Review: Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

Title: Ruin and Rising
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Series: The Grisha Trilogy (#3)
Genre(s): Fantasy, Romance, Paranormal, Adventure, Young Adult
Publication Date: June 17, 2014
Publisher: Henry Holt
Page Count: 442
The capital has fallen.

The Darkling rules Ravka from his shadow throne.

Now the nation's fate rests with a broken Sun Summoner, a disgraced tracker, and the shattered remnants of a once-great magical army.

Deep in an ancient network of tunnels and caverns, a weakened Alina must submit to the dubious protection of the Apparat and the zealots who worship her as a Saint. Yet her plans lie elsewhere, with the hunt for the elusive firebird and the hope that an outlaw prince still survives.

Alina will have to forge new alliances and put aside old rivalries as she and Mal race to find the last of Morozova's amplifiers. But as she begins to unravel the Darkling's secrets, she reveals a past that will forever alter her understanding of the bond they share and the power she wields. The firebird is the one thing that stands between Ravka and destruction—and claiming it could cost Alina the very future she’s fighting for.

There are quite a few spoilers ahead...Don't read on if you haven't read Ruin and Rising already.

This book, unfortunately, was a bit disappointing. In fact, I only started noticing flaws in this series after I read the final instalment of the Grisha trilogy. 

It was too fast, to sudden and there wasn't enough room for growth with the Darkling. Oh man. ALEKSKANDER. I just want to explode about the damn feels about the ending. These YA authors who do this are so cruel...they make us feel things we don't want to feel for the bad guy, and then the next page WELL BAM THERES A DAMN KNIFE IN HIM NOW!

I couldn't stand the beginning. It begins with Alina and Mal underground, under the wing of the Apparat. Alina has lost her powers, became a weak little frail thing. Yet she is being worshipped, and called a god with all that "Sankta Alina, Sankta Alina" bs. I swear, it felt like every single page of the beginning has "Sankta Alina, Sankta Alina" on it. THE MAIN CHARACTER IS BEING WORSHIPPED. Although there's nothing Alina can do about being worshipped, I can't stand it when the main character goes god mode. AND LITERALLY BEING WORSHIPPED AND LOVED.

The grand final battle was so confusing. It felt as though it lasted three seconds and then THAT ALINA STABS MY ALEKSKANDER OH GOD.

I love Nikolai, though I wish he appeared more often. He was the only light thing in this incredibly dark book. The overall atmosphere I found was very lifeless and dead. Everyone is so dead serious, and there really isn't any fun or more relaxed moments in this book.

"No land, no life. Just a uniform and a gun."

After Siege and Storm, I don't really appreciate Alina as a character anymore. She's always talking about herself as "that girl who liked Mal and that girl at the orphanage who was weak is dead and isn't here anymore". I want to see her become stronger, but I don't want to hear about it all the time. Alina is "strong", and she knows it. She's become powerful to the point that she's become arrogant and self centred.

Though as a character, her personality is still very weak. She asks a lot from Mal, and expects him to to everything for her. I don't understand how Mal still doesn't see her as a bitch, is he really this blind?  They're really not one of my favourite couples because even if Alina was a better character, they'd still be the typical brother and sister best friends that fall in love, which is so cliché and overdone in the YA genre right now.

There's also the fact that the fate of Ravaka is literally ALL IN ALINA'S HANDS. Whether she decides to act, stall and act, cry and act, deal with her love life first then act, IT ALL DEPENDS ON HER. The other concepts of the story, such as the search for the firebird were really just a way to stall time. I found it somewhat irrelevant and uninteresting, and confusing. The whole idea that Mal was the firebird didn't seem to make any sense. And so did the part about how Alina's hair suddenly turned white.

After reading Siege and Storm, the only reason why I kept on reading and going through all this shit was because of the Darkling. Of course, I knew he was going to die, it was not as if this book wasn't predictable. But Leigh just has to murder the only guy I liked in this book :''''''( Really, it's a mess. The Darkling dies, but Mal somehow magically comes back to life. But of course, this is YA, so we can't leave our female protagonist alone without a love interest. And of course, Mal is the childhood best friend so of course we can't kill him! I really didn't care when he died, in fact, halfway through Ruin and Rising, I starting skimming the book and stopped giving shits. Alina didn't deserve Mal anyway.

The ending was just BAD. I didn't know what I was expecting though, but I'm truly disappointed because I really liked Shadow and Bone before the series started to go downhill. It started with such a great idea with so many pathways that the story could have taken, but then at one point it felt as though Leigh stopped trying. The biggest problem I had with this book was that the book felt dead. There wasn't life. It didn't feel real and I couldn't feel the magic through the pages.

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Olivia is a fangirl from Canada with too many book boyfriends who also adores sweets, drawing, and watching anime. She started off trying to write a full length novel, but some things are just easier said than done, so Olivia spends her days writing blog posts instead. That is, when she's not spending her free nights playing League.

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  1. I only read the first book, and I found it pretty good. However, after your review, I'm not sure I want to continue the series anymore :P

  2. I thought this book was pretty bad!! I liked the ending of this book, but I HATED everything that came before that. It was slow and depressing and just full-on UGH. Lovely review, Liv <3

    Rachel @ A Perfection Called Books

  3. Hi! I've nominated you for the Blogger Recognition Award :)

  4. Aww, Sorry you didn't like this, Olivia! I totally agree with you on Alina - I didn't like her much as a character. She was really money in the first one,.so I didn't like her back then either.

    But I LOVED Nikolai. I'm hoping he'll make a major appearance in the spin off. Fab review, Olivia!

  5. I am stuck in the middle of this one. It is just soooo boring at this point. So I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels that way! Great review Olivia!

    Jamie @ Books and Ladders


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