Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Siege and Storm


Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo
4/5 stars
Henry Holt and Co, 2013
432 pages
YA Fantasy

Source: Received an ARC from Amazon Vine in exchange for an honest review.

No spoilers for Siege and Storm but some light spoilers for Shadow and Bone (possibly)

When I was choosing a book to read on the plane for my vacation, I thought Siege and Storm would be the perfect pick. Highly anticipated and already receiving rave reviews from the blogosphere. But when I tried reading it on the plane, I was confronted with the fact that this is a fantasy and I really struggled to concentrate on the world, eventually putting it aside until I landed where I promptly devoured it.

I can't share too much about the plot but I will remind you how Alina has an amplifier and is on the run from the Darkling in the company of Mal. This book picks up with them still on the move and quickly escalates from there. No moments of piece for the young couple but new and ever more difficult challenges keep arising, both external and internal.

Although Shadow and Bone received a decidedly meh review from me, the more reviews I read around the blogosphere and the more I mused on the book, the more excited about it I became. Now that I have completed Siege and Storm, I still have similar feelings. There is just something about this series that fails to captivate me like my favorite books do.

Yes, there are some great moments like the introduction of Sturmhond, a privateer with charm to spare who is quite the trickster. Every moment with him sparkles although his flirtation with Alina pissed off the Mal fan in me. Speaking of Mal, he is kind of a gloomy Gus in this book as he feels increasingly stifled by the decisions he and Alina have made and how that limits his future. I just wanted him to give his all to Alina but then I guess he wouldn't have been the kind of guy he is. As someone who quite liked the Darkling despite a long-time dislike of the "bad boy," I was disappointed that he didn't have more page time. When he's there, he's there-he takes over everything and he's always in the background of Alina's thoughts but he didn't have the presence he did last time.

And then we come to Alina who is probably my biggest problem with the book. I just don't click with her. There's nothing particularly objectionable about her to me but we don't have the easy camaraderie that I've had with other heroines (say Alanna of Tamora Pierce's series). It's as simple as that.

Overall: I would still definitely say this is a must-read for fantasy fans and those who enjoyed the first book; it's also a good read for people who want to stay abreast of what's popular in the YA category as these books have inspired a lot of love.

Other Opinions:
Beauty and the Bookshelf
Candace's Book Blog
Jen Ryland/YA Romantics
Supernatural Snark
The Midnight Garden

32 comments:

  1. Sorry it didn't live up to what you wanted, and was mising that something special for you

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    1. I was so bummed-the first book became so magical in my head and I just expected more after the gushing I saw in the blogosphere.

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  2. When I read Shadow and Bone, I had a hard time starting out (it took three tries) but once I began, I couldn't put it down. And then I immediately picked up Siege and Storm and just loved it even more. I thought I'd have a tough time with the Russian culture and verbage, but I thought that LBardugo made it easy for me. I hate that this one hasn't clicked with you as much as you would've liked, but I've heard from others that they've had a tough time with Alina as well. I'm really interested in how the series will end! BUT it's a long wait...

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    1. I want to love this series so much but Alina just doesn't excite me. I had trouble with the first book too but I'm glad that I'm giving them a try.

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  3. I was so annoyed at the end of Shadow and Bone about how the whole Darkling vs. Mal issue turned out, so I think I'm going to wait for the third book to come out, read the spoilers to find out how it all ends, and THEN decide whether I want to read the 2nd and 3rd book.

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    1. What didn't you like about it? If you wanted more of the Darkling, you'll be disappointed in this book!

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  4. Great review. We're SHADOW AND BONE fans here, so we'll probably enjoy the heck out of SIEGE AND STORM, but your review makes a lot of very good points about both books.

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    1. I hope you do love it-so many people have! There's just something weird about me.

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  5. Ugh, I want this so so so bad.

    I need to catch up on my Amazon Vine reviews. Darn you, gainful employment!

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    1. I hope you get it soon-so many people have loved it!

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  6. Gotta love Sturmhond, he's such a charmer. I agree too, I wish the Darkling would have had a bit more page time.

    Glad you enjoyed this one, for the most part! :)

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    1. Sturmhond was an amazing character-he had the charisma I love in a book character!

