Customer Reviews


42 Reviews
5 star:
 (23)
4 star:
 (13)
3 star:
 (6)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Fantasy
When I first picked this book up at the end of a long day I thought I would just have a quick dip in it to see how the opening flowed. Well I thought I would just read the opening chapter so at 11pm I dipped in to Shadow and Bone the next thing I knew it was after midnight and I was a hundred pages in wishing I didn't have to go to bed I just wanted to continue...
Published 9 months ago by atticusfinch1048

versus
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing after all the hype
Now, where to start my review of this book. So many people have absolutely loved this book and it has countless gushing reviews on Goodreads, however, for me this book was incredibly disappointing. In saying that, I did not hate this book, nor was I bored by the story and so I finished the book in no time. However, there are so many aspects to this book that disappointed...
Published 3 months ago by The Irish Bookworm


‹ Previous | 1 25 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing after all the hype, 8 Jan 2014
Now, where to start my review of this book. So many people have absolutely loved this book and it has countless gushing reviews on Goodreads, however, for me this book was incredibly disappointing. In saying that, I did not hate this book, nor was I bored by the story and so I finished the book in no time. However, there are so many aspects to this book that disappointed me. I am first going to begin by telling you what made me pick this book up in the first place. One of the first places I heard this book mentioned was on Regan's youtube channel (PeruseProject). She showed the book during a haul, describing it as a story based around magic and the Russian culture.As I had not yet read a book involving Russian elements I was intrigued and wanted to check the book out on Goodreads. This seemed to be a love or hate book for most, but mostly love and so I went with the hype and picked up the book. Unfortunately with hype comes high expectations and for me, the book just did not live up to them. There were several aspects to the story that bothered me and these will be outlined below.

Firstly, I found the link to Russian culture confusing. The only way I saw this book to have Russian elements was in the names of the people and places. The world building was seriously lacking in this story. Before picking up the book I imagined the setting to be a medieval Russia (and here is where I have to admit my knowledge on that subject is seriously lacking), however, for me, the setting was non-existent, the only area described in detail being the shadow fold and funnily enough this is the area I had most trouble with imagining. Was the Shadow Fold over sea, or was it sand? I was sure the sea was mentioned and also a boat but then they mentioned crossing the sands and I just lost all hope of understanding. Often in books I tend to imagine aspects of the book different to how it was intended but it is very rare for me to not to be able to conjure up any image at all, and unfortunately this happened me a great deal in this book. When Mal and Alina were living in the Duke's house I imagined the world to be set in the Victorian Era (yes, England). Then, when the two characters are in the army, I imagined the time period to be more medieval. This jumped again when Alina went to the palace, which seemed to be a far more modern setting. Can you tell I was a little confused by this book? I also wish that Bardugo had explained the magic in the story. There is little explanation of how Alina comes to wield her power and become more powerful and no explanation is given to explain why certain people are gifted with magic and where the magic comes from (before reading Brandon Sanderson's The Final Empire I may not have seen this as a problem).

So, the confusion and lack of world building was a problem and so too was my hatred for the protagonist. Characters such as Genya, the Darkling and Mal would have been far better protagonists as they had much more depth and intrigue to them then Alina. She is obsessed with how she looks throughout the novel and comments on the looks of others constantly, below are just two examples of this:

" I had barely unlocked the door when it flew open and a tall girl pushed past me surveying the room and then me with a critical eye. She was easily the most beautiful girl I had ever seen."

"I'd learnt to avoid mirrors. They never seemed to show me what I wanted to see. But the girl standing next to Genya in the glass was a stranger. She had rosy cheeks and shiny hair and...a shape. I could have stared at her for hours." (The words "Get over yourself" come to mind here.)

If Bardugo had concentrated more on Alina honing her abilities and going into detail about her training, rather then discussing how much she now loved to wear makeup and dresses, I feel Alina's character may have had more substance.

One thing I was incredibly grateful for was the fact that the romance in the story did not overshadow the plot. Insta-love and romance filled plotlines are two of my biggest pet peeves when it comes to YA fiction. The romance in this story was much more believable and even had a twist to it which was unexpected and I really did enjoy that.

I seem to have completely slated this book and I did not mean to do so. I find that I may be being slightly unfair. While reading the book I enjoyed the story, I didnt by any means love it, but I wanted to continue reading,
unlike some books which I have to force myself to finish. However, following this book I decided to pick up Brandon Sanderson's "The Final Empire" and WOW. This was one of my all-time favourite books with amazing characters and world-building which made me look at Shadow and Bone with a far more critical eye.

If you like the premise of the story I would encourage you to pick up the book and read it for yourself . This book was not for me but was still an enjoyable read and so it gets:

RATING: 2.5 STARS

http://theirishbookworm.blogspot.ie/
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Fantasy, 5 July 2013
When I first picked this book up at the end of a long day I thought I would just have a quick dip in it to see how the opening flowed. Well I thought I would just read the opening chapter so at 11pm I dipped in to Shadow and Bone the next thing I knew it was after midnight and I was a hundred pages in wishing I didn't have to go to bed I just wanted to continue reading.

