Yvonne's Reviews > Siege and Storm

Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo
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it was ok
bookshelves: two-stars

frankly, if i weren't reading this trilogy just to get to the SoC duology, i would have DNF'ed this.

first of all, alina is as annoying and inconsistent and boring as she is in the first book. i don't know who claimed that she gets better in books 2 and 3 but i actually found her more insufferable in this than i did in the first book. probably because she spent so much time worried about mal and thinking about mal and then wait maybe she likes nikolai but probably not more than mal and jesus fucking christ, how do you kill off someone else's character?

second there's still the issue of bardugo having not done her basic research about the russian language and russian culture. as much as i think it's hilarious that grisha basically translates to "greg," (and that badurgo KNEW it was the diminutive of grigori and purposely used it for her magic-users is both funny and infuriating for me) it's still distracting. every time i see grisha my brain just reads it as greg now. and of course still wrong are the surnames for alina starkov and ilya morozova. but nikolai is nikolai lanstov not nikolai lanstova, further proving to me that this isn't a switching of gendered surnames, but just straight up either ignorance about russian names (which would literally take 10 seconds to google) or knowing better and still treating them like western surnames.

the "why" for my wanting to DNF this is more in the first point (alina's inconsistent characterization as well as her idiotic choices) as well as the love pyramid that now exists. because alina has 0 actual substance as a character i don't see chemistry between her and ANY of her not one, not two, but THREE love interests. mal is the least interesting of the three and also the one we spend most of our time reading about alina fretting over. i think bardugo totally forgot to develop alina and mal and it shows especially in their scenes together. sorry, i find it hard to buy the angst between these two slices of stale white bread.

that all being said, there were parts of this book i liked. i also disagree that this book was uneccessary (i suspect it's mostly darkling fans saying that) because while it does fall a little bit to middle book syndrome, there is a lot learned and it was still a fairly fast read.

nikolai was a great addition to the story i just wish that bardugo hadn't made him in love with alina because i have a hard time believing anyone including mal is in love with her so i pretty much really enjoyed him except for when he was proposing to her or wanting to kiss her. so far he's the only character in the series with any substance or that feels at all real and developed. (yes, including the darkling. the darkling has potential to be interesting, but i don't think he's actually all that well developed.) so in my opinion nikolai was just one instance of bardugo's writing showing improvement with this book.

so yeah, this was feeling like a 3 star book for the most part, but i had to literally force myself through the romance scenes and found myself skimming them and at times thinking i'd give this only 1 star out of spite for the shitty love pyramid happening. and i almost did stick to that, but that would be a little unfair given that i didn't hate the majority of the book.

six of crows better be worth me reading this trash is all i can say. i was planning to jump straight into ruin & rising but because the romance in this put such a bad taste in my mouth i need a palate cleanser.
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Reading Progress

October 25, 2019 – Started Reading
October 25, 2019 – Shelved
October 25, 2019 –
page 107
24.6%
October 27, 2019 –
page 190
43.68% "Alina is acting like a petulant child, why is she so hard to like? good luck nikolai, all my hopes for not hating this book are on you."
October 27, 2019 –
page 261
60.0%
October 27, 2019 –
page 311
71.49%
October 27, 2019 –
page 355
81.61% "The "romance" scenes really make me want to give up on this book. Alina's lack of characterization is easily overlooked when theres a plot to focus on but honestly the romance is terrible bc Alina has no depth and what she does have is inconsistent. There's no chemistry between her and ANY of her 3 love interests and its frustrating that we keep getting dragged away from the actual plot for this bullshit"
October 28, 2019 – Shelved as: two-stars
October 28, 2019 – Finished Reading

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