Monday, July 14, 2014

Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo [Joint Review!]

Ruin and Rising (The Grisha, #3)4.5 out of 5 Robots!

Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo
Series: The Grisha #3
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release: June 17, 2014
Hardcover:  417 Pages
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co
My Copy: Purchased
Reviewer: Julia and Shannon
Buy the Book: Amazon

Book Summary:
The capital has fallen.

The Darkling rules Ravka from his shadow throne.

Now the nation's fate rests with a broken Sun Summoner, a disgraced tracker, and the shattered remnants of a once-great magical army.

Deep in an ancient network of tunnels and caverns, a weakened Alina must submit to the dubious protection of the Apparat and the zealots who worship her as a Saint. Yet her plans lie elsewhere, with the hunt for the elusive firebird and the hope that an outlaw prince still survives.

Alina will have to forge new alliances and put aside old rivalries as she and Mal race to find the last of Morozova's amplifiers. But as she begins to unravel the Darkling's secrets, she reveals a past that will forever alter her understanding of the bond they share and the power she wields. The firebird is the one thing that stands between Ravka and destruction—and claiming it could cost Alina the very future she’s fighting for.

(Courtesy of the Publisher)

Julia and Shannon's Thoughts:
1. Sum up your feelings in two sentences.
Julia: This book is quickly paced, vivid and the pages will fly by. It is long, but you won't feel the length and any epic fantasy fan will not want to come up with air until the last page.
Shannon: A decent, yet unsurprising finale for this series.  I wish it was a little more edgy, but ultimately I feel satisfied by the ending.
2. What did you like? 
Julia: Everything satisfied me except for what I will tell you in the next question. The characters are riveting, the world building is astonishing and I couldn't get enough. It is strange to say of such a lengthy book, but it really is a quick read. I was flying through it and couldn't stop.
Shannon:  One thing I have loved about this series is Bardugo's imagination and world building.  She manages to infuse all of these details into her world building, but never lets her story get bogged down in the details.  There is something really beautiful about the world she creates.  This book is just a further extension of everything I like in the series as a whole.  I love the world, the mythology, and the characters.
3. What did you dislike?
Julia: I disliked the ending. It is cheesy and clean and just too perfect. I don't want to be able to predict what will happen and I don't like that many young adult authors feel the need to end a book so... gosh, clean. This is a violent world and the characters had to go through so many tribulations- why would the ending be everything they want?
Shannon: Yes, I agree with the ending.  It did end about as perfect as it could have, even if it didn't really make sense for it to be that way.  There was some major deus ex machina plot devices that had me rolling my eyes.  There are some other small grievances.  But I also think I was more disappointed with this book because the other two were so strong.
4. Do you feel this was a satisfying ending?
Julia: Regardless of what I said earlier, though it isn't what I wanted to see, it is a very satisfying ending and the majority of Ruin & Rising readers will LOVE the ending. 
Shannon: I also agree.  While I didn't love how the ending came about exactly, I was ultimately satisfied about where the series ended. 

5. Was there anything you wish you could change in this book?  In the series?
Julia:  The only thing I would change is... well, two people die. There is one person that I would have kept alive and another I would have kept dead. No one will agree with me on this, but I don't care. It would have been an awesome change of pace.
Shannon: I would have liked to have seen a different storyarc for Mal.  I kind of got him in the first book, hated him and his douchey ways in the second but liked seeing his redemption in the third. But it was so frustrating.  Especially when you realize he actually plays a much larger role for Alina than just her love interest.  But it felt, I dunno, a little out of left field and I felt a little manipulated in my feelings for Mal.  

6. How do you feel about the series overall?
Julia: I want more. I'm disappointed that it is over! I can't get enough of this epic fantasy stuff. 
Shannon: I truly love this series, top to bottom.  Even if I am grumbling a bit about certain things, this is one of my go-to recommendations for people.  I want to visit this world again and again.

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