Siege & Storm Book Review

siegeandstormTitle: Siege & Storm
Series: Shadow & Bone #2
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Publisher: Henry, Holt, & Co.
Publication Date: June 4, 2013
Genre: Young Adult – Fantasy, Romance
Pages: 432
Format: Purchased Paperback

Darkness never dies.

Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land, all while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. But she can’t outrun her past or her destiny for long.

The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling’s game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her–or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm.

As this is a sequel there may be spoilers.

This was a solid sequel filled with so much action, character development, romance, snarky responses, hope, creepiness, and darkness.

I wasn’t expecting a lot of the twists and turns that happened at the beginning of the book, as well as at the ending. I thought that the way the plot progressed I would’ve been able to see more foreshadowing, but a lot of it was a surprise to me, which I enjoyed. I thought that the action sequence at the beginning with the Darkling and Alina, Mal, and Sturmhond’s crew were all very tense, but at the same time curious because there was something about what was happening that had me questioning the motives of several people. Then it progressed into an escape, political calculations, angst, and more unhappy darkness in the end. Honestly, I enjoyed this book more than the first.

Alina, I felt, is starting to really grow more as a character and she’s really trying her best to hone her skills as the Sun Summoner, to not let her powers or her amplifiers control her. I find it interesting how she has those glimpses of darkness within her and only at the end does she realize that it’s because part of the Darkling became a part of her when he claimed her with Morozova’s stag antlers. I wished she had spoken her mind more, had made more mistakes, more slips when in the political settings because I felt she was becoming a very bland person in those situations. And outside of those situations, she still didn’t seem to know what to do, but I think she just had a better understanding of where she belonged in that moment.

Mal was kind of a little overprotective in this book, in my opinion, but I could understand and see where he was coming from in those situations. He was frustrated at the situations, frustrated that he doesn’t understand Alina and what she desires, but also he feels trapped like an animal. I have a feeling about him that maybe he has hidden Grisha powers (no spoilers, please!), but I’m not entirely sure. I didn’t appreciate when he pulled himself so far away from Alina and just went in a small downward spiral. He had a lot of control up to that point, and I understand that their relationship got complicated, but I don’t know why he didn’t try to talk it out with her (and vice versa).

Can we just talk about Nikolai because he’s my new favorite and I need him in my life and I’m adding him to my Book Boyfriend List. He has many masks that he wears, different personas for different moments of time, so you never really know if he’s being sincere or not, but every time he’d joke or say something snarky I couldn’t help but laugh aloud. I personally much preferred seeing him as a Privateer, but as a Prince he was also very much in control of the situations around him and I think that was definitely a strong point for him. I just need more of him, that’s all.

The Darkling… Oh man, he got all kinds of dark and creepy in this book. New powers unfolded from him and his obsession with Alina and power just keeps growing. I can’t tell if he actually cares for her or just wants her power, but dang. He’s kind of scary. There actually wasn’t as much of him in this novel as the last one, which was fine, but it does make me wonder just what he was doing to prepare himself for when he’d return for Alina.

The romance in this book was much more apparent and actually I wished it had developed a different way, but that’s only because I was upset that years of friendship and trust could be so easily broken because of misplaced words and hurt feelings and egos. But the small bits of it that were in there were well placed and I think that we’ll see a bit more in the next book.

The action sequences and the descriptions of the creatures in the book were amazing. I think these were some of the strongest points of the novel because they were all very vivid and fast paced. I loved thinking up the world in my mind, about Sturmhond’s flying ship, about the lands and everything in between. I think that there’s some sort of dark secret behind the creatures that live in the Fold and I hope to learn more about it in the final book.

I definitely enjoyed this book more than the first and I feel that the plot is only going to thicken more now that Alina and the others are in the situation that they’re in now.

I rated this book 4/5 stars and I highly recommend it if you’ve read the first book in this trilogy.

