My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I thought that I would like this a lot more, but I just… didn’t? I mean, I really liked it, but it was missing that big “WOW” factor that usually draws me in for Fantasy novels.
-High key Fantasy novel. Very interesting plot.
-A lot of unnecessarily complicated names/places/terms that made the book really hard to understand. It’s like the author wanted to make the book more appealing to Fantasy readers by adding a lot of words like (Materialki, Etherealki, Corporalki). Sorry, doesn’t work that way. It was okay at first, because those are the names of the groups in the second army, but aside from those, there are A LOT more.
-Heroine is a kind of character that goes from weak to strong, not just idle during the whole book. Her character development was very well written.
-The Darkling may be one of the best villains I have EVER read in my entire life. He goes right up there, next to Sebastian Morgernstern, of course. I really liked how Leigh Bardugo portrayed the Darkling’s character. I love him, not just because he’s so hot (Like melt right on the spot hot. He goes up that list after Rhys. <3), but because his character is so raw and utterly powerful and there’s always that hint of danger/attractiveness that every villain should have.
–Mal is really annoying. Sorry if I’m offending anyone, but I just really don’t like his character. He just goes from ignoring Alina and friend-zoning her to drooling over her when she becomes this awesome, powerful, and beautiful Grisha. (Her looks improved because Grishas become more attractive when they use their powers regularly.) Oh yeah, and he basically starts paying attention to her when the Darkling pays attention to her. Way to go… He might’ve explained why he didn’t notice her before, but it still seems a little sketchy. I find his character to be somewhat shallow.
-Aside from the very complicated terms, Bardugo’s writing style is very easy to comprehend and makes it easier to follow the story. I just wish she hadn’t put so many of those Russian terms. Made the book a whole lot harder to understand.
-Too much high school drama in what’s supposed to be a serious Fantasy book. Really. It was overwhelming. I DID NOT read a well rated Fantasy book to get another version of Mean Girls.
-Dynamic of the characters is very convincing. Chemistry between the Darkling and Alina is very strong even though I don’t actually know if they’re love interests yet. Pretty sure they’re not, but still. There’s hope.
I would recommend this book to readers who really like going into depth of what a Fantasy book is, those people who would memorize the weird sounding foreign words just because it sound cool. (Fans of the Shadowhunter world, I’m talking to you!!!) All in all, it was a great book, therefore the 4 star rating. Hopefully this review helps!