Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Gathering Dark

Review Time! The Gathering Dark (also known as Shadow and Bone) by Leigh Bardugo is a 2012 YA Debut published by Hachette Australia back in July 2012. This was one of the last books I read in 2012 and I TOTALLY REGRET not picking it up sooner! You can purchase a copy of The Gathering Dark from Fishpond | The Nile | Booktopia | Bookworld. Thanks to Hachette for the review copy!

(Goodreads) The Shadow Fold, a swathe of impenetrable darkness, crawling with monsters that feast on human flesh, is slowly destroying the once-great nation of Ravka.

Alina, a pale, lonely orphan, discovers a unique power that thrusts her into the lavish world of the kingdom’s magical elite—the Grisha. Could she be the key to unravelling the dark fabric of the Shadow Fold and setting Ravka free?

The Darkling, a creature of seductive charm and terrifying power, leader of the Grisha. If Alina is to fulfil her destiny, she must discover how to unlock her gift and face up to her dangerous attraction to him.

But what of Mal, Alina’s childhood best friend? As Alina contemplates her dazzling new future, why can’t she ever quite forget him?

Glorious. Epic. Irresistible. Romance.

The Short Story? - Guys. Listen. Listen carefully. THIS IS THE BEST BOOK I READ IN 2012. I can't tell you how in LOVE I am with the characters, the plot, the premise and the writing. Bardugo has written a stunner of a debut, with everything from a beautifully intricate premise, a dark and exciting plot and a dangerous love story waiting to happen. The Gathering Dark completely took me by surprise, I can't find any faults of this debut! I think it's safe to say Bardugo is a literary genius.

The Long Story? - I have a theory that good books leave you feeling satisfied while GREAT books leave you feeling depressed because a) you can never relive the experience of the first read and b) THE WAIT FOR THE SEQUEL. The Gathering Dark left me feeling so depressed I think I might need therapy. There aren't enough words in the english language to describe how beautifully written this debut is. Bardugo, a newcomer to the YA genre has quickly become one of my favourite writers. The perfect blend of romance, adventure and fantasy, The Gathering Dark is everything I seek for in a novel! Fast-paced, unique and brilliantly planned, the plot was so different and refreshing that I completely devoured the whole book! Also the world of the Grishas was inspired by russian history and I found that SO FASCINATING. Be prepared to pull an all nighter because for a novel as sensational as The Gathering Dark, you can't expect anything less! Favourite debut of 2012! Favourite BOOK of 2012 ( well along with The Fault in Our Stars!)

The characterisation was phenomenal. I found that I could easily connect with Alina, for a fantasy novel she was a surprisingly realistic character. Orphaned at a young age Alina is just your average girl, not overly pretty or talented until she discovers that she's a Grisha. Thrown into a world of luxury, Alina undergoes a journey of personal development. Quite simply, I ADORED Alina as a protagonist! If I had to pick "something" to dislike, it would be the love triangle. I really didn't think it was necessary, Bardugo had something magical (haha punz!) going on between Alina and the Darkling. Something dark, dangerous and calling for trouble - SOMETHING REFRESHING and then there was Mai. WHY? I think Mai is great as a character but why can't he just BE the best friend instead of one side of the triangle? WHY? However I can see the appeal of the love triangle, I know many readers would prefer to see Mai and Alina together but not me. NO. Darkling and Alina forever

I don't want to be pushy but you MUST read this book! Even if it doesn't sound like your cup of tea, IT IS YOUR CUP OF TEA. The Gathering Dark is one of those novels that can be enjoyed by readers of all ages and genres. There is something in here for everyone. It's not hard to find a book that does something right but it's incredibly rare to find a book that's done EVERYTHING right ( except for Mai but that might be *right* for some people)! I'm not kidding when I say this is my favourite debut of 2012. Bardugo, you have truly outdone yourself!


Badass Bookie xx


  1. OMG LISA. WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO ME? As if I wasn't already excited as hell to read this book, what with everyone's crazy gushing around me! O_____O This is in my next TBD order. I'm just waiting for it to be acceptable to buy another load of books LMAO. But seriously, this sounds amazing. Great review! <3

    Lisa | Read Me Bookmark Me Love Me

  2. Gosh Lisa . . . you're making me want to read this book all over again! And I WILL! Hehe. Like you, I just adored this book and the characters . . . those characters - all of them - were really something, weren't they?

    As always, lovely review!

  3. I actually really liked the love triangle! I was all on the side of the Darkling and then things changed so while I still find him fascinating, I am now Team Mal after his beautiful words to Alina toward the end.

  4. Yeah, they shared something magical.... until he turned out to be a homicidal PSYCHOPATH. Okay, so I reread the last bunch of chapters the other night and it kind of cemented my Team Mal status. BUT. I don't HATE the Darkling (not at ALL) he FASCINATES and he's all dark and compelling and he totally screwed with my heart. I want to hate him, but I CAN'T I CAN'T I CAN'T. But I also can't ship him with Alina, because hello: did you catch the last quarter of the book?!

    AND MAL AND ALINA ARE SO SWEET. Mal did a 180 and showed his true colours and hearts fluttered <3

    Awesome review, except for the not shipping Mal part :P

    1. BUT BRODIE. Mal is so ordinary. Alina is destined for better things, MORE EXTRODINARY THINGS.

      Like a romance with the most gorgeous and dangerous Grisha out there.



    2. Broooooooodie *whines*
      Also: you're meant to LIKE fellow psycopaths :P

  5. I came upon this post through Google Alerts set up for my own book, The Gathering Darkness. The Gathering Dark (and I don't know why I haven't seen it before) looks and sounds like an awesome read. Love that cover. I think I might just buy it to put beside my own book The Gathering Darkness on my bookshelf - hehe.

  6. i loved shadow and bone , aka the gathering dark
    and i agree completely with your statement

    I have a theory that good books leave you feeling satisfied while GREAT books leave you feeling depressed because a) you can never relive the experience of the first read and b) THE WAIT FOR THE SEQUEL.

  7. "I have a theory that good books leave you feeling satisfied while GREAT books leave you feeling depressed because a) you can never relive the experience of the first read and b) THE WAIT FOR THE SEQUEL."

    AMAZING review. And... er... UGH. I NEED TO READ THIS >__<

  8. Isn't this just the most amazing book?!!? I can't WAIT for the sequel! I've never wanted a sequel more!!! :D
    Great review!