Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme is a freebie so we can do whatever we’d like; make up our own top ten list or go back and do one we missed. I had actually pretty much written my Top Ten Tuesday post of Books with Numbers in the Title but didn’t get it finished and posted in time so I thought now was the perfect time to share it as I’d already done most of the work.
I’ve read and enjoyed all these books to varying degrees, though some I read so long ago that I remember little of them now and am not sure if they’d hold up if I read them today. If I have a review of any of them I’ve linked to it.
I’m sure like many people who do the A-Z in April Challenge, I often really struggle with the letter X. I’ve previously had Charles Xavier when I wrote about favourite characters before but as I don’t want any repeats, I’m cheating and just sharing a few favourite characters that didn’t quite make the cut for their own post.
My all-out favourite from Stranger Things. I love his growth as a character and even when he was a bit of a bully towards Jonathan in the first season, he realised his mistakes and went to apologise and became a great monster hunter. I love how protective Steve is of the kids, how he’ll always put himself in harms way to stop others getting hurt (he really needs to be checked for any brain injuries) and that while he’s not academically smart, he picks on things up others don’t.
Jaylah Star Trek Beyond is my favourite Star Trek film and is generally one of my favourite films. Jaylah is a brilliant character and I love how she fits in with the crew of the Enterprise. She’s a fierce fighter, she’s a smart engineer, and though she’s scared of what they have to face thanks to her traumatic childhood, she is brave enough to stare down her demons and finds a new family with the crew.
Jesper was already one of my favourite characters from Six of Crows/Crooked Kingdom but having finished (and loved) the Shadow and Bone TV show, I love him even more. He is funny and charming and brave, and he is such a good friend. There’s a moment when a friend asks him to kill someone for her and his response is “Ugh why me? But OK.” because that’s just how he is. He has a gambling problem which often leads him to get into scrapes so it’s a good job his such a fantastic shot – honestly how they showed his guns skills in the show was so cool.
I still believe the original Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy are brilliant and The Curse of the Black Pearl is a fantastic film. I love how Elizabeth evolves as a person over the course of the films though still stays the same adventurous and quick-witted person she always was. She’s brave but sometimes reckless, caring but sometimes harsh – she’s one of the most interesting characters in that franchise. I also love how she becomes such a great sword fighter, pirate, and the Pirate King.
I’m currently reading Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo, the sequel to Six of Crows, and it’s just affirming the fact that Kaz Brekker is a great character.
Kaz isn’t a nice person. No, honestly, this isn’t one of those loveable rogue kind of characters, he is actually ruthless, cold-hearted, and conniving. He values money and power and is known for doing any job no matter how dangerous if it gets him either of those two things. Kaz is great at figuring people out and exploiting both their weaknesses and their talents in order to achieve his aims. He is a master manipulator.
Kaz is a part of The Dregs, one of the gangs in in the city of Ketterdam, and he quickly rose through the ranks to be an influential figure. He inspires loyalty through fear but also through his honesty. For a thief and a liar Kaz and does tell the truth but really only when it’ll get him something. I love Kaz’s intelligence. He’s had to learn the hard way how to survive in this seedy city and he’s learnt how to make shrewd investments in both people and property. He makes plans within plans and often only tells people the bare minimum of what they need to know to get the job done. Kaz does not trust easily and he’s always considering his and any opponents moves three steps ahead.
The fascinating thing about Kaz is that slowly he does start to care for other people – or maybe just one person in particular. Actually, care about them, not just what they can do for him. To what extent this may change him as a person I’ve yet to find out.
I’m really looking forward to the Shadow and Bone Netflix show which is released next week. Kaz and his fellow Crows are going to be in it so I’m looking forward to seeing how they bring this character to screen – because Kaz Brekker can be a nasty piece of work at times.
Inej is a spy and a member of the Dregs – a street gang led by Kaz Brekker. Inej often acts as his confidant and is like his second when it comes to their small group of criminals who are tacking on the impossible heist.
Inej has had a tough life, she grew up in a family of acrobats but was captured by slavers when she was fifteen and sold to an owner of a pleasure house. Because of her past she’s quite closed-off and doesn’t really open up to people, she’s quiet and uses that to her advantage, because she’s so quiet and unassuming people don’t notice her as she either studies them to learn their secrets or to kill them.
That the thing with Inej, she’s a spy and a thief who uses her acrobatic skills to do bad things which includes sometimes killing people but she’s still a good person who wants to just be free to live her life how she wants to. She’s loyal and brave and a total badass. She’s my favourite character in Six of Crows and I can’t wait to see what scrapes she gets into in the sequel, I definitely hope she gets her happy ending.
Top 5 Wednesday is a great feature created by GingerReadsLainey. To find out more about Top 5 Wednesday and the upcoming topics, check out its Goodreads page. When you read books, especially fantasy ones, there’s always cool stuff that you wish were real so without further ado, here are five fictional items I’d love to have.
Time Turner – Harry Potter series
Who wouldn’t want a Time Turner?! It would be great if you’re so busy that you can use it to have those extra hours in the day or if you spent the day being ridiculously lazy and procrastinating all your responsibilities, you can use it to go back in time and actually be productive with your time.
Lucy’s Cordial – The Chronicles of Narnia
Lucy’s Cordial can cure any illness and malady and that would be so useful. I could use it to get rid of an annoying cold or even something much worse if a friend or family member was seriously ill. That being said, you’d have to use it sparingly and there’d certainly be a lot of responsibility having something like that.
Kaz’s cane – Six of Crows
This is kind of just because I think a cane with a crows head looks really cool but also because it can also double of a weapon so you can be protected without anyone really realising till it’s too late.
The Rampion – The Lunar Chronicles
Yes the Rampion is an old battered cargo ship but it’s also pretty cool. It can be controlled by artificial intelligence and it’s managed to best mightier ships. I just want to go into space with my own crew OK?
The Light of Eärendil – Lord of the Rings
This would be so handy! When you can’t find your house keys in your bag and your phones died so you can’t use that to search by, you can use this instead! Sure it’s a pretty mundane thing to use it for when it’s said that it can be a light “in dark places, when all other lights go out” but I don’t care – it’s a source of light that’ll never die.
Criminal 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.