I think this is the first time I’m featuring a sequel on the blog! But then, Natasha Ngan’s Girls series is just too good not to talk about. After really liking Girls of Paper and Fire last year, I was very keen to get my hands on an ARC of Girls of Storm and Shadow – which I finally managed at YALC a few weeks ago. Obviously, I immediately had to start reading it in order to finish it before the signing the next day. I didn’t quite finish and got my copy signed by Natasha while I was still about 30 pages out. And having to stop so shortly before the resolution is commonly known as torture. I survived though, finished it in my next break, and loved the ending.
PUBLICATION DATE: 05/11/2019
STAR RATING: 4/5 ✶
SUMMARY: After the events of Girls of Paper and Fire, Lei and her girlfriend Wren are on the run. Trying to throw over the current government, they and their friends are trying to find allies to help them on their quest. But are things really what they seem? And who can Lei trust?
OPINIONS: As I mentioned above, I devoured Girls of Storm and Shadow! As this is a sequel I’ll be trying extra hard to avoid spoilers for those who might not have come across the series before. There are many aspects that positively surprised me. One of my absolute favourite things about it was that (permanent) consequences arrive from actions and decisions rather than the story working towards a happy resolution. Nothing is fully safe, and Natasha actually dares for the story to come full circle, starting again from square one and ending on an absolute cliffhanger. It is unpredictable and satisfying and darker than expected.
Every single one of the characters acts along their own moral compass, following their own private goals, which in turn leads to morally gray characters and helps with the unpredictability of the story. As the book is written from the point of view of Lei, she is not aware of many of her companions’ true intentions, so we, the readers, are not either. This is the case for one of my favourite additions to the sequel: Leva. She is mysterious, beautiful and interfering, and I cannot wait to find out more about her in the third book.
One caveat, the reason why I decided on four stars, is that emotional issues did not go as deep as I would have liked, both in the relationship between Wren and Lei, and at the death of a beloved character. It felt like much was left unstated, which pulled me out of the story a few times. Nevertheless, I highly recommend you add Girls of Storm and Shadow on Goodreads and/or pre-order it from Book Depository or your retailer of choice!