Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Review: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo


Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Book One of the Six of Crows series
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
Publication Date: September 29, 2015
Rating: 4 stars
Source: ARC gifted (thank you, Kel!)

Summary (from Goodreads):

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.

What I Liked:

Okay, fine. The hype for this book is totally justified. Whether you read Bardugo's Grisha trilogy or not, whether you enjoyed it or not, you could easily fall in love with Six of Crows. On that note, you do not need to have read - or even liked - the Grisha trilogy. It's not necessary at all! The Grisha references are the setting, the locations and places. No characters make cameos (that I remember - but I'm shaky on my Grisha knowledge sometimes), nothing dire you needed to know from the Grisha trilogy. Set in the same world, but in totally different places, with totally different characters.

Kaz Brekker is the most dangerous person in the Barrel, in Ketterdam. He is a gifted thief with an insatiable desire for money, and for solving puzzles and having all the tricks. He always has the drop on everyone, and he takes very risky risks that always seem to work in his favor. When Kaz is presented an opportunity with a large payout and even great risks, he has no other choice but to take it. He and five other unique individuals embark on a job, an impossible heist, to capture one thing and bring it back. But getting into the Ice Court is suicide, and getting there might prove even more perilous before the job has even begun.

I think the thing that I liked the most about this book is that the tone of the book isn't gloom and doom, save the world, martyr or die trying kind of tone, like in Shadow and Bone/Siege and Storm/Ruin and Rising. It's not Alina fighting within herself on whether or not she should obtain all the amplifiers to defeat the Darkling. It's not all about destroying something. No, the tone of this book was so much more... adventurous than Bardugo's previous trilogy. I wouldn't necessarily say more "fun", because there is no way I'd describe this book as fun like it's some lighthearted adventure novel, but it is certainly more reader-friendly, with less heartache and gloom and doom, and more laugh-out-loud, head-spinning action. 

I absolutely adore the cast of characters. Kaz is definitely my favorite, but all six protagonists get their fair share of page time. This book is written in third-person perspectives, each chapter written in a different character's perspective. Kaz is my favorite, because he is so tricksy and smart, mysterious and surprising, unpredictable and more caring than he would ever let on. I personally think he is the most fleshed-out character, and the most likable. There is something about him that is cold and hard, and it's really appealing. He is also HILARIOUS, with a great sense of dry humor. But then he is deadly and quite the murderous thief. We see so many sides of him, and I love and/or am intrigued by all of them.

The other characters are equally as interesting! Inej is the Wraith, able to move basically without being heard. She is light on her feet and quick. Kaz saved her years ago, and she has worked with him since. The same with Jesper - he's worked with Kaz for years, and is basically Kaz's second-in-command. Jesper is such a flirt! And I love him. He is all about his guns, whereas Inej is all about her knives. Next is Nina, a Healer/Heartrender, who has been trying to have her former friend Matthias freed from prison for years. Matthias is the fifth person, a convict who is out for Nina's blood. He used to hunt Grisha before he was thrown in prison, but he especially wants to strangle Nina because she is the one who put him in prison. Lucky for himself, he is from the area that the Ice Court is located, so he is useful to Kaz, and Kaz springs him. Lastly is Wylan, the son of the merchant who wants the thing from the Ice Court brought back. Wylan is seen as weak, but he proves himself to be quite clever and useful. He is so cute!

I know what you all are thinking - SIX characters?! Six perspectives?! Third person, which is cool, but SIX?! Sounds like a recipe for disaster, like in Legacy of Kings by Eleanor Herman. However, not so! Since the six characters in Six of Crows are basically always with each other (once they're gathered), it's not like there are six plots happening. It's one, with six cars on the road, instead of six lanes or six exits or merging areas or something. You all love my analogies, I know! But really, there isn't six different plots and six different locations and six different schemes happening. It's one, with six different brains and hearts. Very different from Legacy of Kings, which was confusing with all of its perspectives and plots.

