Wait…is this Grisha fan-fiction? | King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo

King of ScarsIt’s been a few years since the Darkling was defeated and Nikolai’s still trying to figure out how to keep Ravka afloat. This task is made much harder by the fact that Nikolai seems to turn into a monster most nights. A literal monster. He’s desperate for a solution and when a Darkling-loving monk turns up with a possible answer, Nikolai has no choice but to listen to what he has to say.

TL;DR – So much of this reads as Grisha fan-fiction. There were definitely parts that I liked, but a lot that I didn’t as well.

Purchase: Hardcover | Paperback (preorder) | eBook

It took me so long to finally read this book. I think I was just a little scared maybe. I really loved Nikolai from the original trilogy and I didn’t know how this was going to go. Starting off, I felt like I needed some kind of recap for the Grisha trilogy. I literally could not remember a single thing about Zoya. This book leans heavily on the assumption that everyone who picks it up has read Bardugo’s previous series’ which isn’t necessarily going to be the case. So yeah, I think it would have been wise to include at least a recap for the trilogy for those who don’t remember what happened in the original series or for those who never read it in the first place.

The narration mostly rotates between Nikolai, Zoya, and Nina but Nina is over in Fjerda so she’s got a different storyline than the other two. Honestly, I didn’t love Nina in the Six of Crows duology and this book possibly makes me like her even less. Her storyline was not compelling to me at all and I don’t see how it ties in with Nikolai’s main storyline. Honestly, it kind of felt forced as a way for Bardugo to bring her two series’ together (and every time Nina made some name-drop-y reference to the Ketterdam crew, I cringed). And then there’s the whole Nina/Hanne relationship that’s obviously coming and that started approximately five seconds after Nina buried Matthias’ body. I’m sorry, is this fan-fiction? Did someone write some f/f Nina fan-fiction and it accidentally got published as part of this book? I’m not trying to knock fan-fiction at all, I’m just trying to convey that this aspect had an inauthentic feel to me.

My other issue with Nina is that she’s selfless in this really selfish way. She doesn’t trust that people will help her if she gives them all of the information or tells them her whole plan. Nina puts people in tough situations and sometimes even in danger because she has her own agenda regardless of the consequences. She’s just not a team player and was a really frustrating character for me to read.

Nikolai, on the other hand, continues to be his most charming and lovable self. I appreciated getting to see some of his and Zoya’s respective backgrounds. I thought his storyline was a lot more interesting. His quest to find a cure was really interesting but I would have also liked a little more of “the bachelor” stuff to be thrown in–we didn’t actually get much of that. I really liked Isaak as a character and wished he’d been a narrator from the beginning. He deserved more than what he got and that’s all I’ll say about that.

And the ending…I think you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who DOESN’T have a strong opinion on the ending. Without being too spoiler-y, I’ll just say that once again, this reads like fan-fiction. That was a fan-fiction ending and I hate it.

Overall, I liked most of this book. I didn’t like Nina’s storyline or the ending, but everything else was great! I like the way that Bardugo seems to be expanding on the powers of the Grisha and I like the interesting political climate. I just think she’s spending too much time on things that aren’t relevant or wholly original instead of developing these interesting facets of her story.

Overall Rating: 4
Language: Mild
Violence: Heavy
Smoking/Drinking: Mild
Sexual Content: None

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Summer TBR | Final Update

At the beginning of the summer, I posted a list of 9 books that I hoped to read. Then, I posted an update halfway through July. Now that summer is over, I just wanted to give a final update on how I did.

The Weed that Strings the Hangman’s Bag by Alan Bradley – This was read from before. I’m continuing with my audio binge and am currently on #8
eBook | Paperback

Legendary by Stephanie Garber – Still waiting on my shelf…
eBook | Hardcover | Paperback

King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo – I read this one as a buddy read last month and had some thoughts. Review coming soon!
eBook | Hardcover

Descendant of the Crane by Joan He – I checked this one out from the library. It took me longer than I thought it would to get through and I didn’t love it.
eBook | Hardcover

The Rest of the Story by Sarah Dessen – Read from before. Sarah Dessen is a queen and I really liked this one. Review
eBook | Hardcover

With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo – Read from before. I was a bit disappointed in this one. Review
eBook | Hardcover

This Adventure Ends by Emma Mills – Read from before. I’ve read all of her books that are out now (I think?) and have enjoyed them all! Mini-review
eBook | Hardcover | Paperback

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black – I’m hoping to get to this one within the next couple of months!
eBook | Hardcover | Paperback

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi – Still haven’t gotten to this one unfortunately, but the eBook is like…always available from the library, so hopefully soon!
eBook | Hardcover | Paperback (Preorder)

With my last update, I’d read 4/9 and at the end of the summer I’d gotten to 6/9. Which I don’t think is too bad! Especially considering two of the three books I didn’t get to are currently sitting on my shelf, I think I’ll finish this list before the end of the year.

Let me know in the comments what your favorite 2019 summer read was!

