Title: Ruin and Rising
Author: Leigh Bardugo
This book demonstrated less rising and more ruin if you ask me. While the first hundred pages didn't drag me in, it certainly more than made up for it in the last two hundred or so. I'm not even all that sure about how I feel about Ruin and Rising, there were so many twists and turns and even then I didn't really like how it ended.
Alina Starkov is on the lookout for the third and last amplifier, the firebird. The Darkling's forces are closing in and the need for Alina's power is greater than ever. Torn between a life she wants and the life she has, nothing has ever seemed so helpless. People are dying left and right and no one even has an inkling as to where the firebird could be or if it even exists. Can Alina battle her heart and gain the power she needs to defeat the Darking? Or is all lost?
I usually try to keep my reviews relatively spoiler free, but for this one I can't promise anything. There will be spoilers in here, so if that bothers you, I suggest you look away now.
The first one hundred pages was all information I already knew or didn't particularly care about. Alina healing, angsty stuff, self loathing, the normal stuff. Things really picked up when Nikolai came into play. I cannot express my love for that prince enough. He has a silver tongue and he's interesting, he's just a great character. And when he told Alina he would propose to her if they survived the battle, I was all over that. It might not be the most romantic, but I really thought they'd be a cute couple. I honestly thought Nikolai was going to die. When he turned into that creature I was so upset. Next person, the Darkling. I love him. I shipped him with Alina so hard. I really think that if Alina had stayed with him, she could have changed him. In the end, I felt so bad for him, he just wanted to be loved and to share his life with someone like him. Mal. I never particularly liked Mal, I thought he was a little too needy and that he held Alina back most of the time, but I actually found myself liking the scenes between him and Alina. Now, that ending. I didn't want to the Darkling to die. In a perfect world, Alina would have used her light to cast out the darkness in him and made him a better person so they could live together happy with their power. Instead, I got almost the exact opposite. Not only did the Darkling die, but Mal was resurrected. Biggest kicker of all, Alina lost her powers. All of them. Completely normal. That made me mad. Phew! So much happened, I couldn't possible address all of it. Overall, I respect the action and writing and the overall amazingness of Ruin and Rising, but I can't agree with that ending.