Sunday, May 15, 2016

Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo...

Publish date-2013.
Publisher- Orion Books.


Review time...

*This review has spoilers for the first book in the series, Shadow and Bone*

(A Brief) Synopsis:
Something dark is brewing, and Alina, with the power to command and produce light at her very fingertips, has become a martyr to the people. The Darkling is out there, and he is coming, and she must be ready.





What I thought:
At the beginning of the year, I read Shadow and Bone, and, although I did enjoy it, it certainly wasn't all I had hoped for. Still, I already owned a copy of the sequel (and a gorgeous edition at that; the covers in this series are really lovely) and a few months after that (around the time I posted my review) I started reading this, the sequel.

And I liked it.

Unfortunately, though, I didn't feel that way for a long time. It was a fairly slow going read for me, and when I finally felt like I got a hold of the direction the story was going in, understanding the new characters and starting to rather like some of them (hello, Sturmhond), I suddenly found myself... perplexed. At the end of Shadow and Bone you get a sense that the plot is going in a particular direction, and for less than thirty pages. And it didn't really feel like there was a whole lot of point in having Mal and Alina hideout, only to, well, get found. Within twenty pages. But still, the inevitable was the inevitable and it brought forth an array of new faces (again, hello, Sturmhond) and yet: with the reappearance of the Darkling, with the interaction between him and Alina, I felt as if things had gone backwards and everyone had let their hatred for eachother become a little bit dulled. No one seemed like they particularly wanted vengeance, and things went along plesantly enough, opposing sides getting along quite well, it seemed.

In retrospect, I feel like I can break Siege and Storm up into a lot of little sections, all of which are distinct from the other plot arcs of the novel. And sadly, I feel like they never really melded together completely, so I see them as disjointed sections rather than a whole. Training, running. Conversations, romances. Fights, kisses. It felt to me as if there were a couple of different plot arcs here, and they didn't quite fit- almost, but not quite. Add to that the fact that the characters frustrated me, their behaviour almost unbelievable at times (hello, Mal. Hello. You have not once failed to amaze me.), and although Alina was admittedly a little better at standing up for herself, someone in her position... I think it was her weakness that she wasn't strong. Her emotions clouded her, her insecurity, and while those factors made her human and should have made her relatable, it merely frustrated me that she took so long to get her act together and separate her feelings from her work, or even bring the two together and make it a stable foundation. Instead she pined and whined and got carried away, and I was left giving her much side eye.

Rating: Oh noooooo.
I had really high hopes for this series, but it seems like it just isn't for me. Which is okay. I still love the covers, and I still enjoyed most of the first book, and I still like the Darkling and Sturmhond. But I know I won't be reading Ruin and Rising, and I know that's okay, too. Some series we just don't need to finish.

13 comments:

  1. Man, I'm sorry you didn't like this one! For what it's worth, I also think Siege and Storm is the weakest novel out of the three, with Ruin and Rising being the strongest. Sturmhond is probably my favorite character in the entire series, especially in this book because Mal really frustrated me. Which, I just realized, doesn't say much about the characters. Have you read/will you read Six of Crows?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah, that's okay! I'm still glad I tried it (and with such a lovely cover, I don't regret that, either), but I'm also happy to be finishing here. I just don't think it was going to go in a direction I could root for. *shrugs* Mal was super frustrating. I just didn't understand MOST of his behaviour, particularly here. And the fact Alina put up with him made me even more annoyed.
      I'm definitely planning to read Six of Crows, yes! I've heard such good things! xx

      Delete
  2. I felt the same way. I loved Shadow and Bone, but it all fell apart in the second book. I think it has more to do with the way the love interest's role was diminished. Idk.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You did? I've heard of few others who didn't get along with this series! *laughs*
      Well, I always liked the Darkling a lot more than Mal (who, I felt, was pinned as the more primary love interest)- Mal was hugely frustrating from the first to me, and the way he used Alina... just irritated me beyond repair. So I think for me it was more the plot direction, than the romance, although the characters did frustrate me with their behaviour in general, too.

      Delete
  3. I still really liked this one, but it didn't live up to how much I had adored Shadow and Bone (which remains one of my all time favourite books). It has been a while since I read it, but I always remember being annoyed and Alina for being so back and forth about everything. And being pissed off at Mal because he is a stupid thug. The only character I am always consistently in love with his the Darkling, although I do adore Sturmhond, as well (although I could never quite understand why he loved Alina so much. GET WITH A GIRL WHO APPRECIATES YOU. OR A BOY. WHATEVER. JUST SOMEONE BETTER).

    Ah, I remember texting you my recap of Ruin & Rising. I did such a good job ;D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think if I had loved the first book more in general, rather than just loving the magic, the Darkling and the first half, I would have been more forgiving, maybe, of this, but possibly also more upset by the spots where it failed for me.
      Yes! Alina's behaviour, for someone who was pinned as the leader and TOOK up that role, it was completely unfathomable, and you're so right about Mal. He is irritation itself. But it seems like Alina is allowed to act however she wants and she'll always be forgiven and cherished for her talent and beauty.

      You did such a good job. Twas epic.

      Delete
  4. Oh nooo, I love this series though! I have only read the first two books so far - like you. And while I LOVED the first book, I do think this second book slowed things down a bit. The plot wasn't as great as the first one, but I think she was bridging things with the plot that would be necessary to make the finale book just as great as the first. And despite not loving the plot to pieces, she introduced new characters and that shine was enough to intrigue me, and like the love situation, so that I was happy enough as a reader.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope the third book is as enjoyable as the first for you! I know I'm not going to read it, and I'm happy I've decided that, but it sounds like your experience has been a lot more enjoyable. xx

      Delete
  5. I skimmed over your review as I haven't read the first book, but I am sad to hear you didn't enjoy this one. Sometimes it happens that a series just isn't for you and it's a shame when the first book is good and then the second book less so. I prefer series that get better when they progress.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It does, and really I'm not too bothered. Disappointed a series I had been waiting to read for years didn't live up to my hopes and expectations, but I'm also happy that I know I don't need to read any more of it.
      When a series gets better the longer it goes, that's amazing! Unfortunately, I seem almost used to the middle books feeling a bit slow. /:
      xx

      Delete
  6. Aw, I'm so sad to see that you didn't really enjoy this one! I haven't started this series yet, but I have nice hopes for it, so let's see how it goes with me!

    ~L.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But that's okay! At least I tried, I suppose, and I did like the first half of book 1! Here's hoping you have a better time with this series than I did, Lili! Do let me know. I'd be really interested to see what you think about it (and how you like the characters- Darkling- too) xx

      Delete
  7. That's too bad that you didn't like it, but we all have different interests and that's just fine. I really enjoyed it when I read it, but hey. :) You gave it a chance, and that's the most one could ask of you.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you so much for reading my post and, if you care to, commenting! It means a lot to me that you have thoughts on this thing (whatever it may be), too, and want to share them.

Please note, however, that nothing hurtful will be tolerated.

Have a beautiful day.x