There are so many action-packed scenes! There is no shortage of crazy action and high stakes. You'll hold your breath during so many scenes, hoping and praying and crossing your fingers that Kaz doesn't screw things up (and really, he always has a plan). Bardugo did an amazing thing, in which she wrote the book from third person, so we are not privy to any of the characters' inner thoughts at all times. Hence why Kaz can pull off all that craziness and surprising the readers! My heart stopped several times, hoping there was another way that Kaz considered. He is so clever!

Like I said above, I really liked the change in tone of this new series by Bardugo. Don't get me wrong, things get very "everyone-is-going-to-die-if-we-don't-do-something", but it's more like a "hold-on-we're-in-for-a-crazy-ride" kind of thing. The story is very intriguing, and the 400+ pages fly by. I will say that the first 50 pages took me a bit to get into, but once I was in, I was hooked.

ROMANCE. Well. There are six people in the group... and, as you might guess, there are three pairs. No love triangles AT ALL. Three linear relationships. And the other nice thing - the romances in this book are barely there. Sure, the author does an amazing job of hinting more-than-friendships, or when a character is acting really friendly with another, or just plain old hints. But there are no steamy romance scenes or even passing romantic scenes. I really like this, because it's Bardugo's way of giving the romances time to grow. There are three sets of romances, on their own wavelengths. Different starts to each romance. Each can develop in books two and three!

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I was wary, because the Grisha trilogy was just "okay" for me, and the hype for this book was/is pretty crazy. HOWEVER. I liked it and I personally think the hype is warranted. This book is so different from the Grisha trilogy! In great ways!

What I Did Not Like:

Like I said before, the beginning of this book was a bit slow, and it took me a while to really get invested. About 50 pages or so. Basically, once the six of them are actually gathered together, THEN things start to get really good. This might have been closer to around 100 pages in, but you get the idea.

Would I Recommend It:

For anyone looking for an adventure (yay Bilbo), definitely give this book a chance! Make it your first Bardugo read. I personally think it's Bardugo's best book to date, but I know others really, really enjoyed the Grisha trilogy. Shadow and Bone was my favorite of that series, but I think Six of Crows is better. It's a fantasy novel with a lot of action, high stakes, developed and fun characters, and well-placed humor!

Rating:

4 stars. A huge thanks to Kel from Booked Til Tuesday for passing her ARC to me. If you all get a chance, give this book a shot! If anything, the cover is gorgeous and would look great on your bookshelf!


Was this review helpful? Please let me know in the comments section!

32 comments:

  1. I can't wait to read this! It sounds so fun! I loved The Grisha trilogy, so I'm sure this will live up to the hype.

    Michelle @ Michelle's Minions

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    1. I hope you love the book, Michelle! Happy reading!

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  2. OOh nice! I too liked the Grisha Trilogy but didn't fall head over heels in love with it. Kinda glad that while this happens in the same world, we don't need to remember Grisha details to enjoy this one, because I legit can't remember much! LOL! Not that I didn't like it, it's just been several books and I can't always remember details of every read. Sadly, that is my curse for reading so much! And why I never ever play trivia games! LOL!

    Great review!

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    1. So we understand each other! And you don't need to remember anything at all from the Grisha trilogy, so you are good to go :D I hope you love this one, Jessica! Thank you <3

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  3. Haha, I'm glad you enjoyed it! I still think having all six of them paired up was ridiculous and we should trade out Wylan for the new kid, but, since authors rarely (never) write with me in mind, what can you do? ;)

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    1. It's a bit strange, right? Not plausible? Still, I liked it. I was all about it because FINALLY no one is trying to screw up the romances and there are several simultaneously. Idk, it seemed to work for me. LOL you know, I did not consider that!

