Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This started off really strongly. I found myself eager to get home from work, collapse in a chair with a nice cuppa and immerse myself in an interesting plot that looked to be a real corker, characters with a sense of humour and splendidly witty and slick writing. Unfortunately though, this one seemed to suffer the same affliction that is affecting many in the YA book world at the moment. That is that they have all the right elements there ready and waiting to become something special...then it all gets thrown out the window in favour of the generic teen drama.
In this one all we have to do is substitute the high school for a training academy type set up and you've pretty much just got an episode of High School Musical, except with less singing and more magic. It stopped being about the mysterious Fold, a blanket of darkness dividing a nation, or the threat of war from neighbouring countries looking to take advantage of any weakness. No, instead we have balls and trying on dresses and bitchy classmates. There are even different cliques. All the Summoners sit with the summoners, all the fabrikators (or whatever they're called) sit with, yep, you guessed it, the other fabrikators. I was all ready and fired up for a compelling story, but what I got was somewhat lacking. Watered down shall we say.
OK, that all sounds quite harsh, but that's only because I'm not doing a very good job of hiding my frustration. It wasn't that bad. It's just I get pulled in by something, my interest piqued and then it all fizzles out like a firework in the rain. I feel cheated. It might be because I'm getting a bit bored of the whole 'normal girl discovers she has magical powers and saves the world, with a bit of room on the side for romance' type scenario. A situation that could be rectified if I were given a proper exciting story with which I could sink my teeth into and characters that I can engage with, not ones that I want to shake in a attempt to wake them up so they realise there are more important things going on in the world other then clothes and boys.
Sigh, I am probably being a bit too mean, but I can't help it. I glimpsed so much potential in this book. I'm just disappointed it didn't get the chance to shine as it should have.
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