Donna's Reviews > Shadow and Bone

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
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's review
May 17, 12

bookshelves: best-bitten, squeemers, fantasy, young-adult
Read from April 21 to 27, 2012

Potential Spoilers Ahead

I don't think my review is really spoilerish because of elements that I believe are rather obvious from the beginning but just to be safe . . .

OMFGBBQ did I devour this book. Like whoa, gobbled it right down and it didn't even give me gas. We're talking Cinda Williams Chima level of love right now. For anyone that knows me, that's a lot of love. Not quite on the same exact level but I did add BBQ to my explanation. That means a lot.

Let's see . . . what can I say about SHADOW & BONE without turning into a total blithering fangirl?

Alina is one hell of a kick ass heroine. Seriously. She's got a smart mouth and stands up for herself even in moments when she'd probably be better off keeping her trap shut. A character flaw but one I like. Because that's totally me. Honesty is my best policy. It just may not be true for others.

Mal? Yeah, I'm a total fan. There was a time there where I filed him into the complete toolbox category but with his re-emergence came his redemption. He fits Alina perfectly. One personality doesn't overpower the other and they really jive. It's a relationship I can totally get behind because it feels real. It's something that was built up over time as opposed to the instant soup kind. There was substance there, history, a deeper bond than smelling pretty. It's everything I want to see in a relationship and then some. That's not to say it's perfect but it's REAL.

The Darkling surprised me. I kind of knew he was off from the beginning but I found the depth to his offness shocking. But it was well-built. His personality ended up being kind of standard villain-ish but I'm okay with that. There were other elements to the puzzle that ground out that particular aspect of him and made him more realistic. There's a ruthlessness there and the author's willingness to actually show it that I admire. Not the evil, sadistic ruthlessness but the author not shying away from it. It paints Bargudo in a great light for me and it brings added depth to The Darkling's character.

I was pleasantly surprised by a few of things in the book. One of them is that at the beginning of Alina's stay being a Grisha that her schooling appeared to be a type of boarding school. Wherein I began to think that it's yet another boarding school story and I've been duped. Not the case. Another, where Alina is coming into her powers and they're trying to figure out why she constantly needed an amplifier to bring them out. I guessed, and was wrong. Another? The vulcra. I was shocked to find out just what they are. Another testament to Bardugo's authorly twistedness. I liked it.

I wasn't overly thrilled with the ending, more like a particular element of it, but I'll get over it. I liked it overall and how it wasn't a total cop-out and everything wrapped up nicely with a little bow at the end. Not so much. But there was hope there, just enough to wrap up the greater story arc but set the precedent for future books. And I can't wait.

SHADOW & BONE is an excellent high fantasy addition to the YA category. The world is lavishly built, with real world elements that keep it firmly within reach, and characters that'll suck you in and have you begging for more. You'll definitely want to read this. You'll be disappointed if you don't.
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Reading Progress

04/21/2012 page 136
04/23/2012 page 8
2.0% "I may just love this book. We shall see…"
04/23/2012 page 8
2.0% "I may just love this book. We shall see…"
04/23/2012 page 45
12.0% "OMG Alina is an epic win."
04/23/2012 page 49
13.0% "OMG Ayeiiiiiiiiii!"
04/25/2012 page 74
20.0% "Cut 'em up gore. Love it! Rather sick but when it needs to be done it needs to be done."
04/25/2012 page 104
28.0% "The notion of beauty = power is a little unsettling. And really insistent. I hope it goes somewhere."
04/25/2012 page 135
37.0% "A boarding school by any other name…but I still like what I'm reading so I'm hopeful. We shall see."
04/26/2012 page 138
38.0% ""Maybe combat training wouldn't be so bad. Marie and Nadia were definitely making me want to punch something." Have I mentioned recently that I love Alina?"
04/26/2012 page 138
38.0% ""He had straggly gray hair and a gruesome scar across his neck where someone had tried to cut his throat. I spent the next two hours cursing that person for not doing a more thorough job." Srsly? I'm loving Alina more and more. Not to mention this book is highly quotable."
04/26/2012 page 160
43.0% "Oh Alina is so smart. I love it when characters actually the forest for the trees when it comes to two-faced people."
04/26/2012 page 177
48.0% "I agree with Alina; the priest is a creeper. And I'm wiping to bet it's something about Alina's person, perhaps that scar, that's holding back her power…"
04/26/2012 page 184
50.0% "YES! Prove me wrong! PROVE ME WRONG! I live it! Lovey love love!"
04/27/2012 page 232
63.0% "YES! You stand up to him! You don't be a simpering little girl and chase him!"
04/27/2012 page 237
64.0% "I knew it! Something about him wasn't alright."
04/27/2012 page 238
65.0% "Okay. Now the volcra have taken on a while new level of horrible. I'm so proud of the author."
04/27/2012 page 266
72.0% "I find it really odd that this world has guns. Or rifles at least. They haven't fit in yet."
04/27/2012 page 268
73.0% "Mal has redeemed himself a bit. I would not be opposed to Alina still punching him in the eye though."
04/27/2012 page 276
75.0% "Ahahahahahaha! Hooray!"
04/27/2012 page 277
75.0% ""Ancient secrets if the groin kick." Ha!"
04/27/2012 page 279
76.0% ""That better be one hell if a roll." Oh Mal, you redeemer you."
04/27/2012 page 356
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