It’s always good when the next book in the series is just as good as the original book. Shadow and Bone and Siege and Storm basically have the same pros and cons and also follow similar type of plot points which turned me off. Both books have such a great beginning and end that the main chunk of the novel is very slow, leaving me wishing for more. Though, I will say, the ending to S&S is better than S&B. I found myself devouring the pages faster than a delicious treat.
Readers finally get to see more to the Grisha world while Alina and Mal are on the run from the Darkling. Again, Alina suffers from her low esteem and questions whether Mal really likes her. This is the #1 trait I cannot stand about Alina mostly because she flops back and forth between not worrying about beauty to having it be her only thought. She has this wonderful and unique power, but can’t help but think she’s more plain than Plain Jane. Though she grows a lot in this book, that’s one thing she just can’t seem to shake.
It’s not long until they return to Ravka. They take up refugee on Sturmhond’s ship (my favorite character in the entire series) where we are introduced to some of my other favorites. Side characters become substantially much more important in S&S, one of the biggest pros. Sturmhond is one hell of an inventor. Multiple creations of his are revealed and use throughout the novel.
Sturmhond also reveals a bigger twists of S&S. One that I should have seen coming, but didn’t. While it was happening I was saying to myself “yes yes yes!!” but was also kind of pissed off.
The story really turns slow when they return to the Little Palace. Heck, even the trip to the Little Palace is more interesting (and we get to see a lot of cute romance!). I basically fell in love with Nikolai. He teaches Alina so many important things and is one of the key characters in her development. Side note that is spoilery, but not to the plot: I was pretty pissed off and excited (again) when Nikolai pulls Alina in for a kiss just to show off in front of the crowd. I feel like he deserves to be punched, but that was before I liked him so I’ve definitely changed my opinion on that.
Speaking of romance, Mal needs to stop. Stop looking, breathing, existing...stop everything. He’s annoying and is even worse in S&S than S&B. I originally had been rooting for him and Alina to be thing when the Darkling was the only other choice but now I really want them to be over. He’s just as toxic as the Darkling, just in a different way. Alina should either be with no one or Nikolai (because OH MY GOD NIKOLAI).
The Apparat makes an appearance which I’m happy about. His part in S&B is left hanging, but we still don’t get to learn what his intentions are. I’m willing to say he’s just as creepy and untrustworthy as before.
The ending comes at an unfortunate time with by an unexpected twist. Everything is left up in the air and you can’t trust anything or anyone! Basically that sums down to once you finish Siege and Storm you will want to pick up Ruin and Rising IMMEDIATELY.
Overall, I would recommend this book.
Writing style: 3/5
All around idea: 4/5
Final Score: 4/5