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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

MICHELLE'S REVIEW: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Title: Shadow and Bone
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Format Acquired: Hardcover
Publication Date: June 5, 2012
Publishing House: Henry Holt and Co.
ISBN: 9780805094596
Source of Copy: Purchased from Fully Booked


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 unraveling 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?

(Image and information courtesy of Goodreads; Summary lifted from actual book)


With a summary like that, all that I thought of was that it would be heavier on the romance than on the supernatural aspect. What I found, however, was that it was the other way around. Sure there was romance, but not so that I would go as far to call it as the focal point of the book. Leigh Bardugo's Shadow and Bone is more than just a supernatural extraordinaire who happens to be caught between two guys. It has some action, a plot, and some unexpected turns, but you won't catch me gushing over it.

When light bursts from Alina's fingertips, saving them from the deadly Volcra, her world takes a turn for the unexpected. As a cartographer's assistant, Alina has long before accepted the fact that she was no one special, especially not one who may be the Sun Summoner. With her new role in hand, Alina then proceeds to attract all kinds of attention, which puts unequivocal danger right in her path. The Darkling promises to protect her, but Alina has to remember that such a heavy promise must come with the Darkling's own motives...

Alina was okay. I know you're looking for other adjectives for her, but that was it. She was just okay. She had no definite personality, and therefore didn't really make an impression on me, even if I was, you know, supposedly in her head and stuff. As for the Darkling, well, I'm not really a fan. (What's that I hear? Oh yes, the collective scream for my blood from Darkling fans everywhere.) I thought he was really quite shady. If I were Alina, I would have told him what I used to repeatedly tell this math tutor of mine when his leg accidentally touched mine, "Wait. Stop. Stay on your side of the table." Mal was a cutie, but he was hardly anything to write home about. But there was something that I really did find fascinating: the Volcra. (What can I say? I love my monsters.) See, the Volcra used to be human, but because of dark magic, they turned into beasts that have a taste for human flesh.

The romance aspect was there, but hardly something I paid attention to. Surprisingly, I was more interested on how Alina's powers work. I mean, if I had her powers, I would probably play around a bit with it, just for kicks. (Like put it near the water, make a rainbow, that thing, which is another reason why I probably don't have powers, among many others.) I honestly I wanted the action to be all-out exciting to the point that I would be flipping pages faster than my eyes could read. But I didn't feel any of that, because when I got to what was supposed to be the most exciting part of the book. All I thought was, "Good grief, that was it?" Color me disappointed.

While the book may have felt a bit off to me, I will still be looking out for the sequel, Siege and Storm, which comes out in the first week of June 2013.


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