Top Ten Tuesday: Costumes Characters Would Wear on Halloween

Hey peeps and welcome to another Top Ten Tuesday as hosted by the lovely people over at The Broke & the Bookish. Today’s topic was a Halloween freebie, so we could talk about our favorite scary books, non-scary books that would get you in the fall/Halloween mood, etc, so I decided to talk about what I think some characters would wear as costumes on Halloween if they celebrated it.

I mean, this is a fun thing, right? I can picture some of these quite clearly, so let’s jump right into it! Also, all of my fanart can be found on my deviantART page.

1. Cath from Fangirl would go as Simon Snow. I mean, that’s kind of hands down, right? Or maybe she’d go as Baz and make Levi go as Simon. OMG YES. I SEE IT. Couples costumes FTW.


2. Aelin from Throne of Glass would probably go as Marie Antoinette, with the huge dress, ginormous hair, the fan, everything. She’d own and rock it. And then she’d make Rowan dress up in a really frilly outfit, too, because he can’t be looking shabby next to her.


3. Rhysand from A Court of Mist and Fury would go as something goofy or sensual. It can’t be both, he’d go as one or the other. So he’d either go as a ghost (like, a sheet over himself with holes for eyes cut out), or he’d go as a sexy male pirate or something. And then Feyre would probably be Maleficent, like the Angelina Jolie version.


4. Warner from Shatter Me would probably go as a vampire. And it would be immaculate and impeccable and he’d given Aelin a run for her money. I can see a fight breaking out between those two… Juliette would go as a countess to match Warner and she would just watch from a distance as he and Aelin fought.


5. Shazi from The Wrath and the Dawn I could see going as Katara from Avatar: The Last Airbender because they both have fiery spirits and I can see her not putting up with anyone’s crap (while also amazing everyone with her own magic). Khalid would be Ang to compliment Shazi’s choice.


6. Simon from Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda would go as Harry Potter, because duh. And then Blue would go as Draco and it would be every fangirl’s dream come to reality. Yup.


7. Nikolai from Siege & Storm would go as a pirate. Like, an actual full fledged pirate with the hook, the big, the big hat, everything. And then Alina would probably go as some Final Fantasy character, like Garnet from FFIX. I could see Mal maybe being Spider Man or some other sort of hero.


8. Karou from Daughter of Smoke & Bone would go as an angel just to tease Akiva and then Akiva would just wear like cat or dog ears and a tail. It would be cute and hilarious and I need this in my life.


9. Laia from An Ember in the Ashes would probably be Wonder Woman because she is so strong on the inside that she needs to bring that to the outside. And then Elias would probably be, like, Iron Man. Or Batman. Either way.


10. The group from The Raven Boys would all be someone from The Wizard of Oz. Blue would hand make her own Dorothy costume, complete with red shoes and all. Gansey would be the scarecrow, Adam would go as the Lion, Ronan… well, they’d force Ronan to go as something, but he’d probably pick one of the flying monkeys just to piss everyone off.


I have such an urge to draw fanart of all of these costumes. These would be so fun to see and I think every person would have such fun going out to a Halloween party together.

Let’s Chat! ≧◡≦

What can you picture these characters going as? Do you think any of them would rebel against a costume? Tell me what you think your favorite character would wear out!

Fairytales IRL Book Tag

Hey peeps and welcome to another book tag! I find I don’t do these as often as I thought I did, and this one’s been going around very recently to a few people on YouTube, so I decided to join in on it because I LOVE fairytales! You can check out Jessethereader’s video here!

I haven’t actually read a fairytale in a while. I’ve read a few retellings and stuff, but otherwise I pretty much just watch the Disney adaptations (which is fine with me). I love the tropes and the hope that a lot of fairytales can inspire … when they’re, you know, not being told creepily and stuff.

somethinginbetweenSo this tag was put out by Harlequin Teen inspired by the release of Something In Between by Melissa de la Cruz, a contemporary book about a Filipino girl who’s done everything expected of her, has gotten really good grades, and even gets a scholarship to her dream college – and then it all falls apart when a family secret gets out and she is no longer eligible for that scholarship. She then does what she never has before: rebel. She tries to do a lot of the things teens do before they graduate and that’s when she meets the son of a congressman.

