Annabelle Marie Veronica's Reviews > Shadow and Bone

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
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****FINAL RATING: 4.50 STARS****

I've been hearing about this book for months, everyone telling me to read it. Naturally, I caved. The gorgeous cover didn't help, since you all know about my self-control issues. I bought this book and honestly, I wasn't sure that it would be my type of book. Then I read it, and not only did I find myself completely blown away, I found myself in love. This was seriously one of the most incredible books I've ever read. Not only was it crazy unique, but it was dark and even a bit glamorous and desperately beautiful. It was even a little bit haunting. Absolutely gorgeous, and thrilling. Spectacular.

Alina is a marvelous heroine, who fits perfectly into her place and is everything she should be. She's surprisingly strong-willed, and she does what she needs to even when it hurts her if that's what she needs to do. It's pretty much impossible not to admire her for that. Alina has to go through some hard times and make some pretty difficult decisions, but she doesn't let them rip her apart. Instead, she learns to get over them and move on. She's got a serious backbone. Moreover, she's relatable; though we see much of the strong and unshakeable Alina, we also do see a lot of her softer side, where she's more unsure, less confident, more like the everyday girl. And that's pure awesomeness.

Mal, is, in fact, a guy, even though all I think of when I think of Mal is that crazy French chick from Inception. Anyway, I adore Mal. He's so sweet in such an innocent and yet also passionate way. And he cares about Alina. He's given more than one chance to betray her, to abandon her, and yet no matter what happens he stays strong and loyal. No threat is unsurpassable to him. He's incredibly brave. Sometimes he does make stupid decisions, but at so many other times he makes good choices. And even when he makes the not-so-smart choices, he doesn't make them for himself. He makes them for Alina.

Who is, you know, the Darkling. I think this is the first time ever I have no clue what to use for a subtitle or whatever :(
I really didn't want to have to say this, but the Darkling is somewhat sexy. Like, I'm not gonna lie. He's a total creep and ridiculously evil, but he's also sexy. And I know it's weird to think that, but I know for a fact that I'm not the only one, so, you know. I have a feeling that we haven't seen the last of him. Though his character starts out one way and ends up being something completely and totally different, he's also in many ways the same.

Wow. So, like, wow.

The plot just quite literally blew me away. Just, wow. It was so incredibly, utterly unique. I've never read anything like it. The quasi-Russian historical setting was awesome. And the magic concepts wove in so beautifully. The best part, of course, was that they weren't overused. I hate overused magic. They were seamlessly incorporated into the story to the point where they made sense. And that was the best part.

There's nothing quite as amazing as a book that just grabs you and doesn't let go. This was that type of book. The kind of book you're desperate to finish. Not because it's a thriller or because there's a ton of action, but because you genuinely want to know what happens next without all of that. It was intense without being overwhelming, and haunting without being creepy.

Everything flows together so beautifully, too. Each event leads into the next, and they connect and make actual, legit sense. Things didn't felt thrown in or random.

While things didn't feel thrown in or random, there were one or two things that felt too convenient. Just one or two, so it honestly wasn't that much of a big deal. But it was still a minor annoyance. It only happened a few times, though, so it wasn't overly upsetting and definitely did not lessen my enjoyment of the novel overall.

There's two romances, and they each develop so differently. And they're so realistically done. I mean, the whole girl-falls-in-love-with-her-best-friend does kind of bother me. The whole thing just kind of feels cliché to me. However, aside from that, the romance does develop sweetly. And in so many ways, I can understand the appeal and the attraction. Sometimes the concept works for me. Sometimes, it isn't convincing enough. Like in this case. However, I'm looking forward t seeing further development. As for Alina and the Darkling, that romance was definitely unconventional and unusual. We'll see where that goes, because I'm almost positive it'll be brought up again.

Leigh has absolutely beautiful writing, especially her descriptive tongue. She makes her world feel real, describes it so vividly it's almost as if she's been there herself. The world-building is beyond marvelous, and there's really no more accurate words to describe it. It's simply something else, something beautiful. And I love the way she really connects the characters, even without dialogue. The dialogue, too, though, is wonderful. Just everything about the writing is lovely, really. Unbelievably so.

The book honestly ended at what I feel was not the best spot. It felt wrong somehow, and though I can't tell you why, I just didn't like it. I feel like it should have had something else. I did like that the plot was resolved, and yet that it's obvious there will be more. However, I'm not really a fan of the epilogue (and by extension the prologue) in this book. Still, the book didn't have a direct or agonizing cliffhanger and still convinced me that I needed more.

I absolutely loved Shadow and Bone, and it will certainly be high on my list of recommended reads. It completely glittered. Shone. Shimmered. Any pretty, sparkling word that you can think of, it is. I will most certainly be reading the latter two books in the trilogy as well as coming back to read this one again and again. A wonderful debut with deep characters and a dark and original concept, Shadow and Bone is a delight to welcome to the YA world and a gem for years to come!


Read more of my reviews on Sparkles and Lightning!
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Steph And Dani {A Walk on Words} I liked how the ending sorta went back in a circle to the beginning of Alina and Mal's life since it was just the two of them fending for themselves against the world again. But yeah, it didn't feel right to me either.

Annabelle Marie Veronica Steph And Dani {A Walk on Words} wrote: "I liked how the ending sorta went back in a circle to the beginning of Alina and Mal's life since it was just the two of them fending for themselves against the world again. But yeah, it didn't fee..."

Yeah, I do like that, and I see your point. I just don't like how the writing style feels completely different. It's off somehow.

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