Leigh Bardugo

REVIEW: Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo

Diana is desperate to prove herself to her warrior sisters but when the opportunity comes, she throws away her chance and instead breaks Amazon law to save one mortal, Alia Keralis. With this single act Diana not only puts her home, Themyscira, in danger but the entire world. Alia is a Warbringer – a descendent of the infamous Helen of Troy, fated to bring about an age of conflict and pain. Diana and Alia will face enemies, mortal and divine, determined to either destroy or possess the Warbringer. The only way they can save the world is to stand together.

I had some trouble getting into Wonder Woman: Warbringer to start with. I think it was because I had both the film and the various comics featuring Wonder Woman I’ve read in my mind at first, where Diana was an adult and more respected and experienced with her abilities compared to the seventeen-year-old Diana featured in this book. But after 50 pages or so I got used to it and found myself falling in love with this Diana and her story.

It may sound a little cheesy but this book is about the power of friendship and girls sticking by one another. The friendship Diana and Alia forge in the face of such differences and with pretty much everything else against them is admirable. Also, Alia’s best friend Nim is great, she’s opinionated and doesn’t really have a filter but she’s so incredibly loyal. It’s the interactions between Diana, Alia, Nim, Alia’s brother Jason and their friend Theo that really makes this story. Through banter between them all you get to see what connections are already there and how they grow and adapt when Diana comes into the picture.

Wonder Woman: Warbringer is a great blend of action, drama and humour with a sprinkling of Greek mythology. While there are some fantastical elements, it always feels grounded. It’s an intriguing mystery that ends up with a thrilling finale that I couldn’t put down – I ended up reading it in just two days!

In the end, Wonder Woman: Warbringer gave me the same feeling as the recent Wonder Woman film did. It’s all about finding your inner strength and believing in the best in people and what they could potentially achieve. It’s a fast-paced adventure that I feel is perfect for both new and old fans of Diana. 4/5.

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REVIEW: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

six of crowsCriminal Kaz Brekker has been offered wealth beyond what he could ever imagine but to claim it he has to pull off a seemingly impossible heist. He must break into a military stronghold that’s never been breached, retrieve a hostage that seems to be a mad scientist who could unleash magical havoc on the world and survive long enough to collect the money. Kaz puts together a six man crew and together they might just pull off the impossible if they don’t kill each other first.

I love stories about heists and this one is set in the world of the Grisha Trilogy, a trilogy that I haven’t actually read. But after hearing that even though it was in the same world, you don’t have to have read the original trilogy as there was no big crossovers or important plot points to know, I was eager to read Six of Crows. Having read it I can say the only thing I felt I sometimes missed having not read the Grisha trilogy was how the Grisha powers worked and what the different nationalities meant and valued. Still, as I got into Six of Crows I soon picked it up but I was a bit confused to begin with because it really is an intricate world.

The crew in Six of Crows follows the usual tropes you’ve seen in any heist movie or story before. There’s the mastermind (Kaz), the demolitions expert (Wylan), the inside man (Matthias), the sharp shooter (Jesper), the spy (Inej) and the one with a very special set of skills (Nina). While they all fit these roles they all aren’t just those archetypes. You begin Six of Crows not knowing much about any of these characters and it’s not till the half way point that you think you have a grasp on them. As the book progresses you learn more about each characters backstory and why they are the criminal they are. The way these characters bounce off each other is a highlight of the book, Jesper is the joker of the group and always has a sarcastic comment – I won’t lie, he’s my favourite closely followed by Inej.

Like any heist, nothing really goes according to plan for Kaz and his crew and quite often you, like some of the characters, are in the dark about what the plan actually is. That makes it gripping and exciting as you’re never sure if they’ll succeed and if they’ll all come out of it unscathed.

Six of Crows is a great example of the heist genre, full of twists and turns and with an ending like that I can’t wait for the sequel. 4/5.