Thursday, January 2, 2014

(W)REC(K) A BOOK: Shadow and Bone

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?

Glorious. Epic. Irresistible. Romance.
- Goodreads

I read the first five chapters that's free on Amazon, and I couldn't get enough. As soon as Christmas came and went, I bought my own copy and devoured it!

When I first read this, it gave off the feeling that all popular books give off. This came out last year and I have no idea how I'd missed it. Alina is thrown into this world of riches and luxury that she used to yearn for, but after being taken from Mal and the only real world she knew, she resents it at first. She misses the only guy who'd ever been there for her since their younger years in the orphanage. She misses the surety of what the next day brought and the comfort in it.

Alina is an interesting girl to follow, and she is almost cynical without really coming off as such. She's certainly blunt, which I like, and she doesn't allow herself to whine, yet another plus that is awfully refreshing. The relationship between her and Mal is great. I loved that they grew up together and always had someone to turn to throughout the years, and when the present showed them possibly going in different directions? Awesome. Who doesn't love reading about two people going on different paths in life? She's a mapmaker and he's one of the greatest trackers in the land. She's a little anti-social and Mal is Mr. Popular. And yet despite their differences, they still stick together, even when she has moments of doubt or he's off knocking boots with another girl.

Their separation was sad for me even though it was brief and her life with the Grisha was swift. Her growing crush on the Darkling was also interesting, and I was falling for the Grisha right along with her. Their being a couple also sounded perfect, too, you know? He's the Darkling of shadows and she's the Sun Summoner- light and dark, opposites attract and all that jazz. Again, she wasn't like the others and fawning all over him, but she did act like how any other normal girl would when around a hot guy long enough, lol. Bardugo did a fantastic job of putting in all the drama and enticing ideas without overstepping the line and having her characters or plots come off as annoying. The book was a fantastic read through and through. And when the Darkling turned out to be using her? Totally blindsided me!
*Snort. Liar.*

Okay, that's not quite true. I was surprised that the Darkling ended up being the bad guy, but when he started doing stuff for her, I'd have a thought or two about him using her for something. The inkling never stuck, though, so his real intentions were still startling. I was so sad that he wasn't going to end up with Alina, but then Mal came back and his time with her made me think, "Why did I give up on them being an item again?"

If I had to point out bad things about this book, it'd be Alina's attitude of giving up. As the Sun Summoner, she has great power that could save them from the Shadow Fold. However, she oppressed it for so long without realizing it, so now she's having a hard time calling upon it on her own. At one point, she gets fed up with constantly failing and disappointing her teachers at the palace, so for a while she goes "fuck it" and waits for the Darkling to help her out. I'm not too irritated with that because I'd be bummed out too if I kept failing over and over again.

My favorite "ah-ha!" moment from this book would be the reason why Alina had oppressed her gift. See, everyone is tested at a young age to determine whether or not they're Grisha. When Alina and Mal were visited by some Grisha at the orphanage, their little selves had sensed that this was a crucial moment that would break them apart, and so when they were separated and tested, Alina forced down her power so she could stay back with Mal. The mystery as to why she wasn't discovered as a Grisha in the beginning is the whole book's major question (for me it was, anyway) and so when I found out why and the how's of it, I totally melted.

The writing style flowed nicely and the pace was great. There's no sex in this YA book, as the most risque thing in here is the Darkling getting a cop feel of her thighs. This managed to be a love triangle without it actually being a love triangle. That's an awesome thing for me since I don't normally enjoy reading about these shapely relationship problems. I recommend, and honestly have no idea how I missed this book, since it's been out for a while now. XD

Happy Reading :)

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