THIS WAS A BIT OF A.. DISAPPOINTMENT..? ~ Girls of Storm and Shadow by Natasha Ngan


Girls of Storm and Shadow (Girls of Paper and Fire, #2)TITLE: Girls of Storm and Shadow #2
AUTHOR: Ngan, Natasha

RELEASED: November 5, 2019
PUBLISHER: Hodder & Stoughton
FORMAT: Hardcover

GENRE: YA Fantasy

TRIGGERS: Alcoholism, PTSD, grief, death of character, murder

Lei, the naive country girl who became a royal courtesan, is now known as the Moonchosen, the commoner who managed to do what no one else could. But slaying the cruel Demon King wasn’t the end of the plan—it’s just the beginning. Now Lei and her warrior love Wren must travel the kingdom to gain support from the far-flung rebel clans. The journey is made even more treacherous thanks to a heavy bounty on Lei’s head, as well as insidious doubts that threaten to tear Lei and Wren apart from within.

Meanwhile, an evil plot to eliminate the rebel uprising is taking shape, fueled by dark magic and vengeance. Will Lei succeed in her quest to overthrow the monarchy and protect her love for Wren, or will she fall victim to the sinister magic that seeks to destroy her?

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It’s been a while since I read Girls of Paper and Fire but I remember loving that first book to bits. My enthusiasm back then was even more present due to my being able to read a physical ARC of the book but.. in the end the story itself grabbed me as well. So, of course, I couldn’t wait to read its sequel the moment my pretty FairyLoot-edition arrived! It simply took me eons to write this spoiler-free review, haha!

The good

I’m going to make this review as short and sweet as I possibly can, but.. I might fail. So let’s just dive into it.

I really enjoyed seeing Lei again, but I liked it even more to meet a new set of characters. Even though some of them were already present in GoPaF, we get to know them better in this second book and.. well.. It’s always nice to get to know smaller characters better, right? Especially since they’re all very unique! And their banter.. I loved certain characters’ banter to bits!

When it comes to out main character and her love interest.. I did get frustrated a bit at times, but I still liked seeing the evolution they were going through. Both of them have been through a lot, so it makes sense coming to terms with their past takes time. Personally, I like how Natasha incorporated this into the story. It felt genuine to me. But.. [And I know this should be in the next part, but I don’t want to split this up.].. I also feel like they should’ve talked about things more instead of leaving them be and moving on. I admit that might be more of a personal issue to me since communication is such an important aspect for me in life.

The bad

Honestly, though? Those two positives are the only ones. Girls of Storm and Shadow bore me a lot of the time. It’s more of a filler between what happened in the first book and what’s going to happen in the third one. A whole lot of travelling, with the ocassional blip during their journey and then an ending that.. didn’t even feel like the bang it could’ve been.

I also really did not like how something happened to one of my favorite characters. A character that had such promise, no less. Seems to me that character deserved better. They should have gotten more. Although I see why that event was important to the story, I just.. don’t agree. Guess Natasha picked the wrong character? Maybe I wouldn’t have cared this much had it been someone else? I don’t know. I simply don’t like it. Still. and I’m writing this months after finishing the book, haha.

I don’t really have much else to say. Did I enjoy it while reading? Yes. Would I reread it? Definite no. It’s simply too much filler and travel for my liking and I don’t think I’ll even feel like I forgot a lot when picking up the third book, because there didn’t happen a lot in the second. That does make sense, right?

How often do you experience sequels more as filler than as an actual useful addition to the story / series?
Do you like books like that or not?
What’s a series you feel doesn’t have a filler book?



7 thoughts on “THIS WAS A BIT OF A.. DISAPPOINTMENT..? ~ Girls of Storm and Shadow by Natasha Ngan

  1. I hate when a series/trilogy suffers from 2nd book syndrome. Many times I feel like a trilogy could’ve easily been a duology and would’ve been much better. This probably happens a lot bc of authors being given 3 book deals at a time and what they had in mind is really only needed to be done in 1 or 2 books


    1. It’s a pity though. Publishers should realize that some stories don’t necessarily need three books to be amazing and “complete”. I’m fine with having more duologies if that means both books are amazing and not have one amazing, one meh and then – hopefully – another amazing one.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I mean, while I do sometimes enjoy travel type stories–I thought Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa handled that well–it isn’t always the best or most exciting theme. And yes, I have read quite a few middle books to trilogies or second/middle books in series that just feel like a transition or filler book just to get you to the exciting final book(s). It’s unfortunate, and it does make me wonder if a trilogy could have been edited down into a duology or a series could have been plotted differently so it didn’t have to be reduced to needing a filler volume.

    I still haven’t read this one yet. I think I’ve been worried that since I loved the first one so much that this one will be a bit of a disappointment. This review does not help with my concerns.

    Still, it is a well-written review, Kathy!


    1. Right? There are longer series than don’t need filler books, so I really don’t see why a trilogy would need one. There are some events happening that deserved the attention, but overall it just.. wasn’t needed to have an entire book for the journey they made.

      Ooh, I’m so sorry Dani! I hope you end up enjoying it more than you’re currently anticipating..

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Don’t be sorry. It happens sometimes, and that’s okay. I’m hopefully going to get around to picking it up soon. I’m making outrageous monthly TBRs because I’m currently working a job where I get quite a bit of reading time squeezed into my work day.


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