I have to say that I am a sucker for post-apocalyptic survival dystopias, but with The book of the Unnamed Midwife it’s more: the narration, the strucI have to say that I am a sucker for post-apocalyptic survival dystopias, but with The book of the Unnamed Midwife it’s more: the narration, the structure, the atmosphere, the setting – it all just works here. The book is actually unputdownable. It keeps you guessing at every turn. However what I loved the most about it is the main character. She is – oh, wow! – amazing, smart, badass, cool, brave, but also believable with her own shortcomings and doubts. Be warned though - The book of the Unnamed Midwife isn’t an easy read. It’s brutal and disturbing. But it is also kind of resilient – it doesn’t let you crumble under all the horrors. Subtly it praises the strength of human spirit, determination, will to survive, even when it seems like there is no hope left in the world. Wholeheartedly recommended. ...more
Here comes a very unpopular opinion. I didn’t like Six of Crows all that much. There, I said it. And the book is so well loved, that I almost want toHere comes a very unpopular opinion. I didn’t like Six of Crows all that much. There, I said it. And the book is so well loved, that I almost want to add “sorry”.
The biggest problem I had with this book is suspension of disbelief. I tried my best, but it just didn’t work as highly improbable far-fetched situations were piling up. I can’t say anything else because spoilers and all, but the premise itself – a rich merchant hiring a bunch of street kids to break into a high-security prison – is already implausible enough, and it only goes downhill from there.
However, in spite of that, believe it or not, I actually think Leigh Bardugo is a very decent writer, who knows how to keep her readers on their toes. Because through all the WTF-moments, through all my frustration with the characters’ actions and unbelievable twists and turns, I still couldn’t put the book down and I wanted to know how it all ends.
Overall I didn’t enjoy Six of Crows, but it was still pretty fun, so I give it 2.5 stars rounded up to 3. ...more
I am very much familiar with Russian folklore, with tales about Morozko and so on. And now an American author wrote a book based on Russian fairytalesI am very much familiar with Russian folklore, with tales about Morozko and so on. And now an American author wrote a book based on Russian fairytales - how awesome is that? I just couldn’t walk past this book. The story in The Bear and the Nightingale is beautiful like a crisp winter day and mysterious like a howling winter night (yes, as you see I am feeling all poetic after reading it). Katherine Arden has studied her subject thoroughly, and I always find it great when a fantasy story is well planned and well researched. The Bear and the Nightingale has its problems (every book does, no big deal). The plot, for example, was a bit messy and uneven at times. Plus I found that the amount of Russian words was quite distracting. I don’t mind a word here and there, but there were, I think, too many. All in all The Bear and the Nightingale was a very enjoyable read as well as a fantastic debut novel, and I loved the fact that it didn’t end on a cliffhanger per se, but still left me wanting more.
Random: I liked Morozko and thought he was a great character. However his name sounded a bit funny to me. It might be that I actually grew up listening to those fairytales where Morozko was this weird old dude, I don’t know, but it made me lol at first, and kind of ruined the mood of the book. I would have preferred him being called ‘the frost-demon’ or whatever, but that’s just me. ...more