Posted in Book Tags

The Grishaverse Book Tag 🐐

Happy Saturday, bibliophiles!

Before I get going with this tag, I thought you’d all appreciate this…I’m currently in Florida helping my grandma clean out her house, and we’ve found all sorts of weird things lying around. But yesterday I found something great that I figured my fellow bibliophiles would appreciate…

…it appears Kaz Brekker left his cane in Florida. (My friend suggested that it was Inej’s revenge for him calling her an investment SKDJFHSKJDFHSKDJFH)

We’re shipping this back home soon, so I might just have a Halloween costume for this year…😳

Now for the book tag! I found this over at Kira Jeanette’s blog, and the tag was originally created by Rebecca McPeake on YouTube. I’m a huge Grishaverse fan, so I had to give this one a go!

Let’s begin, shall we?

🦌THE GRISHAVERSE BOOK TAG🐉

KAZ BREKKER: A book you shouldn’t judge by its cover

be kind. — FREDDY CARTER IN SHADOW AND BONE EPISODE...
Amazon.com: Zero Repeat Forever (1) (The Nahx Invasions) (9781481481847):  Prendergast, G. S.: Books

UHHH THIS PROMPT WAS REALLY HARD –

Anyway, even though the cover for this edition of Zero Repeat Forever doesn’t make a whole lot of sense before reading the book, but I assure you, this one’s a treasure. (Maybe just stick with book 1, though? Book 2 was…weird, to say the least…)

NINA ZENIK: A book that made you feel empowered

Words Are Life — fairytcpia: NINA ZENIK AND MATTHIAS HELVAR...
Amazon.com: Sawkill Girls: 9780062696601: Legrand, Claire: Books

Sawkill Girls was a PHENOMENAL book – not only was the paranormal aspect amazing, but I loved the themes of sisterhood and feminine empowerment throughout. Highly recommended!

INEJ GHAFA: A book with a good balance of character and plot

Just leaving in 2021 | Six of crows, The grisha trilogy, Shadow
Gearbreakers (Gearbreakers, #1) by Zoe Hana Mikuta

Gearbreakers hit the perfect notes for me – I loved the plot, I loved the characters, and those two aspects were balanced so neatly! I am a little partial to all the characters interactions, though, because the chemistry between Eris and the rest of the Gearbreakers was so sweet…🥺

ALINA STARKOV: A unique book, one that is unlike anything you’ve ever read

shadow and bone gif on Tumblr
Amazon.com: Sia Martinez and the Moonlit Beginning of Everything  (9781534448636): Gilliland, Raquel Vasquez: Books

I’ve seen a lot of genre-bending books out there, but rarely do ones like Sia Martinez and the Moonlit Beginning of Everything come along – a seamless mix of sci-fi, contemporary and magical realism that tugged at all my heartstrings!

MAL ORETSEV: A book that always sticks with you

burns, babble & books
Amazon.com: The Darkness Outside Us eBook: Schrefer, Eliot: Kindle Store

Okay, I only finished this one on Tuesday, but MAN. THIS BOOK. The Darkness Outside Us is my most recent 5-star read as of now – it started out like any other sci-fi thriller, but it quickly took a turn for simultaneous darkness, philosophical musings, existential crises, and a little bit of hope. I could not stop thinking about it, and I still can’t. (Expect a review next week!)

THE DARKLING: A book with a dark plot/storyline

general kirigan on Tumblr
ew
I'm Thinking of Ending Things | Book by Iain Reid | Official Publisher Page  | Simon & Schuster

There’s a lot of dark things about I’m Thinking of Ending Thingsthis one could’ve fit with the last prompt as well, since it’s stuck with me for quite a while too…(the movie’s amazing as well!)

