Series | The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo
Genre(s) | Fantasy / Young Adult / Romance
My Rating | 3.6 Stars (Average)
Series– The Grisha Trilogy
Feels– ALL THE NIKOLAI FEELS
Tears – None
So, this series is probably one of the highest rated and loved series on the YA Book Blogging Community sphere. There are few, very few people who dislike this book. Unfortunately, I am one of them. I read this entire series with Rhea, from Rhea’s Neon Journal and if you search through #GrishaBuddyReads15 on Twitter, you can see our progress and our updates.
This series just wasn’t anything great for me. I mean, I read it and I did enjoy it to some extent. The world building was all cool and so was the setting, but there wasn’t so much fantasy and action as I’d been promised. I rooted for the person who ended up in peril while the one I didn’t like pretty much sailed through life.
Alina started off as very promising character, with a fierce personality but then she kinda fizzled. She needed A LOT of help from everyone around her and she was so very naïve and she depended so heavily on Mal that I was ready to hammer her head to the wall by the third book. Mal, oh my god, I haven’t seen such a Gary Stu character since Annabeth from PJO and HoO who was one of my first Mary Sue characters. He was really nice, too bloody nice when they were in the middle of a war. Self-righteous to boot, he even had a chance to redeem his playboy self in the novels and I did not like that one bit.
The Darkling wasn’t much of a villain, in fact I felt more rage towards the King, although that might have been for what he did to Genya. It’s was the quintessential Voldemort-Umbridge thing. Nikolai and his quips were the saving grace of the novels and I adored him. He brought humour and potential to the novels as did Baghra. I enjoyed the parts of the novel that involved them and actually looked forward to reading them.
Other than that, the novels were really flat. Not much in the course of action and I drew several comparisons to other novels as I read and of course, these weren’t favourable at all. Here’s my book by book mini-review:
Book | Shadow and Bone
Date of Publication| June 5th, 2012
My Rating | 4 STARS
Okay, I really did enjoy the book. It went through really quickly for some reason. Also, I think I was expecting a bit too much after hearing so many amazing things or maybe fantasy just isn’t my thing? I didn’t love it as much as I expected to.
But yeah, I did really like it. Alina is a spunky heroine and The Darkling makes for a sexy yet dangerous villain. Which is the best kind, of course. And Mal (I kept pronouncing his name is Maal, which in colloquial Hindi slang means someone very attractive or something very good). Mal as a nice character, but I kind of rooted for the Darkling until he turned full villain and then Mal had a chance to redeem his fuckboi ass.
All in all this was super fun to read and I’m hoping the next one makes me feel more stuff. Yeah. #GrishaBuddyReads15 with Rhea.
[This was literally what my thoughts were as soon as I’d finished the book and they’re still the same, except I’m considering lowering the rating. The book started out fine, the series actually had promise until the second book kinda destroyed it.]
Book | Siege and Storm
Date of Publication| June 4th, 2013
My Rating | 3.5 STARS
3.5 stars and a C. To be honest, I got very real House of Night and The Hunger Games vibes from this book. Also, not much happened. The entire middle section of the novel bored me. Sigh, I really did expect more.
I’m really losing respect for everyone except Nikolai who was probably my shining star in the entire novel. I’ll probably read the last book but I am so underwhelmed right now and it’s not cool.
Book | Ruin and Rising
Date of Publication| June 17th, 2014
My Rating | 3.5 STARS
3.5 stars and a C.
This book is just one large road trip of sorts. I kinda enjoyed it but the ending was so very convenient for me. So one could be killed and brought back but not the other? The ending remained me of The Shiva Trilogy’s Oath of the Vayuputras where literally everyone survives which is also similar to Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan.
The best characters were killed for no reason while the ones I despised survived. Ugh. Though I liked the plot twist, it did come very late. I’d have preferred more action to all this talking and planning business.
I will be picking up the Six of Crows duology but I don’t really have high expectations anymore. I did enjoy Alina’s story but I wouldn’t have minded if she had a bit more spine. What wouldn’t I do to have someone like Zoya or even Genya as the protagonists.
All in all, the novel and the entire series is fairly average and to be honest, I dunno what all the hype is about. I may not have completed the series if I weren’t buddy reading it with Rhea.
So yeah, in short this supposedly above-average series was really underwhelming and bland for my taste. I would’ve preferred a lot more action for a series that talks about a war-torn country and more spunk from a heroine who shouldn’t have to rely on everyone for her powers.
I expected a bit too much and this failed to deliver in all aspects, but what irked me the most was the happy ending. When you literally bring someone back to have a happy ending, when it should’ve been otherwise, that is where I draw the line. I just don’t buy the happy ending in a war torn country with so many sacrifices to boot trope. I just don’t.
Maybe you’ll enjoy the series if you have lower expectations or love fantasy regardless of the action.
Until next time,