In December I plan on writing a post on my most disappointing books of the year and this series will be somewhere near the top. Leigh Bardugo’s books get all the hype on Instagram and almost every bookstagrammer has at least one (if not more) photo of Six of Crows on their feeds. To be honest, I was sure I’d like this series as well, since it has such a high rating on Goodreads. As it turned out, I was sorely disappointed.
What annoys me the most is the fact that I actually bought the first book in the series! And not on book depository where it costs about 8 euros, no, I bought it at my local book shop, paid 13 euros for it and now it just sits there on my shelves, waiting for me to either sell it or give it to someone else. Though truth be told, I wouldn’t want to gift it to anyone because it was so bad.
The first book in the series actually didn’t start off so bad or at least that’s what I tried to make myself believe. I did notice while reading it that I wasn’t that invested in the story and that the main character got on my nerves but I just thought that’ll pass by the time I get to the next book in the series. So I read the second book on my kindle and the beginning was midely interesting but then the story got SO BORING.
I struggled to read on and thought about DNF-ing it. When I reached 70 % I decided that was that, so I just skimmed through the rest to see what happens. SNOOZE FEST! I watched a video made by @booksundays on Youtube to see what happens in the third book just to see the story to the end. But I honestly can’t see why there is such a hype around this series and why people adore it.
First of all, the writing is poor. Think Stephenie Meyer on a bit of a higher level but that’s about it. Secondly, the characters are flat. In other words they are one dimensional and BORING. There is no depth in these books, I wasn’t emotionally involved AT ALL. Thirdly, the story plotline is repetitive and … can you guess it? Yes, BORING! Whilst the first book introduced the world and we get to see the mechanics of the politics and the power struggles, the second book just seemed pointless.
Our main protagonist Alina spends most of her time worrying about a boy, albeit her one true love, Mal. She is the most powerful Grisha in the world (with the exception of the Darkling), yet all she does is worry about her love interest. I am so fed up with this type of female protagonist. If you break down the second book, you realise that nothing really happens. You could easily shorten the book but no, the world needs more trilogies. *sigh*
When it comes to the story plotline, the second book offers such an obvious hint regarding Alina’s quest for the amplifiers that I immediately started to roll my eyes at it. You basically already know what will happen in the third book. I didn’t read it and I could easily predict it. What happens in the second book is basically this: Alina and Mal escape the Darkling, then they get caught, then they manage to escape again and then they are confronted by the Darkling … AGAIN.
Regarding the emotional depth (or lack of it), this series reminds me of the Vampire Academy though that series was better. The writing itself was better. I do think highly of having a distinct writing style and Bardugo’s just wasn’t good. There it is, I said it. I know you can’t objectively say why a certain writing style works and why it doesn’t. But Bardugo’s story telling is just so plain and rudimental. It lacks in the richness of the language which separates a good book from a great one.
Once again we get to see a YA fantasy series that is mediocre but somehow beloved by the readers and most especially by the bloggers. Talk about over hyped books. If you are a fan of YA fantasy books, I would urge you to pick up Laini Taylor’s Strange the Dreamer or Maggie Stiefvater’s The Raven Boys. These books are wonderful, the writing style is on a whole new level and the story is fresh and original.