I found the plot of Shadow and Bone to be an incredible ride. The characters are well-developed and the villain is fascinating. There are ample plot twists that kept me guessing right to the end. I also found the setting to be wonderfully familiar (pseudo Russia) and at the same time totally unique. Never has there been a creepier place than The Shadow Fold. I especially loved how both the protagonists and antagonist made some morally ambiguous decisions, I was never sure who to root for.
My few complaints:
* I wish that the system of magic had been a bit more developed
* All the girl drama was really annoying
* The obsessive focus on classically pretty girls was frustrating
* I hope Alina is less dependent on men to save her in the second book
Appropriate for grades 8-12