Siege and Storm

Siege and Storm - **No spoilers.3.5 stars.Okay, okay, so this is better than so-so, but not by too much. I want to tell you that I loved this book. I want to gush over this sequel the way I gushed over its predecessor, Shadow and Bone. I can’t though, cuz I keeps it real.There was a certain something missing from this story. It didn’t quite have the same shine as book one and for a time, I couldn’t put my finger on what was preventing this from being an exceptional read, because I was entertained throughout. It eventually hit me that there was too little of the Darkling. He’s what made Shadow and Bone so special to me. He was the enigma that cast a mysterious shadow over the story. Unfortunately, he was mostly absent from this book. He had some appearances, but not enough. Never enough. I suffered through hellish Darkling withdrawals and subsequent Darkling Deficiency.I don’t know what it is, but no matter what happens, I can’t stop lusting after him.He’s… just delicious. There was the introduction of another dude, who was funny and likeable, but he had really, really big sexy shoes to fill and he didn’t alleviate my Darkling itch. He did, however, outshine Mal, who failed to leave an impression on me yet again, though he played a very prominent part. He’s just too blah to hang with the likes of the other male leads.Speaking of leads, Alina really got on my nerves this time. For the most part, she was a stronger character, but she was obsessed with Zoya, the gorgeous Grisha “mean girl”. Why? Why must there always be a gorgeous mean girl? And why must the MC be obsessed about the mean girl and her appearance? Authors, please, please stop it.Behold the obsession:- ...declared Zoya, her color high. Even in a snit, she looked gorgeous.- I almost laughed out loud. Who was I kidding? I hated even sitting in the same room with her. She looked like a Saint. Delicate bones, glossy black hair, perfect skin. All she needed was a halo. Mal paid her no attention, but a twisting feeling in my gut made me think he was ignoring her a little too deliberately. I knew I had more important things to worry about than Zoya.- I’d dressed in a light kefta made of shimmering panels of sheer gold silk. The bodice was set with sapphires of deep Summoner’s blue that matched the jewels in my hair.Mal’s eyes flickered over me as I entered the common room, and it occurred to me that the colors would have suited Zoya better. I like Alina, but I lost respect for her. She’s attempting to make some very big moves in this book, but petty shit like this doesn’t reflect a young woman that has her priorities straight. I hope this crap doesn’t continue in the next book. All in all, I can’t say that this is a bad book. On the contrary, it’s really good, especially in comparison to typical YA fare these days. That’s why I settled on 3.5 stars and rounded up to 4. It was a 3 star read for me, mostly because of Darkling Deficiency, but it’s a 3.5 star book in general. I gots to keep it real and give credit where credit is due. Bardugo is a talented writer and she absolutely knows how to tell a tale and keep the pace interesting.I... just wanted more Darkling. -_-I will absolutely be reading book #3, and if you haven’t started this series, I suggest you do. You will be pleasantly, if not ecstatically, surprised.For more of my reviews, visit my blog: