Tuesday, February 21, 2017

A Book Review of Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

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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.

Series: Six of Crows (Book 1)

Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR); First Edition edition (September 29, 2015)
Page Count: 480 pages

I've heard a lot of good things about this book, especially from Sara Letourneau, so I made it a point to get this book from my library. However, I honestly didn't like the story much for the first half. It took me until the latter half of the book for it to grow on me, but once it did ... well I'm now a Leigh Bardugo fan.

The Plot: The plot is basically a grand heist and all the characters have to do to make it happen. Though this mission, turns into more than they though they would encounter. Honestly, the book didn't hold my interest a lot for the first half, but as soon as the characters got together and formed their group I enjoyed the story much more. There were some good twists at the end and that's what solidified me enjoying the book.

The Characters: My favorite character was Nina definitely. Multilingual mage? Yas. I love her abilities, her personality, her love of food, and pretty much everything about her. I also really enjoyed Inej. I liked her sneaky abilities and her tragic past. I also liked Matthias. His character arc was really good. Jesper and Wylan were okay, but they didn't stand as much as the other to me.

Kaz ... Kaz ... Honestly I didn't like him until a certain point in the book. I didn't like it when the book switched into his point of view for a long time. I don't like being in the point of view of evil-doing characters for extended periods of time and it wasn't until I saw Kaz's human side that I started liking him. I personally think his humanity should have been shown more significantly earlier, because if the book was only in his point of view, I probably would not have kept reading.

The Setting: The setting is super fun. It involves a lot of traveling (which I love). I love the variety in races, culture, and languages: Kaelish, Fjerdan, Suli, Zemeni, Shu, and Ravkan. The world felt so real. And it's a world with awesome magic powers and I love awesome magic powers. Give me all of the telekinesis, telepathy, healing, etc.

Epic Things: Definitely the language and the magic powers. Those were my favorites.

The Theme: Trust was definitely a big one. Most of these characters have dabbled in the criminal world in someway and have a hard time trusting each other and working as a team, but near the end their bond grows. 

Content Cautions: This book centers a lot around an addictive drug, so there is a frequent drug use. There is some considerable gore including someone yanking out another person's eyeball, eyeballs exploding in their socket, and desiccated, burned, and diseased corpses. There's some brief nudity and the middle finger is used. There's also mention of brothels. There's also some considerable language in this book, including fourteen usages of d***, fifteen uses of h***, six usages of ba****d, five usages of a**, two usages of bi***, one usage of sh**, and one usage of f***.

What We Can Take Away For Our Writing:

1.) Language Barriers - The character encounter many language barriers in Fjerda. This is a significant problem, especially when Nina isn't around to translate. The characters don't know what other people are saying and this makes getting around difficult.

How this can be applied to writing: I feel like language barriers are often neglected in many novels. Not knowing what someone is saying can be frustrating and can make simple things like buying milk difficult. I encountered this when I was France and trying to communicate with a French boy. This is definitely something to keep in mind.

Conclusion: Overall, I enjoyed it. I enjoyed Shadow and Bone more (which I read afterward. Review up soon.), but this one did grow on me. Four stars!

About the Author:
Leigh Bardugo is the #1 New York Times bestselling and USA Today bestselling author of Six of Crows and the Grisha Trilogy (Shadow and Bone, Siege and Storm, and Ruin and Rising). She was born in Jerusalem, grew up in Los Angeles, graduated from Yale University, and has worked in advertising, journalism, and most recently, makeup and special effects. These days, she lives and writes in Hollywood where she can occasionally be heard singing with her band.

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