Review: Siege and Storm
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.
The Darkling shook his head. "You cannot lie to me. Do you think I could have come to you again and again, if you had been less alone? You called to me, and I answered."
"I've seen what you truly are," said the Darkling, "and I've never turned away. I never will. Can he say the same?"
I wish the story was told in 3rd person so we could get more of the Darkling. Whenever he graces the pages, there's a different energy in the story - it comes alive. Alina really, really frustrated me in Siege and Storm. She’s so needy. So. extremely. needy. I mean, grow a pair girl. Mal clearly wants her as she was and not as she is. I just don’t understand why she’s clinging to him. Let him go, please. Good riddance. He’s so incredibly bitter and annoying and I don’t understand how their relationship is canon. I’m so over him and his constant mansplaining. Every time they're together, there is so much cringeworthy pining and longing going on. You’re the damn most powerful Grisha in this world, can you stop with your selfish and shallow romantic thoughts and embrace the powerful woman/being you've become instead of worrying about what a man who wants to change you thinks of you? I feel like we've encountered many male characters like this in YA, but when it gets to the point where we discover what a shitty character and love interest they are to our heroines, they're instantly dropped and she moves on to bigger and better things. (Hello Darkling and Nikolai).
Honestly, at this point, I think Alina is one of the worst heroines I've ever had the pleasure of reading. How can such a physically strong character be so emotionally and mentally dull and weak? She doesn't even evolve into a stronger character. Sure, her powers grow but she's still the SAME.
What saved this book for me (aside from the Darkling) was Nikolai. He is incredible. More of him please. Give me all the charming Nikolai and we can forget Mal is even a thing.