JESPER FAHEY: A book that people always seem to leave out

Jesper Fahey Is The Best Character In "Shadow And Bone"
HEHE the giddy grin on my face when I found this gif –
Amazon.com: Heart of Iron (9780062652850): Poston, Ashley: Books

Okay, okay, I know I put this book in every single book tag I do, but HEAR ME OUT…

As I’m starting to see Ashley Poston’s books get the recognition they deserve, it feels like Heart of Iron is left out of a lot of the discussion, which is such a shame, seeing as it’s everything you could ever want in both a space opera and a retelling…

WYLAN VAN ECK: A book that wasn’t what it seemed at first

Amazon.com: Invincible Compendium Volume 1 (8601420907461): Robert Kirkman,  Cory Walker, Ryan Ottley: Books

I’m just gonna slap this one in here and count the show in too…without spoiling anything, Invincible starts out like most every superhero origin story, but it gets a lot darker VERY quickly, trust me…

MATTHIAS HELVAR: A book that was bad at first but turned out good

SUOMI FINLAND PERKELE — Hello! May I ask for a song prompt for Matthias...
Amazon.com: The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea (9781536204315):  Tokuda-Hall, Maggie: Books

This one was another hard one, so this is the closest I could find…

I wouldn’t say The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea started out badly, per se – it was just a little slow to start. But once it got going, it turned out to be one of my favorite reads of this year so far!

NIKOLAI LANTSOV: A witty book

Amazon.com: How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse: Book One of the Thorne  Chronicles eBook: Eason, K.: Kindle Store

How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse had no shortage of sarcasm and tongue-in-cheek parody, and I loved every minute of it!

I TAG:

shadowandbonedit | Explore Tumblr Posts and Blogs | Tumgir

Today’s song:

That’s it for this book tag! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

Posted in TV

Shadow and Bone – Netflix review 🐐

Shadow and Bone (TV Series 2021– ) - IMDb
all images credit to Netflix

Happy Saturday, bibliophiles!

I’ve always preferred sci-fi to fantasy, but all of the series in the Grishaverse (Shadow and Bone trilogy, Six of Crows duology, Nikolai duology) have consistently been some of my favorite YA fantasy novels. Packed with lush prose and complex worldbuilding that can’t be matched by much else, it truly stood out amongst the vast field of YA fantasy.

So naturally I was excited, but more than a little nervous that Netflix was developing a show based off of Shadow and Bone and Six of Crows. I haven’t enjoyed much of Netflix’s original shows other than Stranger Things and The Umbrella Academy, and I hadn’t heard of any of the actors. But the more they revealed, the more excited I got. And now that I’ve watched it, I think it restored some of my faith in Netflix. Shadow and Bone is, for the most part, every bookworm’s dream: an adaptation where the love for the source material shines through in every line and episode.

So let’s get into it, shall we? Bc I’ve got some THOUGHTS

But be warned! This review contains some spoilers for both the show and the books, so tread lightly!

Shadow and Bone: fans saying same thing about Netflix's new show | HELLO!
T H E M

THE GREAT:

  • The casting: As I said earlier, I hadn’t heard of any of the actors in the show prior to watching this. (Not even Ben Barnes…apparently he was in one of the Narnia movies? I wouldn’t know, I think the only one of the movies that I watched was The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe…) (EDIT: no wait apparently Baghra was also Madam Hooch??? I knew I recognized her from somewhere) But the vast majority of them were INCREDIBLE. Not only did quite a few of them stay true to the characters, but they felt like the perfect actors for these characters. Some of my favorites in particular were Freddy Carter as Kaz Brekker, Jessie Mei Li as Alina Starkov, Amita Suman as Inej Ghafa, Daisy Head as Genya Safin, and Kit Young as Jesper Fahey. (Also, David was precious. I forgot how wonderful he was. And HELNIK. HELNIIIIIK.)
Shadow and Bone' Trailer: Can Alina Bring the Light to Save Everyone?  (VIDEO)
The perfect Alina. Gaaaaaaah

And on that subject…

  • Mal is actually likable now? I just found him…so bland in the books, and Archie Renaux’s portrayal seemed to flesh him out a little more. Still not my favorite, but I get more classic hopelessly-romantic-idiot vibes from him now. What a guy.
Shadow and Bone | Netflix Official Site
d’awwwwww

  • Faithfulness to the source material: I didn’t take the time to re-read everything before binging all this, but even then, there were so many iconic lines that made their way into the show that I noticed. The show’s character’s were so wonderfully true to the novel’s, and all the details about the world made the show radiate such love and respect for the original Grishaverse novels. I mean, part of that’s definitely because Leigh Bardugo had a fairly prominent role in the show, but still.

