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Wonder Woman: Warbringer (DC Icons Series) Hardcover – August 29, 2017
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"Cinematic battles and a race against time keep the excitement high, but the focus on girls looking out for each other is what makes this tie-in shine."—Kirkus Reviews, starred review (for Wonder Woman: Warbringer)
"Bardugo's set up is shiver-inducing, of the delicious variety. This is what fantasy is for." ―New York Times Book Review (for Shadow and Bone)
"The darker it gets for the good guys, the better." —Entertainment Weekly (for Shadow and Bone)
"Cracking page-turner with a multiethnic, band of misfits." —Kirkus Reviews, starred review (for Six of Crows)
"A delicious blend of masterfully executed elements . . . Bardugo outdoes herself." —Booklist (for Crooked Kingdom)
About the Author
LEIGH BARDUGO is the #1 New York Times bestselling and USA Today bestselling author of Six of Crows, Crooked Kingdom, and the Shadow and Bone Trilogy. She is the first author in the DC Icons Series, where the DC Comics super hero icons are written by megastar young adult authors. Forthcoming books include Batman by Marie Lu, Catwoman by Sarah J. Maas, and Superman by Matt de la Peña.
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Top customer reviews
When the teenage Diana (she is never called Wonder Woman) rescues a young girl from a floundering boat she breaks one of the cardinal rules of Themyscira: no humans allowed on the island or face permanent exile. But there is something about the girl, Alia, that prevents Diana from letting her die before she is discovered. Then, events on the island lead Diana to consult the Oracle and what it tells her about Alia forces Diana to leave Themyscira and face the human world.
But, the girls don't end up where they had originally planned; they end up in New York, Alia's hometown. This is where the book gets really interesting, and fun. Just because the Amazons are an isolated people does not mean they do not know about the world beyond their island. They study it in school and even though there is no Internet or cars or planes on Themyscira, Diana at least knows what they are. Her knowledge, though, is book-based and in New York she gets to feel, smell, taste and experience the modern world. She rides an elevator, swims in the Hudson, buys junk food, parachutes, sleeps in a roach motel and meets Alia's amusing friends and her uptight brother, Jason.
Warbringer is well written and full of twists and excitement and never takes itself seriously. As she is a die-hard and lifelong WW fan, it definitely comes out and it is apparent that Bardugo had fun writing this. There are some pretty fanciful scenes that stretch the reader's ability to suspend disbelief, but, you know, the novel is inspired by a comic book character and written by a woman who created the Grishaverse, it's going to be fantastical.
This is the sixth Leigh Bardugo's YA fantasy novel that I have read and I feel this book is more young young adult than either The Grisha Trilogy or Crooked Kingdom series. Crooked Kingdom was gritty and dark with characters with dubious intentions and some of Bardugo's best dialogue. The Grisha Trilogy was loaded with fantasy and magic and sexy evil creatures. Warbringer is just plain fun. The characters are young and they read young. I read the entire Crooked Kingdom series imagining Kaz was in his twenties. Diana and Alia and her friends are teenagers and they act like it.
It's a great book and perfect for any Wonder Woman fan over the age of ten (no swearing, no sex, some bisexual innuendo but definitely tamer that what you find on the TV). I loved it.
Diana is a relatable heroine, despite most mortals having nothing in common with her. Well, I'm sure we've all felt the need to prove our selves, and for Diana and Alia, this is most of the book. Even through the pitfalls you never for a moment think they're pathetic, or unsympathetic, which tends to be my biggest issue with these kinds of stories. These girls give their all (which for some means a lot of fighting)-as Hippolyta advises, they didn't enter this race to lose.
The plot had a few good twists, which I found predictable and just didn't care because they were well written. There certainly were times where I caught myself thinking, "Will they actually make it out of this?". I suppose we know they will, but it was questionable at the time, and the fact that Bardugo made me question is fantastic writing on her part.
