BOOK REVIEW: KING OF SCARS by LEIGH BARDUGO

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King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo

it took me a while to rid myself of the crushing weight of disappointed expectations that this book subjected me to, but here i am at last with a review, bullet point style

► the chapters i was most looking forward to—THE ICONIC NINA FREAKING ZENIK’S CHAPTERS—were the ones that disappointed me the most. they were honestly so boring . i didn’t care about the plotline, didn’t care about the new characters (which were severely underdeveloped, by the way), didn’t care about the burgeoning romance, didn’t care about anything, really. the stuff with matthias was beautiful but other than that it was all forgettable and mediocre, two words i honestly never thought id use to describe anything by leigh bardugo, but here we are.

i—and i cannot stress this enough—could not give one (1) single iota of a shit about [character name redacted]’s chapters. oh my god. i swear a part of me died every time his name showed up in the chapter headers. if i could barely care about nina’s chapters, and they were from the POV of the aforementioned ICONIC NINA ZENIK, then i sure as hell couldn’t care about [character name reducated] of all people.*

(*for those who’ve read the book, you know who i mean. he’s a new character.)

► other than that, nothing in this book really stood out to me. zoya’s story was fine, nikolai’s story was fine. the plot was fine…i guess? the ending was definitely NOT fine, but by the time i got to it i was so indifferent that i was like ok this dumbass ending might as well happen i dont really care at this point ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

ill still read the sequel of course because im still holding out hope that there’ll be a whiff of the six of crows characters but other than that im not looking forward to anything..

..it’s fine, im alright, not salty that this disappointed me or anything, everything is completely fine 🙂 🙂 🙂

three


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BOOK REVIEW: MY LADY JANE BY CYNTHIA HAND, BRODI ASHTON, AND JODI MEADOWS

My Lady Jane is just so damn fun. It kinda reminds me of Guardians of the Galaxy in the way that it doesn’t take itself too seriously, but still manages to make you genuinely invested in its characters and their plot lines. It knows when to be funny, it knows when to be serious, and it never veers off too much in one direction, making the story lighthearted but still grounded. The characters are marvelously charming, and very hard not to love. We have Jane, who is smart, level-headed, and SO VERY BOOKISH; Gifford who is hilarious and so so sweet; and finally, Edward, who is sarcastic, willing to learn, and just very teenager-y (in all the good and angsty ways). The character dynamics are also a joy to read, the banter consistently and confidently hilarious. It catches you off guard in the best and most unexpected of times. And with such a peculiar twist to a historical fiction narrative—including people who can morph into all sorts of strange animals—and wonderfully self-aware narrators, the story shines even more. Having characters morph into these animals that were representative of them kinda felt like Patronuses 2.0, and also allowed for some weird, undeniably comical scenes between certain characters.All in all, My Lady Jane was the refreshing, entertaining read I was looking for, and then some.

ARC REVIEW: SKY IN THE DEEP BY ADRIENNE YOUNG

This was underwhelming, to be honest.

Let me preface this review by saying that I think a lot of people will like this book. In fact, a lot of people havealready liked this book. It’s by no means a book with no merits. For me, it wasn’t a bad book so much as it was an underdeveloped one.

More than anything, Sky in the Deep felt like the scaffolding of a much better book. The bare-bones of the story are actually pretty compelling: a warrior from a fierce clan runs into her supposedly dead brother while she’s in battle. In a turn of events she finds herself living behind enemy lines, trying to reconnect with said brother—and the story goes from there. This, in addition to the mythology promised by the synopsis and that (BEAUTIFUL) cover are what initially drew me to the book.

For all its potential, though, the story ended up falling flat. It was just very…mediocre. The characters were okay (if a little bland), but there was so little dialogue between them that their dynamics became something you were told as opposed to shown. And because of that, the meager character interactions we did get rang false; they ended up feeling like they were pressuring me into feeling emotion that I just didn’t feel. That’s not to say that this book’s characters were emotionless. You read from Eelyn’s POV for the whole book, so you do get a lot of what she’s feeling. And yet, a lot of her feelings felt superficial, or at least simplistically described. More than that though, you’re in her head for the whole book, yet still there wasn’t a sense of true introspection to me.

As for the world-building and plot, they were much like the characters: I could tell that there was an effort to flesh them out, to make them substantial, but still they lacked that oomph factor I wanted to see. The plot in particular I found to be very elementary. I won’t go into spoilers, but I wish the author had opted for something less typical.

Like I said before, I don’t think this was a disaster of a book—it really wasn’t. The characters, the world-building, the plot progression—they were all developed, but not enough. And because of that, Sky in the Deep ended up feeling like a really promising story in theory but a rather disappointing one in execution. Nonetheless, I’d still recommend trying it. If all the rest of the reviews for it are any indication, you’ll probably like it.

(thank you to Wednesday Books for providing me with an e-ARC of this through NetGalley!!!!)

2.5-


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