What a crazy summer | August Wrap-Up & TBR Update

I can’t believe August is over already! It seems like we just moved to California last week, but we’ve actually been here for almost three months. As I’ve been seeing everyone’s back-to-school/end of summer vacation social media posts, I’ve realized that we’re in a super interesting time of life where our summer vacation doesn’t really end? We don’t have any kids in school yet and we’re not in school anymore either. The weather will get cooler but like…we’re in California so it’s not going to get that cold. My husband has been working full-time all summer and he’s going to continue to do that…things just aren’t really changing for us like they are for everyone else. We can still go do summery, outside things basically as long as we want. Anyway, unrelated to book things but it was an interesting realization that I had.

monthly tbr

Also read/reading:

Books finished this month: 14 with 1 DNF
Books currently reading: 1

Well, would you look at that! I actually managed to complete my TBR and then some this month! Way to go me!

A couple other things real quick, I finished my Goodreads Reading Goal this month! I had no idea how this year was going to go (especially with last year being a bit of a dud reading year) so I set my goal to 70. Luckily, I’ve exceeded my expectations! My new goal for the year is 100. Second, I’m working on a TBR weeding project. I’m going alphabetically and I’m trying to just take one letter at a time, figuring out what I want to keep on my TBR and what can go. So you’ll see my TBR count going down significantly and that’s why.

Overall TBR:

TBR at the beginning of the year = 383
TBR at the beginning of August = 469
Books added to TBR = 8
Books read/deleted from TBR = 65
Total on TBR now = 412

How did your reading go this month?

King of Scars buddy read!

Hey guys! I just wanted to do a quick intro to the buddy read that I’m hosting this month. Sorry, I know this is kind of last minute but I hope some of you guys are interested in participating!

Buddy Read

Okay, so here’s the schedule:

8/5-10: Read chapters 1-10
8/11: Twitter discussion 1

8/12-17: Read chapters 11-20
8/18: Twitter discussion 2

8/19-24: Read chapters 21-30
8/25: Twitter discussion 3

8/26-31: Read chapters 31-39
9/1: Final Twitter discussion

My life is too hectic to set a firm time on the Twitter discussion, but I’m in the Pacific Time Zone and will be Tweeting thoughts and questions in the evening. I’ll be using the hashtag #wsrkosbuddyread to make the discussion easy to find (stands for What’s She Reading? King of Scars buddy read).

Let me know in the comments if you want to participate!

Reading through these Summer days | August TBR

I feel really good about how I did last month and I hope this month goes well too!

We’ll see how I do. I’m really hoping I can carry July’s momentum into August! (And I’m hoping to be a little more active on the blogosphere too…)

What are you guys reading this month? Let me know in the comments!

Summer TBR Update

At the end of May, I posted a list of 9 books that I wanted to read over the Summer. Now that we’re halfway-ish through said season, I wanted to post a quick little update as to how my Summer reading is going!

The Weed that Strings the Hangman’s Bag by Alan Bradley – Read! I’ve been bingeing the audio books on our morning walks and I’m currently on #5 now!
eBook | Paperback

Legendary by Stephanie Garber – Still waiting on my shelf…
eBook | Hardcover | Paperback

King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo – Also still just hanging out…
eBook | Hardcover

Descendant of the Crane by Joan He – Not yet, but I just put it on hold at my library!
eBook | Hardcover

The Rest of the Story by Sarah Dessen – Read! Sarah Dessen is a queen and I really liked this one. Review
eBook | Hardcover

With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo – Read! My review for this one is coming (but spoiler, I didn’t LOVE it).
eBook | Hardcover

This Adventure Ends by Emma Mills – Read! I really, really liked this one and am excited to share my thoughts on it soon!
eBook | Hardcover | Paperback

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black – Haven’t read it yet, but I do have the paperback on my shelf now.
eBook | Hardcover | Paperback

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi – I currently have this checked out from the library and I hope I can get to it before it’s due!
eBook | Hardcover | Paperback (Preorder)

So far I’ve read 4/9 on my Summer TBR which isn’t bad! I hope that I can at least get to the three that are sitting on my shelf, staring at me right now…

How is your Summer reading going? Have you been getting to everything you’ve wanted to? What’s been your favorite Summer read so far?

Not as bad as April, but still so busy | May Wrap-Up & TBR Update

Today is my last day working at the library. It’s super bittersweet. On one hand, I’m looking forward to living in a new place and spending more time with my baby, but on the other hand, I’ve really loved my job. As we get ready to actually move, I probably won’t be on here a ton, but I hope to still be reading in between packing boxes. Hopefully the rest of this Summer is a little calmer!

monthly tbr

Also read/reading:

Books finished this month: 9
Books currently reading: 
1

Overall TBR:

TBR at the beginning of the year = 383
TBR at the beginning of May = 466
Books added to TBR = 14
Books read/deleted from TBR = 20
Total on TBR now = 460

How did your reading go this month?