Without really noticing, this book tackles huge issues of the times, such as feminism, racism, etc. And never once did these topics come off as preachy. It really felt as though a modern person just had to explain them to somebody without a concept of them-stuff happens, and we move on. I appreciated this matter-of-fact approach, as it not only kept the books flow, but also in a way made me look at humanity as Diana does. Capable of good and evil in equal shares.
This is very much a fast-paced, powerful woman sort of hero's quest, and I enjoyed it from the very first sentance on.
The beginning of the novel establishes Themyscira, the Amazons, and Diana plus her origins. Themyscira is a utopian society populated by only women of all different nationalities and sexual preferences who have chosen to live there after rejecting the wartorn, violent world of man. Some of them a resentful of Diana because she doesn't have the experience and hasn't proven herself as an Amazon, yet receives preferential treatment as Queen Hippolyta's daughter. Although Tek, the most vocal about this subject, has a point, she resorts to pathetically insulting teenage Diana overtly and covertly at every turn. As a result, Diana has to hide her true feelings, brush off the poor treatment, feel like she doesn't belong, and strive to prove herself as capable as much as she can. When Alia lands on the island, the storms, disease, and earthquakes are shocking on such an idyllic island and fill Diana with guilt. The Oracle brings the timbre of ancient myths as a powerful, dangerous mystic who gives useful information if approached correctly.
Diana is thrown into the modern human world without being totally ignorant of their technology or modern sensibilities. The island is somehow aware of all the technological advances and human history, so Diana's gaps are in actual interactions in this unfamiliar world. She has knowledge of cars, helecopters, war, disease, etc, but it's completely different to hear the noise of the city, sit in a moving car, and dodge lethal bullets. What I love so much about her character, especially compared to the cinematic version of her, is that she defends herself physically and verbally. She throws clever barbs when needed and translates modern sensibilities through the lens of her experiences instead of looking at everything cluelessly. The biggest adjustment to our world is the ease with which we lie. She's so used to people being genuine that it shocks her and makes her cautious in the future. Her abilities are a mystery to her since she's never had to use them to actually protect herself before and she pushes her limits time and time again. Her journey to prove herself is understandable and blossoms into a genuine desire to protect humanity and their world.
Alia comes from an affluent family with a Greek father and a Louisianan mother. She tries to escape notice and keep to herself as a way to avoid how she's inevitably treated due to her skin color. She also somehow always finds conflict surrounding but not including her. Her status as Warbringer brings violence and chaos wherever she goes, completely involuntarily. Her very presence will cause the next worldwide war if she doesn't either die or bathe in the waters of Helen of Troy's resting place. Alia thinks Diana is insane and part of a cult before Diana's proved right, but they find common ground in both of their disparate experiences. Both want to be judged for their actions rather than things they have no control over like origins, money, family, or bloodline. Alia is much more sarcastic and funny than Diana and has a point of view more relatable to the reader. She doesn't have physical strength, but strength of will and interesting ways of thinking through situations with her science background. By the end of the book, she develops into someone unafraid of attention, willing to fight for her friends and what she believes in.
After seeing the Wonder Woman film, I was curious to see how this book fits into that lore. They prove to be in completely different universes and most of the changes are ones I would have liked to see in the movie. So much of this book is amazing from the natural character interactions to the crazy awesome minor characters like Alia's best friend Nim, eccentric clothign designer. I especially loved her unique point of view seeing the world's patterns and finding meaning in visual art plus her killer sense of humor. Some plot points didn't feel right to me even though it fit the theme. The villain in particular seemed to come out of nowhere, but the ending is satisfying. Wonder Woman: Warbringer is an action packed book with friendship, heart, and characters struggling to find their place in the world. I would love to see another Wonder Woman book by Leigh Bardugo because she fundamentally understands Diana and creates a fantastical world grounded in reality.
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Not being a big DC superhero fan, I had ordered this book hoping Leigh Bardugo would offer a new and unique spin on...Read more