Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo: A Sad Disappointment

Well. I was disappointed in this book. I wanted so much for it to be good! In my opinion, the second was better than the first. I wanted so much more. I was expecting it to get better. But no. This disappointed on that front. So, here we go. I’ll try to think of some good things from this novel, but I’m wallowing in disappointment at the moment.

NOTE: I get a little ranty in this review. Also, SPOILERS.

Here is my list

  • The beginning was boring. Seriously, I may or may not have used the book as a pillow for my nap. She’s just wandering around underground with the Aparat and doing nothing. Gahh. It was terrible.
  • The ending. I was not okay with this ending. I honestly just don’t understand how that all worked out. I felt like the Darkling just gave up and I have no idea why. He was like “I’m all alone” and Alina was like “yeah you are” *stab*. Please ignore my GIANT EYE ROLL here.
  • My precious Nikolai was absent for most of the book. Mainly because he got volcrafied (which was amazing and tragic), but still. Alina tried one weak attempt to save him. One. He was the most interesting character in this book and he got no page time. Even as a volcra, he was way more engaging than all the other characters.
  • The characters weren’t broken enough at the end. I realize this sounds morbid, but hear me out. They were in a freaking WAR. Death and tragedy everywhere. Sacrifices, running away. The whole series was based off of this fight with the Darkling. And how does it end? Mal and Alina are off living their happily ever after. Sure Alina lost her powers, but she only had them for a year. I’m sure she misses them, but the bulk of her life was living ignorant of these powers. Let me say, I actually felt something when Mall died. It was tragic. It felt like something that needed to happen. And then he came back to life…for a stupid reason. GAH.
  • Why on earth do people like the Darkling?!? I just can’t. He’s creepy and horrible, no matter how much they want to humanize him for you. NO. HE IS TERRIBLE. STOP SHIPPING HIM WITH ALINA.
  • I still love this world. It’s just beautiful and great. I love the Russian inspiration and the Magic that exists here. It’s great!

Despite how much this book let me down, I still enjoyed the series. The world was beautiful and Nikolai is the best thing that happened. I’m just not happy with the ending and the lack of character development in this last novel of the series.

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