Grade: 3 Butterflies
Series: The Grisha #1
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Publisher: Henry Colt and Co
Pages: Hardcover, 358 Pages
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 unravelling 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?
I've heard so many good things about this book and it has so much hype surrounding it, it's like everybody has read this book. Which made me nervous, because while there are hyped up books where I agree 100% with the hype, most of the time I don't. So, naturally even though I bought this one when it came out in paperback I approached this book hesitantly. But this book captivated from the beginning and the plot was great!! However, even though I really liked the plot it, wasn't enough for to to overlook the problems with it.
To start out, I loved this plot overall! there was a few moments in the middle where I was getting bored, but I persevered though those because the concept of the plot was just to good. And the plot was so fast paced. I devoured this book in less than two days. I loved it! I just loved the plot and the story the author wove. I can't wait to get my hands on the sequel!
The wrought of my problems with this book is from the middle. I felt like this part of the book disappointed me, because she was in court and starting her training and I wanted more descriptions from that, but the author didn't give us much, at all. And in this part of this book the author did what I like to call time lapse style. Which is where a lot of time passes, but the author only highlights a few moments from them and than summarizes the rest in a few paragraphs. I feel like some authors are very good at this, Maria. V. Snyder for example, but I don't think it was this authors fortuie, because while the Alina was growing as a person you didn't feel part of that. You felt detached from Alina's life in this part of the book. The time lapse system ended when the big plot twist happen, but the damage was done. I didn't feel connected to any of the characters anymore until the very end.
The characters where something that I had mixed feelings about. While I liked them, I didn't feel like they where amazing. The most memorable one was the Darkling, which is why I think he is so liked by readers even though he is how he is. And that's something I can't understand, is why the heck so many people love the Darkling. I just can't understand it, especially with his role in the plot. If this does turn out to be a love Triangle I will be team Mal all the way.
The world is another thing that I love and hate about this book. I loved the whole concept of the Grisha and that system and the society, but I feel like the author didn't do a really good job in describing the world or anything from it. I literally don't know what this world looks like. All I have in my head about it is this gray bleak landscape. That's all. And I hate that! That is my biggest issue with this book. This is a fantasy and yet it didn't always feel like one, because the world building wasn't there. There was barely any world building at all and that really hindered my reading experience in this book.
The last thing I had mixed feelings about is the ending. Half of me was glad it turned out the way it did, but I was also disappointed. When I was reading the end I was really rooting for the author to do something to get this book out of the YA mold (YA mold meaning that the plot was like a lot of other YA books), because this book is really in the YA mold. I'm not saying that a book that is in the YA mold is bad, a lot of great books are in the YA mold. What I'm saying is when a author gets out of that mold with either killing a character or something the book goes to another level. And for a while It looked like the author was going to do that, but in the end she didn't. Which disappointed me, because I wanted this book to be outside of the YA mold.
Overall, This book is a group of mixed feelings for me, from disappointment to surprises, from liking to wanting more, from oustandingness to blah. And why I'm giving it 3 Butterflies even with all the problems is because the plot captivated me and made me devour it and also because I want to read the second book with eagerness. Would I recommend this book, sure. The plot is great, but be aware that there isn't much world building.
This book got...
Basic, nothing special.