Sunday, July 21, 2013

Book Review: Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

So three things... first, at the time this blog post was written, the link to Amazon on the right was for the first five chapters free. It's the Kindle version, but there's a Kindle app for every known device and there's also a web version if yours is an unknown device. So go check out the first five chapters for free. Unless you haven't read book one yet, because you owe it to yourself to read that first. Lucky for you, here's a link to the get first five chapters of that for free in the Kindle version.

Shadow and Bone (my review) and Seige and Storm are the first two of the Grisha Trilogy. (What is a "Grisha"? Better to read the books than have me explain except to say that in this universe, some humans are endowed with special powers that ordinary humans aren't.) The only reason I'd say not to read these books would be if you were an impatient person - book three hasn't been released yet.

Oh, I and I said three things... the other thing is that I wanted to post part of the Acknowledgments: "The problem with acknowledgements is that they quickly devolve into long lists of names suitable for skimming. But many people are required to make a book happen, and they deserve recognition, so please bear with me. (If it gets boring, I recommend singing aloud. Get a friend to beatbox for you, I'll wait.) As a new author..."

Why start with the acknowledgements? While I suppose you can click on those links above to get the first five chapters free, I wanted to give you a quick taste of the author while still on the blog page and I figured no one would get mad at me posting a little bit from the acks.

But... what of the book itself? (I'll attempt to be spoiler-free, but if you're not familiar with the trilogy, you might want to go read book 1 instead of this review.)
This is, of course, fiction, so I devoured it in a manner of days. Reading it during walks at work, reading large portions each night when, were it a non-fiction book, I have trouble reading even a chapter a day.

S&S picks up where S&B left off. Alina and Mal are on the run, but of course, you have to realize they can't live happily ever after. Or else this wouldn't have been a bilogy, let alone a trilogy. It is hard to say much about this book without spoiling, so I have to simply say that there isn't a second-book slump here - action packed, funny, brutal, suspenseful. There are great new characters and we continue to see the main characters grow. The universe continues to hold up, thought out well before the first letter of the first page of the first book. The only drawback is a device used too frequently in sitcoms and it's the "If they would just tell them!" frustration where a character knows something but because they choose not to share it, the misunderstanding or hidden knowledge becomes a source of pain or angst or misguided frustration, where the sharing of that knowledge would allow the people who are butting heads to actually work together instead of being at odds. Fortunately, even that doesn't last too long.

This is a really engaging read that was over too quickly. I wouldn't call it predictable and I wouldn't say I guessed everything, but it ends just how it needed to in order to set the stage for book 3.

Can't wait.

See my books page for other reviews.
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