Darkling's absence. He gave a completely new twist to what would have been a predictable sequel and made the stakes go higher. He has a story too - which I shall not mention to avoid spoilers - but if Darkling's case ever seems too hopeless (but seeing how Severus Snape made a comeback in the Deathly Hallows, I wouldn't deem it too hopeless as long as a third book is coming) I will totally turn myself into Team Nikolai. The plot is interesting, the ending is mindblowing (though I cannot decide whether in a good way or bad). The powers are greater now and the stakes higher and I cannot wait for the third book. I really enjoyed the book while it lasted but now that I've put it down I cannot help but a nagging feeling that it was missing something and had more holes than a Swiss cheese. But it didn't make Leigh Bardugo's writing any less good. 3.5 Stars