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Leigh Bardugo Archives - Canadian eReader

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Reading catchup part 3 – December 5th 2015

The final part of my reading catchup series in which I discuss Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, Winter by Marissa Meyer and Soundless by Richelle Mead.

Reading catchup part 3 – December 5th 2015Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Also in this series: Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, Fairest - Levana's Story
Format: Audiobook
Narrator: Various
Length: 15 hrs and 25 mins
Genres: Epic Fantasy
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Evelynne's rating: four-stars

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo is a new series set in the same world as her Grisha Trilogy, which I loved.  One of Bardugo’s strengths as a writer is her worldbuilding – and that continues in this new outing.  Instead of a Russianesque setting, the action moves to a place reminiscent of Amsterdam in its Golden Age.  The characters were interesting, but in an ensemble book like this, they aren’t always given the time to be as fully developed as a single protagonist novel.  I look forward to seeing where the series goes and will certainly keep up with it.

I gave Six of Crows four stars out of five.

Reading catchup part 3 – December 5th 2015Winter by Marissa Meyer
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #4
Also in this series: Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, Fairest - Levana's Story
Format: Audiobook
Narrator: Rebecca Soler
Length: 23 hrs and 30 mins
Genres: Contemporary Fantasy, Young Adult
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Evelynne's rating: five-stars

Winter by Marissa Meyer is the fourth and final book in the Lunar Chronicles series and was one of my most anticipated reads of the year.  This final book was loosely based on the Snow White fairytale and tells the story of Princess Winter of Luna as well as continuing the stories of Cinder, Scarlet and Cress and their attempt to overthrow the evil Queen Levana.  I must admit I was ever so slightly disappointed in Winter – perhaps my expectations were a little too high.  Meyer had done her setup so well in the previous books, so at times it felt as if I was just watching things play out as expected.  On the other hand, this being the last book in the series did mean that all bets were off and I was concerned for our protagonists’ survival at various points.  Once again though I did love the fairytale mashup – the way in which Meyer has adapted the various fairytale tropes – like Snow White’s glass coffin into a sci-fi setting is brilliant.  Our heroines continue to be kick-ass and I did enjoy how it all came together.

I gave Winter five stars out of five, mainly for my love of the series as a whole.

Reading catchup part 3 – December 5th 2015Soundless by Richelle Mead
Format: eBook
Pages: 272 pages
Genres: Fantasy
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Evelynne's rating: three-half-stars

I admit I’d been initially reluctant to pick up Soundless by Richelle Mead, despite my love of her Vampire Academy and Bloodlines series.  This is because some of the reviews I’d read were mixed at best. I had originally been intrigued by the concept of a deaf girl living in a soundless world begins to hear again and embarks on an adventure to save her community.  

As an exploration into discovering a sense of which your community has no concept, the book is wonderful.  I just loved the way in which Fei comes to terms with her new hearing.  The way in which she struggled to conceptualise the new experience was beautifully written.  I’d have liked to have read more of this.

However the whole community rescue plotline is not developed to nearly the same extent.  The book is very short – well under three hundred pages – and this is the aspect which suffered the most.  The book could have done to have been twice as long.

I gave Soundless three and a half stars out of five.

In other news, I am particularly excited this week as my husband and I have booked our tickets for Chicago in May 2016 to attend BEA, the Book Expo of America.  Yay!  This will be my first time attending and I’m so looking forward to it – I’ve heard BEA described as Disneyland for book nerds. If any of you have been before and have tips, please let me know in the comments.


Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo – Review

Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo – ReviewRuin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo
Series: The Grisha Trilogy #3
Format: Audiobook
Narrator: Lauren Fortgang
Length: 11 hours
Genres: Contemporary Fantasy, Young Adult
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Evelynne's rating: four-stars

Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo is the third and final book in the Grisha trilogy.  It completes the story of Sun Summoner Alina Starkov and her fight against the Darkling.  In it Alina and her group of trusted friends must escape from the Apparat and his ragtag army of religious zealots, and track down the third amplifier, the firebird, before confronting the Darkling.  Along the way, Alina learns more of Morozova’s background and his secrets.

I enjoyed Ruin and Rising far more than Siege and Storm, which suffered from middle book syndrome and patchy pacing.

What I liked

The Russian style setting.  As in the previous two books, Shadow and Bone and Siege and Storm, I loved the world that Bardugo has created for her characters.  The writing and descriptions really give a feel for Russia with a twist.

The characters.  We’ve been with these characters for three books now, and I appreciated the way they’ve grown and developed throughout the series.  Their changing relationships were also very well drawn.  Who would have guessed meeting Zoya in book one just how much Alina would grow to rely on her?  I liked that their experiences have left their marks on our characters and that they were not the same people we met in book one.  I was particularly sorry not to be able to follow the continuation of Nikolai’s story – I think his ongoing challenges – both personal and political – would make an interesting sequel.

Theme of friendship.  Alina and The Darkling are contrasted in that the Darkling having lived a long time and lost everyone close to him is very much alone.  Alina on the other hand has a group of friends whom she trusts and who have her back.  This theme of strength in community is prominent in this book.

The ending.  I really liked the way the ending blended the predictable – the truth about the third amplifier was pretty apparent throughout the whole series – with the unexpected.  Yet even the unexpected was plausible, and well within the internal logic of the story, no deus ex machinas here.  It also fits nicely the theme of loyalty and friendship overcoming tyranny.  

The narration.  Once again I loved Lauren Fortgang’s narration.  She gave individual voices to each of the characters and brought them to life.

What I didn’t like

Alina’s kickassedness.  At one point in the story, when Alina’s situation is pretty bleak, she put on her big girl pants and decides that she’s if she’s going to die, she’s going to go down fighting, dammit, in the manner of other YA heroines such as Hunger Games’ Katniss or Divergent’s Tris.  I really liked this.  However, that kickassedness isn’t maintained throughout the rest of the book.  The rest of the book is more about a group of misfits joined together by friendship to bring down a tyrant.  That is also good, too, but I was a little disappointed that Alina didn’t kick butt.

I did enjoy the conclusion to The Grisha Trilogy and gave Ruin and Rising four stars out of five.

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