It is a gripping fantasy, I have heard it described as a mix of Potter, Twilight and the Hunger Games, such tosh it is far superior to them. More in the Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings mode good verses bad, and love that conquers all even at the worst of times. Shadow and Bones is supposed to be in the YA genre but any adult should read this as there a twists and turns up and down and a brilliant story.

We are introduced to two orphans at the beginning of the book Alina and Mal as young children and their incredible bond that will keep them together throughout of the story. How Mal at the beginning protects Alina who is all skin and bones and that when crossing the Shadow Fold it is Alina who saves Mal with a power she did not know she possessed.

It is this power throughout the book that she needs to harness so that she can finally defeat the Shadow Fold and reunite Ravka. It is through this power that she is at first guided by the Darkling and is able to see that absolute power corrupts and that she needs to stand up to him and fight for what is good.

It would be so easy to tell the whole story here but that would spoil the reason and the fun for buying this great book. I would recommend buying this book and join Alina in her fight for what is right and enjoy her love of Mal the great tracker.

Buy, Buy, Buy it now.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Grisha book 1, 16 Oct 2012
By 
Sarah (Feeling Fictional) (Kent, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Shadow and Bone (Grisha Trilogy) (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I read The Gathering Dark (otherwise known as Shadow and Bone if you're in the US) a month ago and I still can't get the story out of my head. Leigh Bardugo's debut novel had me captivated from the very first page and I didn't want to put it down for a second. This is without a doubt one of my favourite books of the year and bearing in mind that I've read over 300 books since January that is high praise indeed. I loved the world that the author has created, the Russian influence to the story adds depth to the world building and I loved the magical abilities of the Grisha.

Alina was the kind of heroine I found it easy to relate to, raised in an orphanage with only her best friend Mal to rely on she has never fully felt like she fitted in anywhere. All she really wants is to find a place where she belongs but when it is discovered she has a rare magical ability she finds herself taken away from everyone and everything she knows. Thrust into a new life amongst the Grisha Alina feels lost and alone, she doesn't understand the rules and is struggling to make sense of her power and how to harness it. Thankfully she makes a new friend in Genya but she misses Mal more than anything and is hurt when he doesn't reply to her letters. Her powers have drawn the attentions of the Darkling, the enigmatic leader of the Grisha and most powerful magic user in the kingdom of Ravka. Their country is torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a dark and desolate place where monsters rule and no human is safe, and the Darkling thinks that Alina could be the one person who can save them all.

I don't want to say too much more about the story line because I would hate to give you spoilers, this is the kind of book that you're best of picking up without knowing too much about so that you can thoroughly enjoy the journey you are taken on. I'm going to tell you that I loved Alina, the way she grows up as the story progresses and the strong young woman she has become by the end. I loved her friendship with Mal, the history they had together and the way they always look out for each other. I adored Mal, he has a quiet strength about him and proves himself a wonderful support to Alina. I also loved the Darkling, he was mysterious and secretive and I never knew quite what was going to happen around him but he has an appeal that is hard to resist.

The Gathering Dark is the kind of book that I wish I could wipe from my memory just so I could have the pleasure of reading it again for the first time. The pacing was perfect - a fast paced beginning to get you hooked, a beautifully written middle with layers of world building and character development followed by an explosive ending with plot twists that will make your jaw drop. I honestly can't recommend this book highly enough to fantasy fans so please ignore my gushing and read the book for yourself to discover just how amazing it is. I can't wait to read the next instalment - I'm just gutted that I have to wait a whole year to find out what happens next!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant, 3 April 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
What an intelligent and amazing writer. I loved the story and the characters. Can't wait to read more by Leigh Bardugo.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars a new adventure ..., 31 Mar 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
When I first picked up this book I was expecting just another generic YA fantasy novel. It follows the same structure as a couple other recently popular books of the same genre... Leading lady tells the story, leading lady gets thrown into difficult circumstance, leading lady has an awkward three way relationship, leading lady teams up with others and comes out on top. It has all these things... And so much more!!!!

I loved it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars loved book while in egypt, 25 Mar 2014
By 
L. R. Mepsted (Rochester, Kent) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
excellent way of whiling away the hours when unable to top up my T MOBILE phone. ope u c this review in ur email.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Easy holiday read, 18 Mar 2014
By 
Ms. L. Greenaway (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Easy holiday read, nice and simple with a few different ideas. Good for teenagers and those that want something easy to read on holiday, I will be looking out for the sequels!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars What an extraordinary tale in a fantastic world not too different too our own!, 18 Mar 2014
By 
ratscat13 "ratscat13" (North East Scotland) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I loved this book – well the copy I got for review contained both the first and second nooks of the Grisha trilogy – so I should say I enjoyed these books! I can’t wait to get my hands on the third.

