Well, this book left me a mess.
Alina and Mal are off in Novyi Zem trying to make a life for themselves, apart from the Grisha, when they are captured by the Darkling and his forces. They get rescued by a semi-crazy privateer and his crew, and everything kinda goes downhill.
Things I liked about it?
-Alina gets dark. Like, dark, dark.
-Dude, GRISHA. That’s, tbh, reason enough to like a book. Because GRISHA.
-Nikolai… oh, my darling Nikolai. He’s so arrogant but in a totally endearing way. And a bit crazy. In the best way possible.
-The Darkling is a constant presence, and he’s just alway looming over Alina. Like, something works in her favor? Bam. She is (rather rudely, I might add) reminded of his presence. Like someone else I could mention… #politics
-RUSSIAN INSPIRED. Enough said.
Things I didn’t like so much:
-The romance was a little rushed. Like, I get it with Mal. Best friends. They know each other. But Nikolai? Yeah… I didn’t get it. It’s not the worst ship, and I love Nikolai, but the development was lacking.
-Speaking of which, LOVE TRIANGLE. Like, NO. PAIN. WHAT-THE-HECK-IS-GOING-ON. I loved my ship, and while I like to be a flexible shipper, I didn’t like how while one relationship started sorta-kinda crumbling, both people decided to try to make the other angry. That I did not understand. [ And let’s be honest, Mal may be a teddy bear sometimes, but he really can overreact. He can be selfish. And while in some cases that would make him more human, in this one, it’s just like whaaat? No, Mal. Do not do this to me. IT IS OBVIOUS THAT SHE IS NOT AT FAULT HERE. TRY TO UNDERSTAND THE ‘NEW ALINA’. BECAUSE SHE IS HERE TO STAY.
All in all, I really enjoyed this book… I had to beg a ship scene off of my cowriter AND finish Magnus Chase (neither of which I particularly minded doing) in order to recover from the feels and the cliffhanger, but I don’t think I’ll die before I get the next one. With some series’s that happens, but that doesn’t make one good or bad. Right now I’m trying to attack the TBR to get ready for NaNo, so having a book not drive me crazy is a good thing!