Coming off the high of reading the first couple of A Crown of Thorn and Roses books, I enjoyed the first book in this trilogy but was a little less enthusiastic about it. Compared to the ACOTAR books, well, I just wasn’t feeling the same pull. They share a lot of the same things: heroines who struggle with their “powers,” love triangles, fantastical worlds, but Shadow and Bone didn’t quite suck me into the story as much. I think part of it was having a hard time with the Russian (or Russian-eque) words. When I come across a name or word that I struggle to pronounce, it tends to yank me out of the world a bit. I like to nestle into stories like this and deep dive into the world building. Peppering the text with Russian wording was a bit of a stumbling block for me.
There was also a lot of time spent on backstory, history and laying out the complicated politics and geography of this universe. Understandable for the first book in a series.
This time around all of that pesky sporadic Russian didn’t bother me AS MUCH and I think all of the character building in book one paid off in spades in book 2. The introduction of a handsome and smirky pirate/privateer also helped. Just saying.
I am a little wary of the gaslighting mojo and hope the whole “we are the same and no one will ever understand you like I do” business doesn’t get too heavy handed. I want to see Alina really come into her own in the third book of the trilogy. The love triangle is another thing that I could see getting tiresome here. I’d rather she find herself outside of those relationships and forge her own path. Fingers crossed.
Don’t mean to sound Debbie Downer about this book because I did really enjoy it. I think its my own fault for reading these books in tandem with ACOTAR.