Google+ YA Romantics: WoW: Siege and Storm and Audiobook Review: Shadow and Bone

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

WoW: Siege and Storm and Audiobook Review: Shadow and Bone



Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

So this post is a two-in-one. It's a Waiting on Wednesday for one of my most anticipated reads of 2012... AND a review of the book that precedes it.

So I'm impatiently waiting for:


Siege and Storm
by Leigh Bardugo
To be published by Henry Holt
on June 4, 2013



Okay, if you've read Shadow and Bone, you're probably dying for this book too.

If you haven't read Shadow and Bone, you've got to!  Luckily, you still have time before Siege and Storm comes out.

Book one, Shadow and Bone, was SO good. And you know that I don't even love fantasy all that much. So here's an....



audiobook review




Shadow and Bone
by Leigh Bardugo
Published by Henry Holt
on June 5, 2012

Length: 8 hours, 55 minutes

Narrator: Lauren Fortgang

Source: bought from Audible.com

My summary: Many years ago, The Dark Heretic sliced the nation of Ravka in half. The so-called Shadow Fold is a no man's land, the domain of fearsome, carnivorous beasts called Volkra. Supported by the largesse of a duke, Alina and fellow orphan Mal join the military, Alina as a mapmaker and Mal as a tracker. One day, they are both on an expedition across the Shadow Fold when their party is attacked by Volkra. To Alina's astonishment, she is suddenly able to conjure up the power to save Mal. She's told that she is a Sun Summoner and whisked to live among the elite Grisha and trained to fight and use her magic. Alina becomes the protégé of the handsome, mysterious Darkling, who tells her that together, the two of them they can eradicate the Shadow Fold and liberate Ravka. That is, if Alina can survive the pressure of court life, her insecurities and the Darkling's seductive pull.  

My take: I don't read a lot of fantasy, but I LOVED this book. It has elements of magic, fantastic creatures, make-believe lands... but it's also just entertaining storytelling at its best. Don't miss it. I'm serious!

Alina, the orphan, discovers she is the Sun Summoner.  Whisked into a new life, she encounters mentor figures and training sequences and magical objects and scheming rivals and difficult trials -- all the usual fantasy stuff. She starts out weak and self-pitying, and has to grow tremendously as a character by the end, facing impossible choices. She's also pretty snarky, which I find hard to resist.

Then there's The Darkling.  I imagined him as sort of the hot younger brother of your favorite bad boy of choice: Darth Vadar, Voldemort, etc. He's ruthless, charismatic, fearsome, and yet seems utterly alone.

As if that weren't enough, there's also court intrigue, the creepy flesh-eating Volkra, and a scene in the dark winter woods that made me gasp out loud. All of this is mixed together and infused with a Russian-inspired atmosphere. It's flat-out addictive. By the end of the prologue, I was hooked.

Lauren Fortgang, the narrator, did an amazing job with the audiobook, giving each character a different voice without sounding cheesy or weird. She did an especially good job capturing Alina's slightly snarky, self-deprecating personality.

At first, I felt at a slight disadvantage with the audiobook because I'm a very visual reader and felt frustrated that I couldn't picture some of the unfamiliar words in my head. Grisha, volkra, oprichniki, etherealki, corporalki, materialki. But pretty soon I figured it out. After I finished listening, I checked out a few reviews and was amused to discover that those who had read the print book wanted to know how the words are pronounced. I know!

If you love audiobooks, this is a great one. If you have already read Shadow and Bone and need a refresher for Siege and Storm, I highly recommend the audiobook.

And let's hope that my Waiting on Wednesday good luck holds out, because I am DYING to find out what happens next in this story!

32 comments:

  1. I am totally getting the audiobook...the narrator sounds awesome. Thanks for the suggestion! And, yes, I'm DYING for Siege and Bone. Makes me wish I had the ability to time travel. :) Here's my WoW this week! Happy Wednesday! :D

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    1. I was apprehensive about a fantasy audiobook, but this one grabbed me right away. Loved it! I'm buying the hard copy too because I want that map!

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  2. I wasn't very enthusiastic about book one for whatever reason but the more I think about it, the more I find to love and I can't wait for Siege and Storm...even just getting a confirmed cover cos I think that's not it.

