Month: January 2019

My Review for ‘Shadow and Bone’ by Leigh Bardugo

‘Shadow and Bone’ is the first novel from the Grisha trilogy. It tells the story of Alina Starkov, an orphan in Ravka raised in the care of Duke Keramsov. Alina grows up to train within the First Army as a mapmaker, and her team heads out on a mission into the treacherous Shadow Fold one night. They get attacked by Volcra, a savage legion of dark creatures that dwell within darkness. It is through this excursion that Alina’s power as a Sun Summoner is unleashed to everyone’s shock, including Alina herself. She then gets swept into the world of the Grisha, a group of powerful Summoners, Healers, and Fighters led by the Darkling. Alina becomes consumed into a world she only dreamed about, while pining for her friend Mal, her dear friend from the orphanage who is now a valued tracker in the First Army.

During the first half of the story, I was enjoying it. I love the trope of ‘orphan discovering a hidden power+magical school training’, and I wanted to see where this story would lead next. Then the plot turned into Alina and the Darkling navigating their feelings for each other, followed by a sudden twist that causes Alina to search for the true meaning of her power. She also struggles to rebuild her relationship with Mal, as they both grow to understand their respective abilities. I’m not a big fan of ‘budding romances in the midst of saving the world’, but I’m reading YA, so that comes with the territory! The story does have a good ending, though.

I did find the story entertaining, and since ‘Shadow and Bone’ is being made into a series for Netflix, I’ll now have an understanding of who the characters are. And I plan on reading the other two books in the Grisha series. I’m thankful for the ‘magical training’ thread in the stories.

My rating: 3.5 / 5 stars

Professional Reader

My TBR list for January

Now that 2019 is underway, I want to share my TBR list for the remainder of January. While I know that half of the month is now gone, I would still love to share what I want to take on after I finish ‘Shadow and Bone’. Since it appears that we’re going to be snowed in this weekend, I’ll have plenty of time to enjoy my books!

I only have two books listed in my TBR pile for this month:

Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo 

This is book #2 in the Grisha trilogy. Since these books are going to be adapted into a series on Netflix, I wanted to read the books to have an idea of what the characters were all about. From what I understand, only the first book of the trilogy is going to be adapted, but I still want to read all three books anyway.

  The Oyster Thief by Sonia Faruqi 

‘The Oyster Thief’ is an underwater tale that centers around a valuable ocean ecosystem. I placed a request for this book at my local library earlier this month, as they didn’t have the novel available. I’m looking forward to receiving the notification that the Faruqi’s book is finally in.

Professional Reader

‘Shadow and Bone’ progress/Lisa See’s Upcoming Book

I’m nearly halfway through Shadow and Bone. I can see how some feel this story is slow paced, since it documents Alina’s journey as she begins her Grisha training. She carries a unique power, and feels very insecure about tapping into her abilities. I’m curious as to how her confidence will grow as she adapts to her rigorous routine.

I’m very excited for Lisa See’s new book ‘The Island of Sea Women’ to come out in a couple months! I’ve been a fan of her work since reading ‘Shanghai Girls’ back in 2012. Lisa See paints such a vivid depiction of life in China, as well as the immigrant’s experience as they acclimate to life in the Western region in the US. I recently picked up ‘The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane’. I’m going to read this as soon as I’m done with Bardugo’s stories!

Reading ‘Shadow and Bone’ by Leigh Bardugo

I began reading ‘Shadow and Bone’ by Leigh Bardugo over the weekend. I’ve been hearing all about this story and ‘Six of Crows’ being picked up for a Netflix series, and so many people have been expressing their excitement over this news. Since I have yet to read Bardugo’s Grishaverse series, I decided to pick up Shadow and Bone at the library.

I’m about a quarter of the way in, and so far I’m liking what I’m reading. I enjoy the ‘magical training school’ plot line…along the lines of Harry Potter, yet the trainees are older. The main character is certainly enduring a life altering experience. I hope to get in more reading by the end of the evening. My work schedule complicates things!

‘City of Ghosts’ by Victoria Schwab/A Review

‘City of Ghosts’ by Victoria Schwab is a paranormal tale with adventure, told through the eyes of a girl blessed with the gift of communicating with spirits. This story follows Cassidy Blake, an 12 year old girl with the gift of crossing over to the world of the dead, called the Veil. She is able to travel to this world after a near death experience a year earlier. Cassidy travels to Edinburgh, Scotland with her parents, ‘paranormal experts’ in writing (yet they have little awareness of ghosts) who film a show called ‘The Inspecters’ based on their successful books on ghost phenomenon. As her parents venture into popular, ‘spooky’ tourist sites within Edinburgh, Cassidy embarks on her own adventure through the Veil with Jacob, her close friend (and ghost). It is through these excursions that Cassidy becomes enlightened about her gift, and discovers some shocking surprises along the way.

     ‘City of Ghosts’ is a Middle Grade novel, and I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this story. I do love reading paranormal stories, and this story pushed my interest.  I also appreciated the fact that this book felt like an ‘older’ book in many aspects. The scenes where Cassidy gets better attuned with venturing into the Veil pulled at my heartstrings. She holds a strong connection with the spirit world, and it was fulfilling to witness Cassidy’s journey as she discovers their strengths and weaknesses. This leads to a marked piece of advice from Lara, a girl Cassidy meets in Scotland (who holds a special gift of her own): ‘We’re meant to cross (the Veil), because we have a job to do on the other side’. It was also refreshing to see Cassidy have a genuine platonic relationship with Jacob, who serves as her loyal companion along her adventure through Scotland. Their paranormal discoveries in Edinburgh lead to the beginning of a deeper awareness in Cassidy’s gift.

     I hope to see more of Cassidy’s growth in her abilities as she travels to other destinations with her family. It will be interesting to see hers (and Jacob’s) character development as the months move forward in her journey.  

Rating: 4/5

January 8, 2019: Bookish Thoughts

I’m about halfway through ‘City of Ghosts’ by Victoria Schwab. It’s a pretty good story…although it’s a ‘middle grade’ novel, t has enough paranormal activity to keep me interested. I hope to be done reading it by this weekend.

I want to pick up ‘The Oyster Thief’ by Sonia Faruqi next. It’s not available at my local library, so I made a request for them to carry it. I should hear for them in a couple weeks. Hopefully they’ll carry it. I love frequenting my library.

January 6, 2019: My New Read

I’m currently reading ‘City of Ghosts’ by Victoria Schwab. It’s a ‘middle grade’ story (a genre for for a younger audience), but I’ve heard lots of great things about the book. It’s heavy on paranormal activity, and I always love a good ghost story. So I’ll see how the book goes as I move further.