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[Book Review] - Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

Title: Siege and Storm
   Author: Leigh Bardugo
   Series: #2 - Grisha Trilogy
   Format: Hardback
   Release Date: June 4th, 2013
   My Rating: 3.0 out of 5.0

     Darkness never dies.

     Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land. She finds starting new is not easy while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. She can’t outrun her past or her destiny for long.

     The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling’s game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her--or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm.

My Review:

     This was a hard book to judge and while I jumped into this story. I was looking for a book that would live up to the standard that Shadow and Bone set. The look on my face when I started this book was priceless, and I loved the start of the book. The fear the Darkling set a great precedent for how a villain should act in this book, and I still long for him. Part of me, still yearns to see him and the fear he could instill in nearly everyone.

     Most of you reading this are wondering why I rated this so poorly, and frankly I should have given it a 2.5 and when I get around to re-reading it I may drop it. It's a decent book, but it isn't anything spectacular or something that stands out among the rest. I look at the book, and marvel in how well the synopsis is, and how much potential the book has. Yet, the book falls short in the middle of the book.

     Alina was a blur of emotions and while she is in love with Mal, there is another attraction she has toward the Darkling. Throughout the book, he appears to her over and over and the fear he instills in her is genuine. Furthermore, she keeps it from Mal time and time again. With a second heirloom to her collection, and a third in her sights Alina is losing her mind and her friendships around her. I loved the emotional toll they put on Alina, but there were times in this book that I found her lack of openness and honesty disheartening and out of place.

     Mal was another character that I enjoyed in the first book, and when it came to the second he completely fell apart. He shut down time and time again when it came to Alina. He claimed he cared about her and at one point he reverts back to his old life. He just shut down and goes back to an old girlfriend that Alina walks in on. Mal whines and begs throughout the Alina debate. More often than I wanted to read, Mal really never did anything aside sitting on the sidelines, jealous at every man that speaks or looks at Alina.

     Ravka has a heroin and a few supporting characters that make this book enjoyable, but the middle section of this book is dull and boring. The debates between the characters. In fact I almost would say this book really doesn't need to be present, it's a great character builder but beyond that there isn't much that goes on. Mal whines and complains, Alina withholds information from the person she wants trusts and ultimately loves. The Darkling haunts Alina time and time again, and takes front stage in this novel. Ultimately I was let down, and shouldn't read the next one, but I want to, I want to finish the series.
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