It sounds interesting and cute, and I’m just really interested to do this tag! In the tag you’re teaming up tropes with contemporary stories, so here we go:

1 . Fairy Godmother: a contemporary trope where a fatherly/motherly figure guides a misguided protagonist.


I had the hardest time thinking of someone for this one and then I GOT IT. Dr. Daniel Leed from Girl Against the Universe! He’s a really cool psychiatrist and I felt like he really did a good job of helping to guide Maguire down a healthy path by challenging her and allowing her to figure things out on her own.

2. Prince Charming: a contemporary character who takes on a quest for his or her love interest.


I think that Lara Jean from To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before definitely fits the bill for this one because she wrote letters to each guys she’s had a crush on before, and even though it backfires on her, it’s still as though she’s on a quest to find that “perfect guy,” and all that. She’s a dreamer and adorable and I love her.

3. Forbidden Fruit: the contemporary trope of giving in to temptation.


I think that Maddy from Everything, Everything fits this description to a T because she was without everything in the outside world for the majority of her life. When the boy next door moves in, of course she’s interested and gives into temptation and discovers a lot about herself in that time.

4. When the Clock Strikes Midnight: a contemporary trope where the characters must fear an impending moment.


Okay, so this one is kind of just scary because, well, it’s a book about a school shooting: This Is Where It Ends. I know the kids in the school weren’t expecting it at the time or anything, but as the hour progressed, more and more people were just terrified of what would happen next. It’s truly terrifying.

5. The Big Bad Wolf: an antagonist so powerful that the hero feels helpless against it/him/her.


I’m going to have to go with the depression and suicide in My Heart and Other Black Holes because, speaking from experience, that antagonist is extremely powerful and you do feel helpless against it in those situations. I thought that Aysel did her best to climb out of that hole and I applaud her for it because it isn’t easy.

6. The Power Within: a contemporary example of unexpected power from a character who imagines themselves to be ordinary.


So I’m going to go with Sam from Every Last Word because she deals with a form of OCD that causes her to have obsessive thoughts that could potentially lead to harmful outcomes, but usually they’re just daydreams or harmless things. As she writes poetry and talks about her illness through that, she really takes hold of herself and I think that that is truly amazing.

7. The Grand Ball: a contemporary trope wherein a character faces a major moment of fitting in.


I’m going to say the same thing as Jesse and talk about Cath from Fangirl because she was so introverted and shy and scared at the beginning of the book that it was near impossible for her to make friends (even though Levi tried really hard all the time). As the book progressed, though, she began to open up more, to stand up for herself, and to really shine. I think she definitely faced that major moment and took it all in stride.

8. Fairest of Them All: a contemporary pressure for outer beauty that challenges the importance of inner beauty.


I think Eleanor & Park really hits this on the head because the two main characters are a red headed girl who lives in poverty so she’s pretty much wearing the clothes she makes herself, and the only half-Korean boy who likes to wear dark clothes and listen to “strange” music compared to the other kids. Though, I do love both of them because they don’t care what anyone else thinks and they each really bring out a positive outlook in one another when it comes to that.

9. The Evil Stepmother: a contemporary character who invokes anger or resentment for stepping into another’s role.


I think for this one I’m going to go with Kristin from None of the Above because she is really like her own evil stepmother. When she’s diagnosed as intersex she becomes so disgusted with herself that it’s like she wants to do everything she can to pretend she’s not who she is, and that’s not healthy. I think a lot of resentment formed as a result of that.

10. Happily Ever After: the contemporary belief in finding happiness in the end even when the road to get there had its struggles.


