This review is spoiler-free!
Girls of Storm and Shadow by Natasha Ngan
Series: Girls of Paper and Fire #2
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Release Date: November 5th 2019 by Jimmy Patterson Books
Format: Hardcover, 403 pages
Find it here: Goodreads
Aaaahh dreaded second book slump, you strike again! AND you hurt, and not in a good way! You’re lucky your world is so dang cool, because otherwise you would have gotten an even lower rating!
Yeah, so. The slump was a rough one. If you’ve ever read the Matched series by Ally Condie, the second book in that series reminded me a lot of this one. Lots of moving around and talking, not a whole bunch of development aside from new plot points that just hurt the soul.
(Speaking of, I need to reread that series now that it’s been about seven years. My tastes have changed so much since then. I did a review way back when, it would be interesting to do a redux.)
Also? They travelled around a lot. Like a lot. It was a weird contrast to all of the travel in the first book happening right at the start and then not again until the end (and even then, it was a very small amount). Maybe that was the point, but it was just kind of boring to me, if I’m honest. If the events with the characters had been more interesting to spice it up, I probably would have enjoyed it more. And, actually, I did! But then about halfway through (I think, don’t quote me on that), something happens, and I basically lose the will to read on. I read on, obviously, but I was so distraught that I almost actually considered setting the book down for a few months and coming back to it.
Slow plot aside, I did enjoy a lot of the new side characters introduced to us. More so than our main characters, actually. I still loved Lei a lot, but she kind of got on my nerves here and there.
(That said, though, I thought Ngan wonderfully handled her character in terms of trauma and realistic coming mechanisms, an absolutely resounding round of applause on that front.)
Wren, though? Kind of drove me up the wall. Like I get what her character’s about and all, but just. I was not a fan, I guess. A lot of her actions niggled at me the wrong way, especially once a certain character hops in onto the scene (a character I actually loved a lot, despite the way they made Wren act, specially because they made Lei act in a very realistic manner and I love that). Which is a shame, because I really liked her in the first book. She was so cool in that one! Hopefully she’ll regain her coolness in the final book, which I have VERY high hopes for.
I could probably rant a while longer on some other points, but I like to keep my reviews on the shorter side, so. We’ll wrap it up here.
Final results: not a huge fan of this second book! Definitely did not live up to the first, and was frankly kind of boring despite the pretty cool new characters. High expectations for the third and final book! I can’t wait to dive into it.
Thanks for reading!