Genre: YA Fantasy
Rating: 4/5 stars
Synopsis: Darkness never dies.
Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land. She finds starting new is not easy while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. She can’t outrun her past or her destiny for long.
The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling’s game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her--or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm.
|Thoughts on the Overall Book: While I didn't think this was quite as good as the first one, I still am really enjoying this series, and it was definitely action-packed and a great adventure.|
Cover--Yea or Nay: I love the covers for these books. Simple and pretty.
Characters: I do like Alina, she's a strong heroine, but doesn't have an attitude either. There were a couple parts that she started to annoy me in this one (get to that later) but for the most part, she continued to be an enjoyable character to read about. Not a favorite, but I like her. Mal is also a likable character (though again, annoyed me a little in this one) I do really like him, but he's not the kind of character I fall in love with. Nikolai on the other hand, is definitely my new fav. He's just awesome, and sarcastic, and I'm trying to think of who he reminds me of. In any case, definitely loved him. The Darkling continues to be majorly creepy, I love him as a baddie, and I hope he continues to be as evil and cool in the last book.
The Romance: This was the only problem I had with this book. I don't mind Alina and Mal's relationship...but the issues that came about because of it, were annoying. It turned Alina whiny and made me want to slap her, and it made Mal all huffy and acting kind of like a scorned girl. There's threats of love triangles, but I don't know if it will go anywhere, and I know it's not going to ruin my opinion of Nikolai.
Writing Style: The writing style is beautiful, and partly why I love these books so much. It reads kind of like a fantasy and kind of like a fairy tale, and it fits with the world and the story. The world is beautiful, and very unique and creative. There aren't many fantasies based around Russian folklore and culture and I think it fits really well, and is so awesome to read about.
Accuracy/ Believability: Not applicable.
Problems/What bothered me: Besides the romance, not much. I think the book could have been a little shorter, as it did drag on occasion as middle trilogy books are wont to do, but it was still overall an enjoyable read.
Conclusion: 4 stars. I am really looking forward to reading the final book. This one left off with a cliff-hanger so I'm eager to finish the story!
Recommended Audience: Girl read, ages 16 and up. Fans of action/adventure fantasy and Russian folklore would enjoy.