Have you met my friend Simon from Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda because he’s adorable and I love him. He also went through a crap ton of, well, crap, to get his happy ending and even though some of what he dealt with was hard to see, I’m glad he did manage to get through all of it and be happy.

This was a much more difficult tag than I was expecting for some of these questions, but I also liked them because they had me thinking about just what kinds of characters I’ve seen and read about, and how each of these different tropes really do play a part.

Let’s Chat! ≧◡≦

What are some of your favorite tropes in books? What are your least favorite? Who do you think of when you think of the Prince Charming or the Big Bad Wolf? Tell me all the things!

Hobby Corner: October VIDEO GAMES Edition


Welcome to another edition of Hobby Corner, a monthly edition I introduced to talk about my hobbies and interests other than reading. It’s always important to not forget these things, so here I am to talk about some of mine.

This month’s topic: video games!

I love playing video games. I haven’t done it as much lately, but that’s just because I really haven’t been in the mood. I’ve always had a preference for first-person shooter games, role playing games like Final Fantasy and Tales of Symphonia, but I’ve also played games like Spider Man, Ray Man, Mario Kart, Pokemon, and more.

Today I’m going to talk about some of my favorite franchises when it comes to games. I can get into more specifics at a later time, but today I’m just going to go into the broad topic of the franchises and why I enjoy them so much.

Assassin’s Creed


My first game when I started playing this franchise was Brotherhood and it was absolutely amazing. And then I played a lot of the others and I was hooked. I love being able to be an assassin, how there’s a war between two powers, how the stories are told, how the characters are so different in each story arc, but I also really love how you’re able to go and really explore the world as much as you want. That’s seriously one of my favorite aspects about any kind of game. I mean, what’s the point if you can’t explore a little?

I think this franchise is so fun and so elaborate. I love how it places with history and it can take you back to some really beautiful eras. The system of using hidden blades, neat tricks to take out enemies, and the sceneries are just awesome, too.

Call of Duty


Now, I know a lot of people think the CoD franchise is overrated, but I’ve been playing this franchise since the beginning when it was on the computer, it was old graphics (but really cool for the time), and it was in WWI with Captain Price (who lived through a million games and wars, I swear). I can’t even remember the name of the game or what it was called online, but I played it! I’ve played almost every adaptation since, too, which is a lot but I just find it so cool to not only be a first person shooter, but to also get a look into what people in those situations go through. Obviously it doesn’t compare to the real thing, but still.

I also found that this franchise gets more interesting (and more complicated) as different kinds of weapons are introduced and how different kinds of wars and strategies are thought to play out. It’s very interesting to me to see, but also hella frustrating because when you die 249039048483294240239432 times in the same spot, you get kind of angry.

Final Fantasy


I. Love. This. Franchise. Now, I’ve only played a tiny handful of the games, but they’re beautiful and glorious and SO intricate in so many ways, it’s ridiculous. I find that the story is extremely compelling and interesting in every game that’s come out so far, and that the systems used in order to gain abilities and experience is really cool and efficient because you can choose what you want the characters to learn, which is awesome. Then there’s the ART. Oh. My. Glorious goodness, the art in these games is unbelievable. I can’t even.

Of the games I’ve played, I’ve only finished one to completion because these games take TIME, and I think it took me over 100 hours of playing to beat the one game. But I also like to go and do as much as I can as I go through the game, and sometimes my characters still aren’t strong enough to beat bosses and it’s just frustrating as all hell. But man, this franchise is simply fantastic.



LET’S BE REAL HERE. If I hadn’t listed this as one of my favorite franchises, I’d be a liar. I LOVE POKEMON. I have since it first started airing back in 1999 when I was a youngin’. I will admit, though, that I came late to the video game world, so my first Pokemon game wasn’t until Pokemon Gold. I’ve played Stadiums, Snap, Go!, Black, HeartGold, Y, X, Mystery Dungeon, etc. I’ve played a lot of them. And I don’t care if it’s the same kind of story every time, they’re just so fun and so addicting and so nostalgic! I think that’s one of the biggest factors when it comes to playing the games.

