Rating: 4/5 🌟🌟🌟🌟
Genre: Fantasy, Adventure, Romance
So I finally watched Netflix’s Shadow & Bone! It took me a while to get in the right frame of mind to watch it, but I’m glad I waited until after my re-read of the Shadow & Bone trilogy and the Six of Crows duology.
First off, I have to address the issue of racial discrimination in the show. I figure the producers might have wanted to add another chip on Alina’s shoulder along with her being an orphan, but this did not sit well with me. I found myself getting annoyed over this every time I came across it in the show. This was a major unwanted change from the books and I did not appreciate it at all.
From the books I previously did not like Alina and Mal much. But I ended up loving Mal in the TV show. The actor, Archie Renaux, did a great job. He was so authentic, he made Mal look far better than in the books. As for Alina, I still don’t like her. It’s not a stab at the actress, Jessie Mei Li’s performance because she portrayed Alina well. I always emphathized with Alina’s situation in the story – as an orphan, then being alienated, the burden of responsibility but still I just couldn’t warm up to her.
Now, the Crows! Kaz, Jesper, Inej, Nina & Matthias were my favorite part of the show. God, I loved them! The cast selected for the Crows were perfect, absolutely flawless. Watching them come to life in the show was like a dream come true. I had hearts in my eyes like a heart emoji in every Crow, Nina & Matthias scene. I can’t wait to see more of the Crows.
The show stayed about three-quarters true to the books. In my opinion, the changes that were different to the original Alina-Mal-The-Darkling storyline were quite unnecessary and to be frank, a bit irritating. The only change that I appreciated and loved was how seamless the addition of the Crows to the storyline of Shadow & Bone was. They fit in like they had been part of the original storyline from the beginning.
The Darkling. This review wouldn’t be complete without an opinion on him. I loved the Darkling in the books but Ben Barnes wasn’t quite whom I pictured as the Darkling. That said, I can’t find fault with his portrayal as the Darkling but I feel like some of that Darkling intensity was missing. However, that ending scene in the finale was fantastic.
The special effects were pretty good and the depiction of the different Grisha powers and the Volcra was excellent. One thing that I enjoyed a lot was how the opening credit for each episode was different, especially the one with the crows.
Another favorite scene of mine was Leigh Bardugo’s cameo. That was beautiful to see—the author amidst her beloved characters. It wasn’t just touching but felt like a tribute to the author and I loved that.
For a first season, Shadow & Bone showed great promise and potential. I can’t wait to see more, especially the Crows and I am happy the show was renewed for a second season.