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  7. I appreciate your honesty. It's hard to be the one who says "I didn't love this" when everyone is raving about it. I do like Alina and I'm a big fan of the series, but sometimes you're just not feeling a book and that is that.
    Jen @ YA Romantics

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    1. I feel so alone but I know there are others out there-I just have to find them!

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  8. It's always hard when you want to love a book, but you just don't. I am looking forward to picking this one up, when it comes out. I'm sad there not much of the Darkling though. Great review.

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    1. I hope you love this-looking forward to your review!

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  9. I'm not a huge fan of fantasy, but I think I'd like to give this series a shot. Stormhund sounds intriguing, and the Darkling really interests me...awesome review, girly! I really need to start this series! (: I'm sorry that it was meh for you, though.

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    1. I think this is a pretty well-written fascinating series but it just doesn't make me smile like my favorite books do.

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  10. Oh that's a shame that you don't click with Alina. I think she's one of the easiest female protagonists to get along with...with that said, I was really frustrated with her in this book. In her defense, she goes through a lot but I just kept wanting to shake her. Well, I hope the third book absolutely WOWS you :)

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    1. She's nice enough but she doesn't spark for me.

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  11. I enjoy this series but there is a tiny something that keeps me from really loving it. Not sure what. I LOVE Mal! I am already upset that Strumhond will be flirting with Alina. LOL While I'm not totally in love with The Darkling I find him to be a great mystery character so I am kind of sad we don't learn more about him in this book. Alina seems to be someone that doesn't made the wisest choices. That can grate on my nerves. I am sad to hear Mal is down and upset about where his life is going although I guess I can understand. Even when you would give up everything for someone it still sucks that you have to.

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    1. I like a lot of the pieces of this series but not the whole-there's something missing.

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  12. Even though I don't feel that way about THIS book, I understand your feelings nonetheless, because who hasn't experienced them toward a book at some point? A part of me is sad that you feel that way about this book, BUT I enjoy seeing how the good stuff effected you as did the bad. I like that Bardugo makes her characters real, with Mal struggling with decisions on what's right for him and whatnot. I'll probably be frustrated with him even though, but I'll bet it'll be the good kind, where I know I'm invested in the characters once more. Alina has a tendency to irritate me, but I still like her as a person, and though I can't relate with her one hundred percent of the time, I CAN feel for her.

    But I think what I'm most excited about is this mysterious trickster captain!

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    1. Sturmhond is definitely worth meeting-I wanted a lot more of him (maybe even as the focus) because he sparkles (not like a vampire though ;)

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  13. It's definitely hard to continue with a series if you don't click with the protagonist--I've felt that way myself sometimes, too. I love this series, but I actually have a hit or miss relationship with fantasy so it's a surprise that I enjoyed it so much, too. Thanks for your honest review, reading your perspective is appreciated!

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

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    1. I probably will still read the third book though-I want to keep up with what's popular in the blogosphere.

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  14. I'm sorry you had issues with this book! Though I do love Alina, there were quite a few moments where I felt pretty distant from her, too. If you do end up reading the third book in the series, though, I'd love to read your review of it to see if you think things get any better. I wished the Darkling had more page time, too. Hopefully he's around more in Ruin and Rising.

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    1. I am planning to check it out-I want to see how it all concludes and what will turn out for the Darkling.

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  15. I'm really hoping I liked this book. Mostly because I paid for it. At first I liked the first book, but once it got to the end it just annoyed me and once I finished it, it annoyed me even more.

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    1. How did it annoy you? I guess I will need to check out your review (fingers crossed you posted one).

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  16. I understand how you feel a little distant from Alina. I felt that in Shadow and Bone, but found her to be more compelling in Siege and Storm. And the inclusion of Stormhond sealed the deal for me (I have a thing for pirates, er, privateers) But you know, I like that you aren't afraid to get out there and tell us how you really feel, because all opinions are valid and deserve the right to be heard. In fact I think it's a good thing to read differing opinions on books, especially those that as hyped as this one:)

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    1. Sturmhond was an excellent addition but I still wanted more from the original characters and I just wasn't feeling it.

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