You know how sometimes, out of the blue, you realise that you haven’t read a certain book(s), and that your life can pretty much be described as a teensy bit of a failure because of that reason? You might to up Stairway To Heaven and be Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door, but you’ll be sent straight down the Highway To Hell because you haven’t read a particular series of books.
And so my dear friend buddy person Nia @ Books, Feels & Tears and I decided that it was time we read The Grisha series, since everyone but us seems to have read, loved and flailed over it already. And of course, we’d like to read it before we start reading Six Of Crows! We’re going to attempt to close the year with these books, and a Mini Buddy Read seemed like the best way to go. As is tradition with Binge Reads on Rhea’s Neon Journal, I’m going to hope to have a post for each book, but since it’s Christmas, (OMG IT’S CHRISTMAS IN TWO DAYS!!!) expect a single post from me, only 😀 You can cheer for us (we’ll be needing that), or read with us or re-read with us!
LETS GO READ!
I’ve learnt a couple of things from binge reading this series, and the most important lesson is this: Hype? BIG FAT LIAR. It’s not completely necessary that a book/series that works for a thousand people will work for you. It is not necessary that a character that the world loves may end up being your favourite too. But most importantly, sometimes an author just doesn’t work for you, no matter how many books you read by them.
The Grisha series has got to be the most underwhelming series I have ever read, and I hope not to ever read a series like this ever again. For all the hype and love this series seemed to have gotten, I just didn’t get it. I kept trying to love certain characters and ideas and concepts in this book, (and by the end I was struggling to complete the series at all) and I don’t think it should work that way at all. You’re just supposed to fall in love with a book, not make yourself, right?
The story is about orphan Alina Starkov, and how she turns out to be saviour of the kingdom of Ravka, discovering powers that lay dormant within her that she didn’t know she had. Alina starts out as a really fierce, very inspiring kind of girl, but I did notice that as the series progressed her spunk, and the precise things that I loved her for kind of annoyed me. Shadow And Bone was where she was at her finest and Alina completely blew me away with the way she reacted to her own mistakes and took actions to learn from them, and correct them. With Ruin And Rising, she was more human, and her humanity showed. But that was pretty much it. I can say, rather unfortunately, that Siege And Storm was not a book that I read for Alina Starkov.
Alina was supposed to be more badass, more strong, more ruthless, more more more as the books progressed and she just turned into your average heroine with nothing more to her name than a deep pining for the boy she loves.
Did I say boy? I meant boys. Because how can a series become a hit if not for a love triangle?
So. Three main guys in the book. I’m going to talk about two, because SPOILERS of great intensity with boy #3 so yeah.
So the guy (the most important guy, tbh) is The Darkling. The Darkling is the villain, and then the hero, and then the villain, and then the hero. He’s that type of character who, in theory, is supposed to be the anti-hero, but I never could place him into one clear category. A lot of his thinking and way of doing things are revealed and while he’s not right, he’s not quite wrong either. The Darkling was one guy I loved. He’s all sugar and spice and duuuuude did I fall so hard for this guy! You can never guess his true motivations up until the end of Shadow And Bone, and that is pure gold, because I love love love bookish characters who are unreliable! With Ruin And Rising, I wish I had more of him, because God oh God, hotness just follows the guy everywhere. There was too less of the Darkling in the last two books, so take your fill of him in Shadow And Bone, and make it count.
Guy #2 is Malyen Oretsev, who imo, is a character that should not have existed in the trilogy at all. He’s formulaic ladies’ man, and while that’s fine, I just couldn’t get with him at all. Not even towards the last 25% of Ruin And Rising when this guy becomes essential to the story L A lot of Alina’s time was spent pining for Mal, and I didn’t even know why. He’s dramatic and self-absorbed, and can’t accept Alina AT ALL. He’s also an attention whore. Did I mention how much I didn’t like him?
I’m saying nothing about the third (AND THE BEST) man in the series. All you need to know is that he is love and life and that is all.
All in all, the entire Grisha Series turned out to be hella underwhelming. Obviously, it’s a it’s me not you kind of situation considering the amount of people who love the books, but I just didn’t feel the books, you know? Oh well. It’s not the end of the world.