  • Sets and costumes: EVERYTHING LOOKED SO. SO. BEAUTIFUL. The decor and keftas (can we talk about THE DETAILS IN THE KEFTAS???) in the Little Palace were especially gorgeous, and I loved all the landscapes that we got to see, especially in Ravka. Ketterdam was definitely a favorite of mine as well.

  • CGI: For the most part, the special effects were great! The Fold must have been such a pain to animate, but it was 100% worth it: just as terrifying as I imagined it! (And, by extension, the volcra. Guuuuuuh.) All of the Grisha magic looked amazing too.

  • Diversity: One thing I will say in Netflix’s favor: a lot of their original shows do a good job of having a variety of characters of different races, sexualities, and gender identities, and this one was no exception! Most of the characters who were POC/LGBTQ+ in the books were rightfully so here, and the decision to make Alina mixed-race and Mal POC was great! Say what you want about Chosen Ones, but isn’t it pretty cool that we have a mixed-race Asian character as our chosen one here? I think so.

  • Milo the goat: self-explanatory.
Why Milo the Goat Is the Best 'Shadow and Bone' Character - Thrillist
the look of love
  • The Leigh Bardugo cameo: tears. TEARS.

But, of course, the show wasn’t *entirely* without its flaws, which I’ve been itching to discuss…

THE NOT-SO-GREAT:

  • The Darkling: okay, unpopular opinion time. Ben Barnes’ acting was fine, yeah, but he just…was not a good fit for the Darkling. His voice is great and he’s clearly a talented actor, but he was barely menacing. He just looked like a pretentious hipster in a big furry cape. I guess that made him easier to hate (because, y’know, the Darkling is a nasty manipulator), but…nah. I loved him as the villain in the original novels, so that was a major letdown.
Which of Leigh Bardugo's Books is The Netflix Show Based On? -
nope

And on that subject:

  • WHY, WHY WHY DID THEY BRING IN THE ALEKSANDR REVEAL IN SO EARLY? I’M STILL SO MAD ABOUT THIS. UGH. We got the information that he’s Baghra’s son/the Black Heretic/all that jazz in book 1, but we didn’t get his name until the end of Ruin and Rising, and it was an appropriate bombshell of a reveal. I suppose they wanted to “humanize” him and all (please S T O P ), but if you already have the Black Heretic/Baghra reveals at the ready, then what’s the point? To whoever’s idea this was, I just wanna talk…

  • Nina not being plus-sized: for the most part, like I said, the show stayed pretty close to the characters, but not Nina? COME ON. Danielle Galligan was fine, but there’s plenty of plus-sized actors they could’ve chosen for the part. It just doesn’t sit right with me that they erased that part of her character. Ugh.

  • The new Six of Crows subplot felt a little rushed: okay, I’ll admit that it was probably hard to incorporate SoC into the Shadow and Bone timeline when the original books happened after all this. But even though I thoroughly enjoyed seeing Kaz, Inej, Jesper, and the rest of Ketterdam, their new subplot just felt…flimsy. Shoehorned in. I did like the bit with the Conductor, but it just didn’t have the care and weight put into it that the other parts of the show did.
Shadow and Bone' Fans Debate Who Will Be the 'Star' of the Netflix Original  Series

All in all though, this made my stupid little Grisha bookworm heart so happy. This is the kind of love that should be put into every novel to TV/film adaptation: respect for the source material, but adding in some fresh twists, but not enough to make it unrecognizable. I was a little scared for this one, admittedly, but I’m so glad that none of my fears came to pass.

Except for the Darkling, of course. :/

MY RATING: ★★★★☆

TW/CW: racism, sexism, graphic violence, blood, body horror, animal death

Today’s song:

this just came on shuffle and I had to listen to it on repeat again…I FORGOT HOW MUCH I LOVED THIS SONG

That’s it for this TV review! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!