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Shadow and Bone

Posted on Dec 13, 2014 by in Book Reviews, Spoiler Free |

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free.


Let’s talk about the first thing that I realized once I finished. I’m just going to say it bluntly, there was no development. Things…just happened.

By page 30-ish, big things were happening. Like sure…wow a thing happened but I don’t really care because there wasn’t any development. You have just introduced to the setting, characters and it would’t matter.

I’m the kind of reader who needs substance. Action I love too, but I also want to be reading about feeling and relationships. This is a book of plot, not characters. If I had to choose between having interesting plot or interesting characters, I would choose characters all the way.

The author was obviously trying to have those relationships but having the characters hang out once is not going to cut it. Saying that the characters were friends since they were born isn’t going to work. We need to see them go through hardships and such with our own eyes or else it would have been the same as not saying it at all. Relationships don’t just “work”. Give me something to work with here.

This 200 page book took me almost 2 weeks to finish because I just didn’t care. The only thing that chugged me along was writing which was decent and plot.

Even just background of the story in general I didn’t understand. Where the heck did the live? What was their society? I wouldn’t have known if I haven’t read summaries of this book. I don’t know how others did it. I couldn’t get any of the answers to those questions from what I read. The lack of development really just ruined this could-have-been good book.

Shadow and Bone kind of left on a cliff hanger, but I feel no urge to read the second book. In fact, it gave me a preview of the second book and I didn’t want to read it at all. All I felt was relief. Oh good I don’t have to read 20 more pages. They’re just preview pages. Phew.

While, yes, I do sound like that this was an awful book, it was meh overall managing to get a 2.5/5