Shadow and Bone
by Leigh Bardugo
Startlingly intriguing, this fantasy takes place in a world that feels both familiar and completely alien. There are details that make this world feel like an out of time Russia, with very eastern styles of dress and customs, but Bardugo has also taken that baseline for the world and added so much that is unique that it couldn't possibly be truly set there.
The horrible demonic creatures that plague the people of Ravka are scary and very alien-like. I kept picturing the weird creatures from the movie Pitch Dark (*shudders*).
Ugh. So creepy and deadly...
I loved the military-esque society that Alina is part of in Ravka. Led by those who can do magic, but mostly "regular" people. I'm very intrigued to see what happens to Alina now that her place in society has changed so drastically. Will she be able to survive being on the run from those she once revered?
This book left me hanging. I felt like I'd just come back from a world that I'd never imagined, but was totally real. I wanted to dive right back in for more. For that, a GOLD STAR!