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    1. I think that is the ARC cover and I guess they'll do a cover reveal later on??

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  3. I thought Shadow and Bone was good, but it wasn't my favorite fantasy this year.

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    1. I wish I'd read it before I did my favorite books of 2012, because I definitely would have put in on my list!

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  4. Okay I love the button for this it's so cute!! Anyways. This sounds like a great book and I think I would really enjoy the audio. ,I tend to prefer audio when it comes to fantasy books because then I know how everything is pronounced lol!! Great review!!

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  5. I just bought Shadow and Bone and can't wait to read it! It looks great!
    Come check out my wow!

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  6. I'm not hugely into fantasy so I'm not sure that I'll read this one anytime soon. Although it has such a cult following I may have to check it out. I love audio books though and am totally addicted!!! And here's hoping your WOW luck holds true! hehe P.S. WHEN DID YOU GET YOUR BLOG DESIGN??? It's adorable! Lori did an awesome job as always! =)

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    1. I'm not hugely into fantasy either, but really, try this book. Just read a few chapters. It's great!

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  7. Seems like a lot of people are already gearing up for this release, even though it's still 5 months away. I have seen a bunch of reviews of Shadow and Bone popping up lately. It's a sign I need to do mine:) I liked yours, it's been so long since I read the book that it provided a nice recap:)

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  8. I've had this on my tbr, but there are so many! However, after reading your review, I'm requesting it from the library now. :) Like your new look too!

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    1. Yes!!!! Then email me and LMK what you think!

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    2. Definitely will. I made your meatloaf for guests last night and high reviews again. It never diappoints. Thanks!!!

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  9. great review! I loved this book too! And cannot wait until Siege and Storm comes out!!! =D

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    1. Me too!! 2013 has some amazing books to look forward to!

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  10. I love how you imagine the Darkling. lol I am one of the ones who still needs to read this. EEP! Soon, I swear! It's on my reading challenge so I have to, right?

    Good luck on holding true to your WOW luck! :)

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  11. I really don't know how you can concentrate on an audio book! My mind just wanders or I fall asleep! I haven't read this one and I wasn't sure whether to go for it or not as I'm not really getting into the fantasy books at the mo, but as you liked it so much I think I'll get a copy! Thanks Jen :)

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    1. Well, I listen while I walk the dog. Sometimes my mind wanders if the book has a slow part, but not during this one. I mean, I was taking longer and longer walks every day...

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  12. I knowwww! How have I not read the first book yet?! It's sitting on my shelf and I swear every other person on earth has finished it. I guess I need to get started. Great pick :)

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  13. I've been thinking about getting this on audio. I'll buy it as soon as I finish Game of Thrones series (I have about a thousand more hours to go)!

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  14. Shadow and Bone was definitely one of my favorite reads last year and I'm so excited or Seige and Storm. I don't usually listen to audio books. I'm also a very visual reader and get too distracted to finish and audiobook. But I would love to see how the narrator pronounces all those Russian words. I feel bad for her!

    Jesse @ Pretty In Fiction

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  15. -sigh- I haven't read S&B yet. I know, I know... I need to. I rarely listen to audiobooks though. I have some, but it seems to take me forever to get through them.

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  16. YES, YES, YES! LOVED Shadow and Bone and can't WAIT for Seige and Storm! I'm glad you liked it since you're not a big fantasy reader. It's one I have recommended to others that aren't big fantasy readers, so I'm glad I'm not far off the mark there.

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  17. I really want to read Shadow & Bone! I think I'll love Mal! I'm not a fantasy reader an couldn't even finish Throne of Glass so I keep putting it off but will give it a try sometime soon.
    My WOW

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  18. I love this book so so so very much. It was just a lot of fun, fighting, and romance. It got some flack from people about the author not doing her research regarding Russian...anything (this went back and forth in many forums) but I was under the impression that this was a Fantasy book with Eastern European influences and I gobbled that stuff up. I can't wait for the next book and the Darkling! Is it too soon for TeamDarkling? Am I that person?

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  19. I really must get into audio books. I am looking forward to SIEGE AND STORM.

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  20. I loved S&B audio! I was tempted to request the sequel but I want to listen to so I'll wait.

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