SIX OF CROWS by Leigh Bardugo (Review)

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I wonder if this is just going to slowly start turning into me posting pictures of the places I eat breakfast… (just kidding, but if you want that let me know).

480 Pages

Odds are, you’re already familiar with this book.

This is one of those books that has been on my TBR list since it came out in 2015. I remember the buzz that surrounded it, and I think I wanted to let all of it settle down a little before I took my hand at it since I wasn’t already a fan of the author or hadn’t read any of her work yet.  But, at the beginning of this school year, one of my friends let me borrow it and when the whole year went by without me touching it, I knew I would have to give it back soon, so I decided to go ahead and give it a go.

Because of a lot of the names and elements I do not want to get wrong, I am going to copy and past the synopsis from Amazon:

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.

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo returns to the breathtaking world of the Grishaverse in this unforgettable tale about the opportunity―and the adventure―of a lifetime.

Basic Thoughts

I think it is always slightly overwhelming to start a new YA read of this genre – a dystopian, speculative fiction type of world. The main reason being that you’re going to have to learn the meaning to knew words and terms that aren’t usually in the English vocabulary, but instead look like the author just smashed his or her face against the keyboard and where like “Yup, that’s our protagonists name – Zord Zovlfd (< see I just did it…pronounced Zord Zove-l-fed).

But, when done well, this can be one of the most amazing genres fiction has to offer.

Did Six of Crows manage to do this?

Overview

I think I’m going to stray away from the pros and cons list on this one.

In the beginning, not familiar with the Grisha series, I was extremely overwhelmed with new terms, as about 20 are thrown at you within the first quarter of the book. But, about half-way through, I felt I was comfortable enough to have a conversation about what was going on with the friend who had let me borrow it.

Is this book something I’ve never seen before? In short – no.

In my opinion, this is a very stereotypical YA book.

Did I enjoy reading this book? In short (again) – yes.

The reason that YA themes are so repetitive among works is because they’re entertaining and they sell. Does this book have a lot of the tropes that come with YA fiction? Abso-freakin-lutly. I was even able to guess the main character’s love interest within the first 50 pages (though it may have been intentional haha). But, what this book and many other YA books behind it do well is keep me (and many other people, for that matter) entertained.

I loved (most) of the characters, which were all super likable and interesting (especially Kaz and Wylan). The story was interesting. The world was pretty cool. And, while I don’t feel I received the most of what the world built had to offer, I’m going to give Bardugo the benfit of the doubt and say that the Grisha series and this duology combined would offer me a lot more of it.

One thing, that I have to say, is I do feel like this book was a little short, despite its nearly 500 pages, I almost wonder if the second book would have been just fine combined with this one, but, we’ll see.

In short, while this book is definitely not one-of-a-kind in most things, it did keep me very much entertained.

Final Rating:

Characters: 4.0 / 5.0

Action/Dialogue: 4.0 / 5.0

Overall Story: 3.0 / 5.0

FINAL RATING: 3.5  (3.667)

Final Thoughts:

I decided to round down on this one to a 3.5 for reasons that, while I enjoyed this book, a year or two down the road I’m, more than likely, not going to remember or care a lot about it (don’t worry, on GR I’ll mark it as a 4). I’m not itching to pick up the second one; I’m not starving for the movie. But, neither do I think that this book is garbage.

In the end, I’m glad I finally was able to read this one. I can not deny that this book did keep me entertained, and I did enjoy my time reading it. But, am I ordering the second book, rush-delivery? No.

You can buy it here.

Best,

Daniel

 

 

SLEEPING BEAUTIES by Stephen King and Owen King

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Stephen King is one of the most renown authors in the world of Fiction, known by readers and non-readers world wide for his incredible. Sleeping Beautiesa book written by Stephen and his son, Owen, called for an interesting call to the fans and to the fresh readers of King. Could he and his son weave a seamless story for King’s already huge fanbase? Our would they dissapoint?

Sleeping Beauties begins when a strange woman, later known by the name of Evie Black, walks out of the forest, killing two drug dealers in her wake. Soon, the woman population around the world start going to sleep only to be wrapped in a shrouded cocoon, not waking up, and if disturbed can become deadly. But, when Evie goes to sleep, she is perfectly normal. What will the men do with this mystery woman? And how will they react in this world without women?

Basic Thoughts:

I received this book as a Christmas present, and I knew, going into it, that there was going to be a strong, political message that the Kings were going to try and get across. I mean, a world without woman? How would the men get along?

But, that was fine with me. I thought it would be an interesting subject matter. My main concern at the time was: Could the Kings come together and write a story without me knowing that one King was writing over the others? Would this political message get in the way of the story? I guess we would find out.

Pros:

  • While I do consider myself a pretty heavy reader, this is only the second Stephen King (and first Owen King) book that I’ve read, and as stated above, I was weary of this “co-author” thing. The good about this, besides the first 50 pages maybe, I wasn’t able to detect any transition of writing style, making for that “seamless” feeling story.
  • The story is an interesting one, but the thing that really drives this are the characters. And, while the amount of characters is a little hard to keep up with some times, I felt that they all had a pretty powerful, distinct voice, which strengthened the overall conflict.
  • When the action scenes did occur, they were pretty damn cool.

Cons

  • This book is 700 pages exactly, which is definitely not a “light” book. The entire thing is a heavy based story with a heavy based conflict. That being said, I felt the entire book was about 200 pages too long. If the characters spent more time trying to find a solution rather than trying to prevent the inevitable, it would have made for a lot stronger story.
  • Without the political message, is there really a story worth telling?
  • Evie Black

Overall View:

The Kings manage to weave together a complex story with the question: Could society function without women? And while I think that’s a very interesting question to bring up, as a critical reader, I have to ask, is there a story without that political stand point?

I am sadly going to have to say “no”.

We are presented with this character, who may or may not be a protagonist, named Evie Black who is possibly responsible for all of this mess, and by the end, it’s almost as if the entire world forgets about her. The book fails to answer the question that readers have been waiting 700 pages to find out: WHO THE HELL IS SHE?

Also, when I read something (and I knew this going into it, so bare with me), I don’t want to be shoved with a political message. And while it was subtle enough that a person who never watches the news could not register the message, I couldn’t help but feel the Kings put this out as a “hey…we’re men who are feminists…we just thought you should know that…” leaving the reader just wanting to toss the book across the room at some points.

Wrapping it up in a sentence, though, without the political message you are left with the giant question of “Who cares?”

Final Rating

Characters: 4.5/5

Action/Dialogue: 3.5/5

Overall Story: 2/5

FINAL RATING: 3.5

 

Daniel Peralta