Review: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo (@jessicadhaluska, @LBardugo)
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Series: Six of Crows #1
Published by Henry Holt and Co.
Published on: September 29 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
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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.
Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz's crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don't kill each other first.
My FEELS are broken. Words, too.
Which is making the reviewing of SIX OF CROWS by Leigh Bardugo more than a little bit difficult . . . FYI.
SO. Hmm . . . *scratches head*
The book started well enough, but by 40% it was more determination that kept me reading than enthusiasm. The characters were great. I felt like they were decently developed, and it was a veritable thunderstorm of one-liners and clever dialogue:
Kaz Brekker didn’t need a reason.
“He’s going to get us all killed,” she said.
Jesper stretched his long arms overhead and grinned, his teeth white against his dark skin. He had yet to give up his rifle, and the silhouette of it across his back made him resemble a gawky, long-limbed bird. “Statistically, he’ll probably only get some of us killed.”
“A good time needn’t involve wine and … and flesh,” Matthias sputtered.
Nina batted her glossy lashes at him. “You wouldn’t know a good time if it sidled up to you and stuck a lollipop in your mouth.”
But plot-wise . . . not much was happening.
I was bored.
I was bored while reading a book about a HEIST.
You: How is that even possible?
Me: I’m still not sure.
You: But you rated it 4.5 stars . . .
Me: I know. Now ask me about the second half.
You: How was the second half . . .?
And I have a strong suspicion that this is one of the rare books that actually improves on the reread. Some—not all, mind you, but some—of the boredom can probably be chalked-up to my impatience to know ALL THE THINGS.
So now that I know them . . . significantly less reason to be impatient.
As for the potential romances, I don’t know if Bardugo was determined to avoid the inevitable fallout that is the natural result of love triangles, or love squares, as the case may be (*coughs* Darklings and Mals and Sturmhonds, oh my! *coughs*), but in SIX OF CROWS, there are six main characters and three obvious relationships.
She still managed to keep us on our toes though. As much as I immediately shipped two pairs, I did not ship another, and there are a myriad of obstacles to weather all around.
It was a perfect combination of security in the knowledge that if these people end up with anyone, it will obviously be that person, and tension b/c, OHMYGAWD, how are they ever going to overcome _______?
I still don’t know. It didn’t end in a nasty cliffhanger, but this is the first installment of a new series, so everything isn’t going to be resolved.
Deal with it. *flares nostrils*
SIX OF CROWS is also significantly darker than Bardugo’s GRISHA trilogy.
You: Darker than the Darkling?
Personally, I loved it. I am unabashedly bloodthirsty, after all. And something about ruthless determination with just the smallest hint of humanity is so damn sexy.
*waves at Kaz* *swoons*
And regardless of how slow I felt the middle section of the book was, the writing was consistently fantastic:
“I owe you, Brekker,” Rollins had said as the boy exited his cell, hardly believing his luck.
Brekker had glanced back at him, his dark eyes like caverns. “Don’t worry, Rollins. You’ll pay.”
And apparently the boy had come to collect. He stood in the middle of Rollins’ opulent office looking like a dark blot of ink . . .
Pretty great, right?
SIX OF CROWS by Leigh Bardugo is the first installment of her new YA fantasy series, and I LOVED it. I wanted to be the one person in the world who made Kaz feel something. I wanted Inej to trust me so that I could tell her no part of her enslavement or what came after was her fault and have her believe me. I wanted to bang Matthias’ and Nina’s stupid heads together like . . . something you deliberately bang together, I felt helpless as I watched all the hot mess that is Jesper, and Wylan . . . I just wanted to hug Wylan . . .
As for the various villains, I want them to suffer. And I trust Kaz to make that happen, so I will be back, same bat time, same bat channel, next year, and hopefully you will too, b/c oh-so-highly recommended.
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