★★★/5 | Goodreads
Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.
Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.
Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha . . . and the secrets of her heart.
After reading Defy Me, I kinda needed something in the similar vein to fill the void I was feeling. So I literally searched on the internet “Books similar to Shatter Me” and this book popped up. Coincidentally, I had bought the book a couple years back, so that was a nice surprise. No need to go to the bookstore or pay extra for shipping. I heard really good reviews from this book, as well as its spinoff series, so my expectations were quite high.
In other news, I’m so excited to say that I’ve just got hired at a big hospital in Montreal, on the transplantation unit! I never thought I would be working at such a big and renowned hospital, everything’s feeling unreal, right now. I’m so excited to be learning more on organ transplant and work in a big team with various specialists.
The beginning of the story was a bit flat and meh, for me. Alina discovering that she had Grisha powers felt very rushed, in my opinion. And the rest of the storyline wasn’t as intriguing as I thought I would find. I think I felt this way due to the fact that fantasy isn’t my go-to genre and I have a lot of difficulties when it comes to world building and such in the fantasy genre. Also, I didn’t quite understand how the different powers worked and the hierarchy among the characters. I think the story had a lot of potential but somehow I couldn’t get a grip and enjoy it as much as other readers did, which was disappointing for me. I really wanted to like it and as much as I found it a bit boring, it was a quick read and I might give the second book a try before stopping.
I thought the characters were fine. Alina was fine. The boy that was Alina had feelings for in the beginning, I cannot remember his name, that’s how interesting he was for me (sorry?). The Darkling was okay, I think he was the character that intrigued me the most among all.
I thought the love triangle was not well fleshed out. It was a bit boring and predictable. I didn’t feel any pull from one guy more than the other and I didn’t really care with who she would end up. But since love triangles are kind of my soft spot (don’t judge me, pls), I still went with it. I was hoping she would end up with The Darkling, but I wasn’t too surprised when she ran back into the arms of her best friend. But I’m still not giving up hope, lol.
Overall, I think it was a good debut for a trilogy. There’s still some questions to be answered and I expect a better world building if I continue with this series. I also heard that there was a potential love rectangle in the next book? I don’t know if I like this idea, it kind of turns me off and makes me not want to read book #2. But let me know if it gets better and it’s worth giving it a try because I’m willing to read it, I just need a small kick in the butt.