This review will contain spoilers for Shadow and Bone. You can see my review here!
Review: Siege and Storm was such a great book, especially since it was a sequel though I did have a few problems with it.
My problems with this book mainly lie in the pacing. I felt like so much was happening in such a short amount of time. Just in the first chapter we were thrown into action within 30 or so pages. This was something I had a problem with in the first book, but I have started to get used to it now.
Alina goes through some major development in this novel, but I have to admit I wasn’t always a fan. Though she’s the main character, she’s definitely not my favourite. Just like in the first book, I thought she was a bit whiny at times and I often questioned some decisions she made and the way she acted. In so many books, this year especially, I’ve seen this trope where the main character discovers they have this power they never knew about and as soon as they know, they become greedy and just want more. For me, this sums up Alina in this novel almost entirely which is one of the reasons why I didn’t like her. Though it wasn’t always said, it was obvious Alina would have done many, many things to get what she wanted which would lead to more power for her. But she is super badass and I’m hoping to see a change in her in the final book.
I’m going to be completely honest here and say I hate Mal. He just annoys me so much. I thought a lot of the things he did and said, especially in the second half of the novel, were spiteful and sometimes jealous. I just didn’t enjoy reading any scenes he was in because he was so moody and just made me mad.
I know in my review for Shadow and Bone I said that I ship Alina and the Darkling but OH MY HAS THAT CHANGED. I am now shipping ALINA AND NIKOLAI SO HARD. Nikolai is my absolute favourite character in this series. I love his devotion to Ravka and his love for his parents and the way he treats Alina and I just really want to see so much more of him in Ruin and Rising.
I do wish there was more of the Darkling in this novel. I thought he would have a larger presence since he was such a main focus in the first novel and he is our villain, but he wasn’t really there in a lot of this book. He was my favourite for a little while so I can’t help but hope there’s something good inside him and that we get to see it in the final book.
There were a couple of other really great side characters in this book, and in Shadow and Bone, that I haven’t mentioned. I really liked Genya in the first novel but I definitely don’t like her as much after the choices she made in Siege and Storm. But my absolute favourite side characters of this novel were Tamar and Tolya. I loved them so much. They’re badass and they have such a strong bond, plus they are so devoted to Alina. I think my absolute least favourite character of this whole novel/trilogy is the Apparat. I absolutely hate him and I have a feeling I’m just going to hate him more.
Once again, I absolutely loved the writing style of this novel and the plot. I did have a couple of issues with pacing at the beginning but by the end, I came to like it. I was never really bored while reading this, it just sucked me in almost straight away. I often found myself unable to put it down.
This book had pretty much everything I expected in a sequel, but I did find the big battle scene at the end to be anticlimactic. I just wanted more but it was over within less than 10 pages.
So I had some negative but a lot of positive feelings about this book. It was definitely fantastic for a sequel but there is a lot of room for improvement. I’m really looking forward to seeing how this all comes to a close in Ruin and Rising.