There are times when Heather & I finish a book, but don’t have time to write a full, comprehensive review… or even a shorter “flashbulb” review. BUT we still want to share our thoughts with you on what we’ve been reading. That’s why every Saturday we’ll be featuring 2 “snippet” reviews — short, sweet, to-the-point reviews that we’ll try to keep to 2-7 sentences. So we hope you enjoy these!!
Inhuman is something of a post-apocalyptic fairy tale — with the fantastical element of the human/animal mutations, the vividly gorgeous/grotesque imagery of the Savage Zone, the nature of the villain, the “impossible” quest, and its high-stakes romance.
The United States has been torn in two by the Ferae, a deadly virus that once merely killed, but now mutates the humans it has infected, combining human DNA with that of an animal. Those who escaped the virus’s deadly grip quarantined themselves on the western side of the Mississippi River by erecting a massive wall to keep the infected out. Lane has lived her whole life protected by the wall, but when the Head of Bio-hazard Defense shows her evidence of her father being a “fetch” (i.e. smuggler), Lane finds herself on a journey through the unknown Savage Zone to complete her father’s last fetch or he’ll be executed for his crimes.
I’ve never before met a heroine whose borderline obsessive attachment to hand sanitizer could rival my own, but I think I’ve possibly found her in Lane. But that aside, the progression of her character is great to watch; a very fish-out-of-water situation, as she is forced (way) out of her comfort zone, grappling with life and survival in the Savage Zone. I love how Lane discovers the weirdness of the world beyond the wall, connecting it to the fantastical bedtime stories her dad used to tell her, and I love how much of this interesting world we get to see. Lane hardly stops moving on her journey to complete the fetch, racing to save her dad. It’s pretty fast-paced. In addition to that, the constant background threat of Ferae also helps to continuously and successfully escalate the tension throughout the novel. And… the romance isn’t too bad either. Although, I didn’t understand why there had to be a love triangle, as one side of that isosceles feels rather forced. (Note: I’m not against love triangles as a whole, but this one felt a tad manufactured.)
Overall, Inhuman is a compelling adventure full of gorgeous details and interesting characters… with a conclusion that has left me eagerly awaiting the second book in this series.
It’s no secret that I am in love with the Grisha world. I absolutely love what Leigh Bardugo has done with the world and the characters throughout. The beauty of every aspect of the story and the absolutely visual way she describes everything places the reader directly into her story. I loved the Darkling and the way you almost wanted to see him redeemed. I adored Nikolai and his extravagant personality. The secondary characters were exquisitely written. The only person I didn’t really care for was Mal. Sorry, everyone, but I just couldn’t like the guy…so BLAH! If you gave me the choice between Mal and Nikolai…I’d choose Nikolai…EVERY TIME. But it’s not my choice, it’s Alina’s.
In these ways, Ruin and Rising fell right into step with the rest of the series. The plot was well executed and left me feeling that for the most part things were resolved. The ending was not what I expected. I loved that Leigh surprised me. The Darkling was…well, the Darkling. Nikolai was his typically galant, wonderful self. Mal was…Mal. And the world was as lovely as ever. What really stood out in this story was the growth of all the characters. The political backdrop, which drives all the events of the series, finally pushes everything to the breaking point, coming front and center and forcing Alina and her allies to make choices they never dreamed they would be making.
Overall, this was a beautiful conclusion to an incredibly gorgeous series. If you haven’t met these characters yet, you should…as soon as humanly possible!