Shadow and Bone

Shadow and Bone - Leigh Bardugo, Lauren Fortgang

Most of the time, I may not love a narrator, but I rarely think they detract from the book. Lauren Fortgang isn't a bad narrator, but not everyone can do a convincing voice for the opposite sex. Usually, it's male narrators trying to speak as a female that I have more trouble with.

 

Fortgang just was not able to convincingly portray the male characters for me. Her Darkling voice was a low threatening version of her own voice. This book would have really benefited from two narrators, a male and a female. Fortgang also had a habit of adding in random (to me) accents to people. Basically the less you saw a character, the more likely they were to have a russian accent. Main characters like Alina, Mal, the Darkling, and Genya did not have this accent, even though they are all from the same region.

 

The book was interesting. I loved the Darkling. His character made the book for me.

 

Alina wasn't a bad protaganist. I think she made a lot of good choices, but her constant put downs and insecurity did get a bit grating by the end.

 

 

In particular, I did not understand why she did not use her powers when they were surrounded at the stag. She had no problems using them earlier and almost getting them caught multiple times. Granted, it worked out once she remembered about the myth about saving the stag.

 

I was thinking on this after finishing the book. There is clearly a love triangle here, and I'm fairly certain I know who she will end up with (Mal). And I've only been wrong once when it comes to a YA love triangle - yes I'm still bitter. But I really like the Darkling and assume he will make some sort of comeback in her feelings, but at the same time, I'm not sure if they would actually work as a couple.

(show spoiler)

 

One other part that caught my attention. I'm a big Tamora Pierce fan and in Realm of the Gods there are creatures called Darklings. They are basically little blobs of dark liquid which can move around. As much as I loved the Darkling, I had them in the back of my mind.