An absolutely amazing sci-fi / fantasy tale. Wonderful worldbuilding, amazing writing and characters you'll never forget. (And, let's be real, a couplAn absolutely amazing sci-fi / fantasy tale. Wonderful worldbuilding, amazing writing and characters you'll never forget. (And, let's be real, a couple that you'll want to read about again and again and again.) A full rant of love can be seen at my personal Tumblr....more
Here's the thing: if there were flaws in this book, I was far too caught up in the story to realize it. I loved it, the entireAlina, let me love you.
Here's the thing: if there were flaws in this book, I was far too caught up in the story to realize it. I loved it, the entire story, the way the narrative was crafted. Even though there's a giant war going on, Bardugo doesn't try to encompass the entire thing -- everything is focused on Alina, and how her decisions affect the world, and how her emotions are completely bonkers, and how she's changing from the young mapmaker we met at the beginning of Shadow and Bone.
And I loved it.
Alina's character arc is totally what I'm here for and why I loved it so much. (To be fair, the setting, the side characters, the plot itself were all beautifully well handled; it's not a small book, but it moved at a fast pace -- the story never dragged.) But Alina's development is fascinating to watch. Her struggle with power - her hunger for power - her refusal to be a warrior - her need to be a warrior - I just - ladies. Power hungry warrior ladies make me happy.
Definitely as good as book one, if not better....more
Here's the thing about A Natural History of Dragons: it's a young adult crossover; it can be classified as either adult fantasy or young adult fantasyHere's the thing about A Natural History of Dragons: it's a young adult crossover; it can be classified as either adult fantasy or young adult fantasy and it would fit right in. Honestly, it's what I think the new adult genre could be: a story where somebody has come of age and knows who they are and is now struggling with what to do with that.
And it was good.
There's a few little things, of course, that matter in the long run. The book, divided into several mini-Books, let its pacing slow considerably after book two, and that is in part to the focus on non-dragon related activities. (I do wish that dragons had been featured more in the book, but I loved how they were handled when they were there.)
It's also told in a biographical style, meaning it has the tone of an older woman reflecting on her younger stuff -- lots of heavy foreshadowing on what will occur, mentions of other adventures, and reflections on the fact that she made some stupid decisions. A lot of people don't like that kind of style, but I found that it worked rather well for this story.
And that leads me to the most important point:
I, Nicole, am in love with Isabella Trent.
Not the romantic kind of love, of course, but the kind of love that you find in a kindred spirit; it's as if the character was written for me. With the exception of her being much more scientific than I am, I understood her and loved her and her story. Her excitement was mine, her discoveries mine, her pain, her love.
I wanted both to see dragons, and to understand them. I wanted to stretch the wings of my mind and see how far I could fly.
Needless to say, I love this book because of her character. Her own obsession with dragons, of course, is tied inherently to my own, but I loved everything about her: her humour, her intelligence, and how she refused to be trapped within the box of her time. Even her taste in husband - who I also adored - was impeccable.
I liked the setting as well -- the alternate world to ours suited me quite well, though I know there have been complaints about renaming everything. Why not just do it AU-style, like His Majesty's Dragon? But I understood it well enough, so I didn't mind. This, of course, could also have to do with my blind love for Isabella; I highly suggest reading The Book Smuggler's review of this on Kirkus for a more objective opinion.
But as far as I'm concerned - oh, I loved it, and yes, I will be reading it - or at least the first two-thirds! - again....more
As usual, McMann manages to create a book that, while not completely memorable, sucks you in and drags you along for a ride.
Short, sweet, and to the pAs usual, McMann manages to create a book that, while not completely memorable, sucks you in and drags you along for a ride.
Short, sweet, and to the point: the book fits in well with the rest of McMann's discography. I loved it while I was reading it and was unable to put it down, but it's not a book I'm going to come back to for a reread.
And you know what? That's okay. Because the suspense, which is the best part of the book, would be ruined by me knowing what already happened. And boy, does this book have suspense.
I liked the characters well enough, even though Jules' obsession with Sawyer made me groan about ninety percent of the time. (I got past it because the suspense kept me going, but really? You've been in love with him for how long? I know you're doing that thing teenage girls and guys do where they love from afar, but... oi vey!) And I liked the dichotomy of the old Italian rivals, because it was super over dramatic -- just like in real life.
All in all, it was a really entertaining book; I'd definitely recommend picking it up if you need something to distract you and suck you in for a few hours....more