First Impressions Friday

First Impressions Friday: The Bear & The Nightingale

For those of you who don’t know, First Impressions Friday is exactly that, based on your first impressions of your current read, do you think you will love or hate it by the end? Don’t forget to link back to Joe at Storeys of Stories.

Funnily enough, it looks like both Joe and I started reading THE BEAR AND THE NIGHTINGALE by Katherine Arden. But I’m thinking we both might have differing opinions on this one, by the end of our reads. This is another of those books well reviewed by a lot of people who loved it. And it was based on a couple of recommendations that I decided to add it to my TBR for my Fantasy February reads.

“At the edge of the Russian wilderness, winter lasts most of the year and the snowdrifts grow taller than houses. But Vasilisa doesn’t mind—she spends the winter nights huddled around the embers of a fire with her beloved siblings, listening to her nurse’s fairy tales. Above all, she loves the chilling story of Frost, the blue-eyed winter demon, who appears in the frigid night to claim unwary souls. Wise Russians fear him, her nurse says, and honor the spirits of house and yard and forest that protect their homes from evil.”

I started reading this one yesterday evening and, after a bit of a struggle, maybe because I was tired, or just not into putting so much effort in with all the names. I gave up and went to bed. I can’t say I’m thrilled with what I’ve read so far, or if I’ll continue with it. I think I might have to leave this one till later in the month.

My prediction: 6 / 10

Previous Book Review: SCYTHE
Next Book Review: THE LOST MAN


  1. February 10, 2019

    I must say this was not the most action packed book for sure. For me it was more like an atmosphere thing.
    I only discovered once i finished it that there was a list of names at the end. That would have come in handy in the beginning cuz i got confused all the time. I recall some characters were called differently from chapter to chapter.

    • February 10, 2019

      I think everyone who has read this enjoyed it in the end, but all seemed to have some sort of difficulty with the names, especially as they seem to have ‘pet’ names too or slightly shortened names, so that it takes a moment to realise it’s not a new character.

      But I just finished THE LOST MAN, and Oh boy was that good! 😀

  2. February 9, 2019

    The names can definitely be confusing and in all honesty, the first book is slow. The pace picks up a bit later and the second and third books are very different pace and action-wise.
    With that said, some books are just not meant to be! xx

    • February 9, 2019

      Oh, I haven’t given up completely, Vera. As I know I probably wasn’t in the right mood. So will give it another go later. I want to try read everything this year, even if I struggle at first. And to do that might mean putting aside a book till a later date.

      Meanwhile, Harper’s THE LOST MAN is as good as her first two books. 😀

  3. Hang in there!

    • Alexandra
      February 8, 2019

      Thanks, Jonetta, but I’ve gone and started THE LOST MAN now, and, there’s no turning back. This is more of what I wanted to read … and I’m almost half way through. 😀

  4. February 8, 2019

    I struggled with it at first too but it kinda grew on me I listened to the second one, that made it easier

    • February 8, 2019

      You know what, Kelly, I think this series would work beautifully, as audio! As is, I’m setting this one aside, and will give it another go later. I just don’t think I was in the mood.

      Oh, and thanks for stopping by to comment. I appreciate that. 😀

  5. February 8, 2019

    Well it is one I am curious about! I bought the second book in London one year ago (I didn’t have the first one but the cover was too pretty LOL) and won the third one some weeks ago! I guess I’ll have to order the first book now…

    • Alexandra
      February 8, 2019

      Ah, you may very well be curious, as I was, Sophie. Because everyone seems to be so enamoured with the series. But, for whatever reason, I started last night, and just wasn’t feeling it. So I’ve shelved it till later this month.

  6. Alexandra
    February 8, 2019

    Oh, I know, I’d far rather put it aside till the mood strikes, and then go back to it. Because, in the end, I think it will be worth it. And it doesn’t matter if it has slow pacing it’s whether or not that story grabs me.

    I think, at the moment, I’m just in the space for something different.

  7. It’s definitely slow to start! I also had issues getting my head around the names lol. It took me a couple of tries to get into it but I was really happy once I did 🙂 But that’s also always hard because there’s so many books out there that if you’re not feeling one, why keep reading it? I do think it’s worth it, but I also understand the lower reviews because it IS a lot slower than many books I’ve read.

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