*Six of Crows #1
by Leigh Bardugo
Age Range: 12 - 18 years
Series: Six of Crows
Hardcover: 480 pages
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) (September 29, 2015)
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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...I know I'm early with this. I know. But guys. I just can not hold it in any longer! This book is everything!
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.
Why? Why is this book everything, you ask?
Well, let me tell you.
- The pacing
- The characters
- The banter
- The romancES
- The wittiness
- The humor
- The intelligence
- The cleverness
- The twists
- The Ocean's Elevenness
- The World-drivenness
- The Plot-drivenness
- The Character-driveness
If you like short reviews, really that's all you need to know. Just trust me and hit pre-order right now.
For those that want more, I will go into a little more detail.
From beginning to end, Six of Crows is an intriguing and wonderfully paced story. There was never a moment that I was bored as there was always something going on. I have to categorize it as plot-driven, being a heist story with clear goals, successes, failures and consequences. I love heist stories (Ocean's Eleven is one of my favorite movies), as they make you question the right and wrong of it all. You know these people are technically criminals, but you just can't help but to love them and root for them to succeed. With all the twists and hardships that surface, this story never lets go of your racing heart. Ever. And Leigh Bardugo has masterfully planned out this incredible book in a way that you never know what direction it's headed, or what's going to happen next. It was honestly brilliant.
But I changed my mind. Because this book was obviously world-driven. The world-building that Leigh magically constructs is a thing of beauty. You may think she would be lax on this since she already set up this world in the Grisha Trilogy, but that's not the case at all. Fjerda and Kerch are completely different than Ravka, and so different from each other. Ketterdam is like the Vegas of this created world (another thing that made it feel like Ocean's), and Fjerda is just something else entirely. I love that it has it's own map. I swear I looked at it constantly while reading (even though it's going to change in the final copy). With these new countries, we encounter new cultures, new creatures, and new magic. It's overwhelmingly amazing, and I just want so much to live in this world!
Of course both of those are wrong, though, because if there ever was a story that was character-driven, it was this story. (I'm going to bring up Ocean's Eleven again.) You know that the story is awesome, and the heist is so cool and mind-blowing and all that. But the thing that makes that movie . . . and this book . . . so extraordinary, is the characters. The way they interact with each other. Their banter, their fights, their hatred, their love. How you can be on the edge of your seat, thinking someone is about to die, when Jesper suddenly says something that makes you spit food out of your mouth in the middle of a restaurant. The way Matthias and Nina's animosity for each other is palpable, but not quite a palpable as their desire. The devotion of Inej and Kaz, the banter between Kaz and Jesper, and Jesper and Wylan. The girl-power that is owned by Inej and Nina. The way each chapter is told from a different view-point, but I never got confused about who was telling the story. These characters, their lives, their stories, are beautifully and wonderfully written. I love them. I want to be friends with them. I want to slap them when they're being stupid and hold them when they're hurt. They're real to me, and what more could you possibly ask for out of a story?
Obviously, this book has literally everything I love about an amazing story. I knew Six of Crows was going to be a good book. I had no idea that it would be one of the best books I've ever read. I adore it, I will read it over and over, and I just can not wait to find out what happens next.
Thank you, Leigh, for sharing this world with us. Thank you, Macmillan Publishing, for sharing it with me!
*For those wondering, you don't need to read the Grisha series first, but it does make it a little more rich as there are nods to former characters and a history that is mentioned. Plus they're awesome.