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Wonder Woman by Leigh Bardugo

Wonder Woman by Leigh BardugoWonder Woman by Leigh Bardugo
Series: DC Icons #1
Published by Random House on August 29th, 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Urban Fantasy, Sci-fi
Pages: 384
Goodreads

She will become one of the world’s greatest heroes: WONDER WOMAN. But first she is Diana, Princess of the Amazons. And her fight is just beginning. . . .

Diana longs to prove herself to her legendary warrior sisters. But when the opportunity finally comes, she throws away her chance at glory and breaks Amazon law—risking exile—to save a mere mortal. Even worse, Alia Keralis is no ordinary girl and with this single brave act, Diana may have doomed the world.

Alia just wanted to escape her overprotective brother with a semester at sea. She doesn’t know she is being hunted. When a bomb detonates aboard her ship, Alia is rescued by a mysterious girl of extraordinary strength and forced to confront a horrible truth: Alia is a Warbringer—a direct descendant of the infamous Helen of Troy, fated to bring about an age of bloodshed and misery.

Together, Diana and Alia will face an army of enemies—mortal and divine—determined to either destroy or possess the Warbringer. If they have any hope of saving both their worlds, they will have to stand side by side against the tide of war.

4 Stars

‘‘Sister in battle, I am shield and blade to you. As I breathe, your enemies will know no sanctuary. While I live, your cause is mine.’’

Going into Wonder Woman, I was both excited and apprehensive. Leigh Bardugo is one of my all-time favourite authors but I had hitherto only read fantasy novels written by her, never an urban fantasy/sci-fi and a superheroine origin story, at that.

Though Wonder Woman doesn’t read like Shadow and Bone or Six of Crows, I’m now convinced this woman can write any genre. Her magic for writing multi-layered characters, sassy dialogue, and electrifying plot twists will never cease to amaze me! Leigh Bardugo can do no wrong. 

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Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh BardugoCrooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
Series: Six of Crows #1
Published by Henry Holt and Co. on September 27th, 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Pages: 536
Goodreads

When you can’t beat the odds, change the game.

Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re right back to fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and badly weakened, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz’s cunning and test the team's fragile loyalties. A war will be waged on the city’s dark and twisting streets―a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of the Grisha world.

4 Stars

“Where do you think the money went?” he insisted.
“Guns?” asked Jesper.
“Ships?” queried Inej.
“Bombs?” suggested Wylan.
“Political bribes?” offered Nina. They all looked at Matthias. “This is where you tell us how awful we are,” she whispered.
He shrugged. “They all seem like practical choices.”

It goes without saying that the sequel to Six of Crows was one of my most anticipated releases this year. Crooked Kingdom performed well as a sequel, being the suspenseful and action-packed book I hoped it would be, but unlike with Six of Crows, I experienced issues. Naturally, I adored being back in this world, reuinted with the Dregs, and seeing them cornered but somehow wiggling themselves out of traps. But I could not ignore certain things, which I will address in this review.

Please be aware that this review may contain massive spoilers for Six of Crows and also some minor spoilers for Crooked Kingdom.

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Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Shadow and Bone by Leigh BardugoShadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
Series: The Grisha #1
Published by Henry Holt and Co. on June 5th 2012
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Pages: 358
Goodreads

Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.

Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha . . . and the secrets of her heart.

3.5 Stars

Shadow and Bone is an exciting read but cannot quite reach the level of utter epicness. Nonetheless, Bardugo will pull you into a Russian-inspired world full of magic, torn between light and darkness. Also, this book undoubtedly features one of the most devastatingly swoon-worthy villains of all time – just saying, ladies.

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Slasher Girls & Monster Boys by April Genevieve Tucholke

Slasher Girls & Monster Boys by April Genevieve TucholkeSlasher Girls & Monster Boys by Stefan Bachmann, Leigh Bardugo, Kendare Blake, A. G. Howard, Jay Kristoff, Marie Lu, Jonathan Maberry, Danielle Paige, Carrie Ryan, Megan Shepherd, Nova Ren Suma, McCormick Templeman, April Genevieve Tucholke, Cat Winters
Published by Dial Books on August 18th 2015
Genres: Anthology, Horror, Young Adult
Pages: 400
Goodreads

For fans of Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, Lois Duncan, and Daphne Du Maurier comes a powerhouse anthology featuring some of the best writers of YA thrillers and horror

A host of the smartest young adult authors come together in this collection of scary stories and psychological thrillers curated by Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea’s April Genevieve Tucholke.

Each story draws from a classic tale or two—sometimes of the horror genre, sometimes not—to inspire something new and fresh and terrifying. There are no superficial scares here; these are stories that will make you think even as they keep you on the edge of your seat. From bloody horror to supernatural creatures to unsettling, all-too-possible realism, this collection has something for any reader looking for a thrill.

Fans of TV’s The Walking Dead, True Blood, and American Horror Story will tear through tales by these talented authors:

Stefan Bachmann
Leigh Bardugo
Kendare Blake
A. G. Howard
Jay Kristoff
Marie Lu
Jonathan Maberry
Danielle Paige
Carrie Ryan
Megan Shepherd
Nova Ren Suma
McCormick Templeman
April Genevieve Tucholke
Cat Winters

3.5 Stars

What a great anthology! I really enjoyed it. Some of the stories were phenomenal and there was only one I really disliked. Overall, I’m very impressed with how original and strange some of these were. I feel like the authors really dared to do something different here. Although none of these stories scared me, I still found them to be creepy and eerie. If you’re in the mood for something fitting for Halloween, definitely pick this one up.

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Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Six of Crows by Leigh BardugoSix of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Series: Six of Crows #1
Published by Indigo on September 29th 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Pages: 491
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.

5 Stars

“I’m a businessman,” he’d told her. “No more, no less.”
“You’re a thief, Kaz.”
“Isn’t that what I just said?”

Ladies and gentlemen, meet Kaz Brekker, the most notorious thief and scoundrel of Ketterdam. You will not believe the craziness that is Kaz Brekker or the awesomeness of his crew. Six of Crows is Bardugo’s newest masterpiece, a tale of adventure, trust, and magic. This book focuses on a fast-paced and action-packed heist, as a group of thieves and unlikely allies takes on their greatest coup yet.

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