Sunday, September 18, 2016

Not Quite a Review: Ruin and Rising

Ruin and Rising

by Leigh Bardugo
Book 3 (final) of The Grisha trilogy

~ Goodreads ~

Rating:  4.0 Stars

If it's any indication of how much I loved this book, this entire trilogy...

I laughed, I smirked, I wept, I sat at the edge of my seat, I felt warmed in my heart, I couldn't put the book down and I stayed up way past my bedtime just to finish reading the rest of the book because I knew I wouldn't be able to stand the feeling of finishing it without some time to recover before having to face real life again.  And I was right.  Because my FEELS are all over the place right now.  And on top of that, I'm feeling kind of empty inside... like...  "What am I going to do with my life now?"

No more Alina, no more Mal, no more Nikolai...

Yeah.  That's what it feels like right now.

As for the Darkling...  I know a lot of people loved him, for whatever reason.  I was never really on Team Darkling, though not simply because he was our resident villain.  I just never really grew to like him, though I did like him more in Siege and Storm when he seemed more fragile and easier to understand.  But Ruin and Rising brought him back into being that manipulative, evil bastard; I might feel sympathy for him and his lonely existence, but I can't like someone who makes sport of leveling towns, torturing others, and killing unmercifully.

Am I going to write a proper review?  I'm not even sure. It's not like I ever really do anyway.

But after having some time to digest this book, I'd say that I'm not feeling too bad off anymore.  The FEELS have subsided and the hype has worn off and I think I'm actually going to move on just fine.

Ruin and Rising encompassed a lot of the same humor and heartbreak from the first two books that made me love the series so much.

Alina and her struggle with darkness and power.  Mal and his struggle with... well, I'm not certain what he was really struggling with except his own desires which probably could have been fulfilled earlier if he'd just stopped brooding for two seconds long enough to know that no one likes a noble idiot... even if he's a charming and adorable noble idiot.  Together, these two made an excellent pair of brooding, suffering potential martyrs; I looked forward to the moments when they'd forget that the world was ending and just acted more naturally around each other.

Nikolai (or Sturmhond) was the same arrogant, lovely, charming, confident, and loved prince.  When he made his appearance, I'm going to say that I actually got excited.

But I can't help but feel like there was a sense of rushing through towards the ending; that feeling that, "This is the end, let's put all our eggs in the basket and watch the world explode."  Or something like that.

It made it.  I'm satisfied with it.  But it wasn't that epic conclusion I'd been expecting.  Then again, maybe it's better that the conclusion wasn't so epic.

To be honest, on a scale, I still loved the very first book much more than the rest of the series.  Shadow and Bone just had it all: the introductions, the training, the growth and development, the requited young love, the cozy yet dangerous adventure, the growing conflict...

Overall, I'd say this entire series altogether is pretty fantastic.

This review was originally posted at Goodreads in June 2014.

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