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  4. Lol Bilbo! I want adventure so sign me up ;) Basically, third-person POV, check, lots of action, check and no love triangle, triple checks!!! I'm totally in :D Lovely review Alyssa~~~

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    1. Yaaaassss. This sounds like it would be a winner for you, Eileen! Thank you <3

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  5. I'm glad you enjoyed this one so much, Alyssa. I'm a little nervous about the multiple POVs because I struggle hard with those but I do love Leigh Bardugo so I want to check it out and your enthusiasm for the book is definitely rubbing on me. :) I think I'm going to enjoy Kaz quite a bit and that's funny (and also a bit unrealistic) that they are all paired up, but whatever, as long as there's no triangle, I'm in. I think I'd like the more adventurous tone of this series too.
    Wonderful review, Alyssa! So glad this was a huge success for you. :)

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    1. Like in Legacy of Kings! That was too many. I think this was better because all of the characters were always near each other, so we were experiencing the same plot, instead of six different plots.

      I agree that the romances being paired off like that is odd! But two of the romances have back story that had foundation/roots of some sort! One is completely new.

      Thank you so much, Nick!

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  6. YAY!! So happy to hear you really liked this one Alyssa! I absolutely adoooored it and I agree with you thinking that it's better than the Grisha books, and I liked those more than you did!

    I adore Kaz, but my favourite has to be Inej, I SO LOVE HER!!

    Great review!!

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    1. So it's not just me! I'm glad that someone who absolutely LOVED the Grisha trilogy also loved this book more. Bardugo's books are like fine wine, they get better with time ;D

      And I love Inej! She would second for sure, for me!

      Thank you <3

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  7. You had me at three sets of romances with NO triangles! Eeeeep! Reading it this week, for sure. Can't wait! And the author told me at BEA that there won't be any triangles in the sequel either. :D
    I love that this isn't so doom and gloom. That definitely makes me happy.
    Lovely review, Alyssa!

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    1. Seriously though - it's so great, especially about the no love triangle bit. Or pyramid or square or tower. Really happy to hear that!

      I feel like just knowing that the tone is slightly more uplifting makes the book seem different, right? For me, it was a very good thing.

      Thank you, Danielle :)

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  8. Hooray!! I'm definitely scared to read this, because I loved the Grisha trilogy so much, but when I went to Leigh's signing last year she read from this and it was goooood. I'm so glad you liked this so much, though, because you can be part of the crazy people club. :D

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    1. I was scared too - scared because of the hype! I hope you love this one and it doesn't disappoint, Rachel. And I am indeed one of those crazy people now O_O *hides*

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  9. I struggle with long fantasy books and multiple POV's, which is why I haven't read my copy yet. Plus, the hype scares me. I'm glad you liked this one!

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    1. I know what you mean! I was wary of this one because of the hype, but it was worth it for me. Thank you so much, Nereyda!

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  10. I've had this on my shelf for a while now. I'm always afraid to start a hyped book. It's good to know that it starts a little slower, so I know to hang in there.

    Karen @For What It's Worth

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    1. See, you and are were in the same boat! I liked it a lot, Karen!

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  11. I AM JEALOUS. I need this book :( Sad face. I did not get an ARC. And I want it so badly. And sobs. I am jealous, lol :) Aaanyway. Stunning review Alyssa :D So glad you mostly loved this book. <3 YAY. And yay for no triangles :) But wish there was more romance. Hmph. But glad there are hints :D You make the book sounds aweosme. <3 Sigh. Thank you for sharing sweet girl :)

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    1. I didn't get an ARC from the publisher either! Luckily Kel took pity on me, otherwise I'd be sitting ducks. I'm sure there will be much, MUCH more romance in the next book ;D I hope you love love love this book, Carina!

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  12. I have been so eager to read this book so I'm really pleased to see that you enjoyed it despite the slow start :-) wow, 6 people sounds like alot!

    A great review! Sharon - Obsession with Books

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    1. Thank you, Sharon! Six didn't feel like so many, to be honest! Bardugo did an amazing job with the different characters.

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  13. You liked it and Andye too, thus I shall read it :)

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  14. THIS BOOK

    I AM SO LATE READING

    AND EVEN LATER REVIEWING.

    but like. uifgoishfoishfpis!

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  15. I LOVE THIS.Words can't describe how much.I am waiting for Crooked Kingdom now!

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    1. I hope you and I love Crooked Kingdom! <3

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