Total Time to Read: 12 hours and 44 minutes
--Average pages per minute for the series: 1.30
Romance: Relationships occur, both heterosexual and homosexual. Each relationship is well written and developed.
Language: They were some very fun, creative get-arounds. (If I remember correctly there is one f-bomb in the first book somewhere. But I could be completely misremembering it.)
Violence/Gore: Yes to both. The majority of the books is based in a niche of a city that is supposed to be one of the most violent, depraved areas of their world.
Thoughts: Honestly, I didn't review these separately first because I read them back to back so quickly that they mushed together in my head and I found myself unable to separate them for the purpose of reviewing them.
This is my favorite fiction duology. Also, it is another off my shelves (meaning it is a re-read). After seeing a bunch of pins on Pinterest for the series for a couple of months now, I was itching to read it again.
Some things I love:
The cast is diverse. There are several different races/nationalities and body types. All are seen as normal. Also, the main protagonist is disabled (not that he sees it that way).
Also, the characters are just flat-out amazing. I love them. They are all unique in many different ways, and I love each and every one of them. (Except the antagonists, but even still I can appreciate how well-crafted they are!) Characters all see so much development over the short course of two books. I mean, just look at some of the gorgeous artwork of this beautiful group!
These are literal children (teenagers), and they act like it. Sure their skills make them
special, and their trauma may make them dark and edgy, but they still they talk and act like the teenagers they are.
Speaking of trauma, when characters have trauma in their backstory, it has more effect on them than just making them broody or evil or edgy. It has an actual, lasting impact on their lives for better and/or worse.
I love the cleverness. The one-step-ahead-edness. Just when you think you know what's up, you find out how wrong you are. And when the full depth and breadth of a plan is revealed? Breathtaking.
Prostitution (mostly of young women stolen and sold into the sex-slave trade) is abundant in their world. Now obviously I'm not a fan of that. What I am a fan of, it that sexual abuse and trauma and its after-effects are portrayed and discussed tactfully within the duology.
Some things I'm not so hot on:
It felt like the male characters had diverse backgrounds with different histories or types of trauma, etc. whereas the girls all got sexual abuse/harassment as their traumatic background. Just felt a bit cheated there. (Also, I'm not 100% sure why I feel that why, as thinking about the different female characters' backstories I know that isn't true...)
Why does it always end with the sexy female character being (grudgingly) forced to use her sexuality as a weapon?
For as strong as the female characters felt in every other way, these little things just felt like a weak link.
To end on a good note, though, Netflix has picked up Leigh Bardugo's Grishaverse! They are in progress on a series that apparently combines the Shadow & Bone trilogy and the Six of Crows duology! (And if you can't wait, check out this awesome fan-made concept trailer for a Six of Crows show to help tide you over.)
In the end: 5 out of 5 stars
Also, here's one of my favorite quotes to whet your appetite...