Plus, who didn’t want to be a Pokemon Master as a kid and wanted Pokemon to actually be real? I know I did. It was one of my wishes for my birthday when I was a kid. Dreams. Shot. Down.

Not many people know that I like to play video games. I generally surprise them when I say that kind of thing, but I really do. These are just a few of the franchises that I really enjoy playing. The next time I talk about video games I’ll talk about a few more of my favorite franchises and maybe some specific games.

Let’s Chat! ≧◡≦

Do you play video games? What’s your favorite franchise and what’s your favorite game in that franchise? Do you collect anything like characters or cards of characters from that game? Tell me all the things!

Top Ten Tuesday: Characters I’d Name My Dog After

Welcome to another Top Ten Tuesday as hosted by the lovely people of The Broke and the Bookish! Today’s topic is all about characters that we’d name our children/dog/cat/car/etc with. I love this kind of topic, which is similar to one I did a few weeks ago and I talked about characters that I’d name my children after, but now I’m going to talk about my next important love: dogs.

I am such a dog person. I miss having a dog so, SO much. I love their noses and eyes and wiggly butts when they wag their tails and they’re the cutest things in the world. And these are some of the names that I’d probably name my dog after if I got one (if it didn’t already have a name that stuck to it). I’m going to separate between male and female, so here we go!


  • Magnus – Take this name from whatever series you want, but I LOVE this name and if I can’t name my child it, then I’ll name my dog with it. It’s strong, it’s magical, and it’s perfect. And I’d name a golden retriever with this name just to throw people off.
  • Flynn – I know I used this for my child names, too, but I just love the name Flynn. It’s cute and fun and I think it would fit a dog like some sort of terrier. Like, a high energy dog that’s really cute.
  • Gansey – I would need a prim and proper dog because that’s honestly all I can think about when I hear this name. I mean, I love Gansey and he’s not completely prim and proper, but he’s very polite, so I’d hope to have a friendly dog with this name. I can picture like a King Charles Spaniel or something like that.
  • Gideon, or G for short – I actually think the name Gideon is really cute. I don’t know what it is, but there’s something about it that makes me happy. And it’s the name of two of my favorite book characters, so there’s that, too. I can picture a mutt with this name, really. So cute.
  • Fitz – Another cute, spunky name for a terrier, in my opinion. Honestly, if the dog has high energy, I can just imagine it having this name. And the name just makes me smile when I say it, so there’s that, too.


  • Feyre – Yup. I would do this. I do think that the name Feyre is really lovely and all of that, and it’s short enough that a dog would know that I’m calling her. I can picture this for like a German shepherd or a husky.
  • Vhalla – Hey, high fantasy names! You’re my favorite! I think the name Vhalla is just really pretty and I think it would more suit a setter kind of dog.
  • Shazi – From The Wrath & the Dawn, I think having a dog like a Shiba Inu or a long haired breed like a Yorkie or Papillion would be so cute. And hopefully the dog would have a fiery spirit to match the name.
  • Laia – I think this name is so pretty and even though I keep thinking Star Wars, I know that’s not the pronunciation of the name. Still, I think it’s fitting of a dog that’s like a Dalmatian or a Corgi. It’s befitting any kind, really.
  • Celaena – I know what you’re thinking, “Rayna, what are you doing?” BUT LET’S BE REAL, I’M TOG TRASH, OKAY!? And if I can’t name my human child Celaena/Aelin, then I’ll name my dog that. And she would be lovely and feisty and I’d love her to bits.

And there you have it! Ten names I’d name my dog IF I HAD ONE. One day I’ll have a dog again and if there’s not a name that sticks then I’m picking one of these, I swear it.

Let’s Chat! ≧◡≦

What character would you name a pet after? It doesn’t necessarily have to be a dog, but maybe a cat or bird or fish or lizard. Tell me the cool literary names you’d name one if it were a male or a female.