Sunday, January 10, 2016

Book Review: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Title: Six of Crows
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: July 2015

Cover of Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Goodreads summary:

Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can't pull it off alone...

A convict with a thirst for revenge.

A sharpshooter who can't walk away from a wager.

A runaway with a privileged past.

A spy known as the Wraith.

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.Kaz's crew are the only ones who might stand between the world and destruction—if they don't kill each other first.

Cover of Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

My review:

Oh. My. Word.

Let me start by saying I have not read the Grisha Trilogy by Bardugo, so this world was brand new, all the way down to the Grisha characters. I read a few reviews that worried she might oversell the setting again, since both stories take place in the same world, but as a new reader I didn't find the world underdeveloped. I learned about the Grisha who are born with special abilities and progressed through the story without confusion.

The writing is superb. The level reminded me of Marissa Meyer: everything clicked seamlessly in terms of writing development (I am as obsessed with comma and clause placement as I am with the funny sidekick character). The narration of the characters was just as flawless, and this story took place from eight POVs if I'm not mistaken. All in all, this is an author I would love to take a writing workshop with.

The setting is beautifully modern within its older time because it's so freaking relatable. The slums, the gangs, the orphans, everything that you can find in today's society if you avoid the polished turf lawns and the flashy black cars in the driveways. I could have read the description of Ketterdam for ten pages and loved every new detail Bardugo revealed.

The young men and women who survive in this city are so flawed I thought I knew each one by a different name in my own life. These aren't characters with one or two things that plague them, but rather one or two things that have changed the course of their lives and personalities and then the smaller, everyday things that they let people see. I connected with Jesper because we both have addictive natures (mine is nowhere near as dangerous or life-altering, but I really have to turn off Markiplier every once in a while), but his need to throw humor into every serious situation is one I know frustrates all the people in my life. 

The story is action-packed and only slows down long enough for a romantic scene that isn't really romantic but it's so tension filled we take it and swallow it whole anyway. Even the backstory scenes are filled with tragedy and fear to the point where returning to the main plot point of completing a heist in the most locked-up facility in the region is considered a respite. 

I wish I had dived into this novel months ago. The first night I read it got me through half the novel. I hate that the sequel won't be out until later, but in the meantime, I want to read the other trilogy to see how it compares.

Rating: 5 / 5 stars

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