July 2, 2018

Ruin and Rising

Ruin and Rising
Leigh Bardugo
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Once again, I'm conflicted.
I feel like I would have liked the story more if the ending were different, or even if the main battle/point of conflict lasted more than 3 pages.

But most of all, I feel like I would have liked the book better if there weren't so many secondary characters. There are just so many names that pop up randomly, it's hard to keep track of who we care about and who we don't. So, the only characters I really gave a shit about were Alina, Mal, Nikolai, and Genya. This creates a problem when the author wants to have impactful deaths and kills off characters that we should care about, but we really don't.
YA pisses me off when there are Wars to be found (pretty much all the time). There's just too many clichéd scenes. From killing off characters (as mentioned before), to resurrecting others, it's just all been done before.
I liked Alina and Mal the most because they had flaws. When they realized what needed to be done, they fought and had different opinions and it was realistic. But, when you have this big giant War that's been going on forever and want to have your perfect characters stop it all in 3 pages or less, I get pissed. This is what the entire series has been leading up to. Given, a lot of information was needed to get to that point, the Darkling's death took about 5 seconds out of all the hours we read of scheming, and didn't even go the way they planned.
And then there's Mal. Of course I was crushed when he died and secretly whispered to the author Gods to bring him back, but I didn't really mean it.
I want War to be RAW (war backwards hahaha) and realistic. To feel the characters' pain and grief and be surrounded by deaths (not literally, of course but seriously this is WAR). When you kill off a main character, it's almost a given that they'll be brought back to life somehow. So I was expecting Mal to come back, but I was sincerely hoping that it wouldn't happen just to stick it to the people that wanted it to. I want an ending to take me by surprise and make me cry. And really, how powerful would it have been to have Alina have to recover from all of that on her own? But instead, it's Mal is life and he carries her through the hard times. I get it, but I would have been happier with a shocking ending.

That being said, I liked the 'After' chapter. It shows that not everything was solved by the Darkling's death, that War was ongoing and things were changing, but it wouldn't be overnight.
The series was okay, but I was really just reading it to get into Six of Crows, so hopefully that's better (even though I always say that and end up not liking them). OH WELL.

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