Hi everyone, I'm a 23 year old fangirl from le Canada. I'm just transferring from GR and I blog reviews on incompletetales.tumblr.com. I enjoy vast genres and am indeed a Hufflepuff, so don't be afraid to say hello :)
This book. This book had so many ups and downs before it was even published. This book is a great example of what could’ve been, but wasn’t. Rumours were flying about the ending, and one was too big for me to resist and so when I first bought the book, I flipped to the last scene and read it. And it was true. This book took a turn for the worse. I immediately went back and returned it because, well I know I’ll never re-read the series so there’s no point in having it in my collection. However, I knew I wasn’t going to let this series be left unfinished. So a week after, I picked it up from the library to see if it had some redeeming aspects to it. This book did. And it didn’t. First starting off with the characters, both main characters were stoic and not because they’re soldiers and are in battle.
When the time came to buckle down and be the soldiers they are, they instead played with pretty costumes and childish banter, not mentioning the ever so inclusive teenage romance. This book had so much potential. Potential that I saw was reached in side characters such as Zoya, whom I came to love, David, Baghra, and Nikolai who had amazing story arcs (as short and underwritten as they were). Then there was the plot, the plot which was what I had the main problem with going into the story. I didn’t want it to unveil as it did and it surely became a very disappointing high fantasy read. This book had so many moments when I wanted to take a pen and rewrite entire scenes. Like I’ve said before, the best storyline was that of Nikolai, how he rose after his ruination and how he continues to deal with and work for his nation, as per his goal. Alina however, had the complete opposite. <spoiler> I saw no rise, no ruination for her to rise from, and her ending was her giving up every power that she had that could’ve been used to bring SO much to her nation, all for a boy. I won’t further my rant because now it’s time for what was good in this book. The world building.
This book continues to have the best world building and world characterization I’ve read in a while. I think this is one of the primary reasons why I had re-picked up this series. The author didn’t summarize her locations which would’ve been useless to the plot, instead she allowed it to unfold to the reader that showing the same importance as characters of the book. Example: The Unsea (I believe that’s what it’s called, could be wrong). Lastly, there’s the Darkling. THE reason why I dropped this book in the first place. He had some pretty amazing sequences in the story, but like Alina, he met his end without any rising (I didn’t specifically want a tragic hero-esque arc, but something deeper would’ve been appreciated as to not make him so two-dimensional), and his ruination was very anti-climactic, in my opinion. I’ve no idea what I want to rate this book. </spoiler> My love for the world building and characters such as Harshaw and Nikolai, makes me want to give it a 4/5. But the entire plot and the end result of the Darkling, Alina, and even the usage of the amplifiers makes me rate it at about 1.5-2/5. This book shows how great writing and worlds does not have to equal a great overall story, and vice versa. 2.5/5.