The book is set in a world not too different from our own; it has a feel of Eastern Europe, but with mystery and magic added; it’s our world as glimpsed in a mirror. In this world there are two orphans, Alina and Mal, taken in by a patron and raised in his household. The story opens when they are children and the Grisha come to check local children for powers. If the powers are discovered the children go off to be trained. The powers of the Grisha are varied; they can stop a man’s heart, rustle up the wind or manufacture anything they can imagine.

The most powerful of the Grisha is the Darkling. He can manipulate the dark and has powers scarily way beyond anyone elses.

The story revolves around Alina discovering she has a talent to manipulate the light (which she kept hidden in childhood to avoid being separated from Mal). She could be as powerful as the Darkling, if she develops her talent, but he wishes to use her power along with his own.

What follows is an out of this world journey through intrigue, manipulation and magic. All set against a superbly detailed and well crafted world. There is no little thing left unthought-of in the creation of this universe and it makes for a highly believable world and cast of characters.

I found that it did not take me long to start to like the people in this book, and especially Mal and Alina. Their close friendship (and potential love match) is well written and carries with it all the insecurities and uncertainties of a real life close relationship. The development of the Grisha and the reader’s understanding of them is well thought through. It is drip fed throughout the story so that there is no major instructional/information passages it is small pieces of fact which inform the reader as the tale progresses.

The saga is crafted flawlessly and keeps the reader engaged and curious about where the characters will find themselves next, add to that the court intrigue and main characters ulterior motives and you have a cracking page turner, I could not put this book down and regretted the fact I had to go to work and interrupt my enjoyment of over 600 pages of this fantastical place!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Well worth reading, 2 Mar 2014
What I liked most about this novel was that it was different from any other YA fantasy I have read to date (many of which tend to follow a similar storyline and format - for one thing it is not set in a small town in the USA but a fictional country that resembles Russia). The beginning provided a good backstory of the main characters and, as the plot developed, a good clarification of the situation they found themselves in. I was not so keen on the middle part when Alina discovers that she is a Grisha and spends time in their presence. It got rather tedious and dragged for me. The story picked up pace once the true motives of the Darkling was made known to Alina (and to the reader).

A Comparison
Shadow and Bone is certainly a good read with an original plot that is imaginative and well thought out. Also, I found it to be rigorous (absent of flaws and/or plot holes, which is not easy to achieve). It was brought to my attention because The Bone Season is said to be very similar. I would agree with that and I would go as far as to say the central plot of The Bone Season owes a debt to Shadow and Bone.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars High fantasy that's hard to put down, 2 Mar 2014
Shadow and Bone introduces a brilliant high fantasy world brought to life through glorious writing and intriguing characters that leap from the pages. Here's my Shadow and Bone review.

For me, fantasies don't always manage to tick the right boxes. They can be amazing, but in my limited experience of reading them I've found that more often than not they leave me confused and unsatisfied. That's why I'm glad to say Shadow and Bone is one of the exceptions. It had me hooked from beginning to end, gushing about it to anyone who'll listen and itching to get my hands on the sequel.

With high fantasy, sometimes it can be a bit overwhelming. There's often so much to learn that it gets a little difficult to consume. What I liked about Shadow and Bone is that the world is slowly introduced in bitesize pieces, but at the same time the reader is never assumed to be too incompetent to follow what's happening. I'm guessing that big fans of high fantasy might find it a little watered down compared to other books they've read, but for me, it was absolutely ideal.

The world that Leigh Bardugo has created is stunning. It's inspired by Russia, which I know has caused a bit of a stir among the reviewing community due to language and culture inconstancies, but for someone with no knowledge of the Russian language I was (perhaps thankfully) oblivious to this, and only became aware of it when looking on Goodreads after I'd finished the book.

I love the magical powers the Grisha have, from the ability to summon darkness, sun, fire, wind and more to the ability to heal wounds and craft beautiful objects in minutes.The Little Palace that they reside in was wonderful to discover and explore with our main character Alina, too.

I found Alina to be a likeable, relatable and believable character, and it was a pleasure to follow her journey. I found myself falling in love as she did, and in turn getting my heart broken too. The romance elements and love interests in Shadow and Bone are certainly swoon-worthy, and I'm looking forward to finding out what happens to them in the second book in the trilogy, Siege and Storm.

There are several characters that stood out to me as being really great: The Darkling, Genya and The Apparat. I don't fully understand any of them yet, which is one of the reasons they appeal to me. I'm hoping that the sequel will shed some more light on each of them.

Towards the end of the book, there is a chapter or two that's a little slow as we follow Alina and another character (no spoliers here!) on their journey across the country, but other than that Shadow and Bone is action-packed and thrilling. It's a definite page turner and I finished it within just a few hours.

I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Shadow and Bone to any YA fan, particularly those with a love of romance and magic.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 25 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First
ARRAY(0xb341d1ec)

This product

Shadow and Bone (Grisha Trilogy)
Shadow and Bone (Grisha Trilogy) by Leigh Bardugo (Hardcover - 5 Jun 2012)
Used & New from: 3.30
Add to wishlist See buying options
Only search this product's reviews