Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo (Six of Crows Duology #1) / My rating: ★★★★★
One sentence summary: A group of six young outcasts are hired to kidnap the scientist responsible for the creation of a deadly drug that heightens the power of Grisha, those with elemental powers.
“This isn’t a job for trained soldiers and spies. It’s a job for thugs and thieves. Van Eck knows it, and that’s why he brought us in.”
“You can’t spend his money if you’re dead.”
“I’ll acquire expensive habits in the afterlife.”
Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy
Plot: I loved it! I had so much fun reading this book, getting to know the characters, and joining them on their heist. I’d read the Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardago, set in the same universe of Grisha but not required to understand this book, and loved it- but Six of Crows was even better. This book is so character driven and so plot driven, which made it such a strong read. This book kept me guessing, wondering, and asking why??? It unravels backstories, secret motives, action, adventure, relationships, and twists. The first half was slower paced than the second half, but I enjoyed it for the character building, though the second half was when the action began in earnest and it became hard to put the book down. This book was such a great adventure, and I loved it, loved it, loved it.
Characters: The characters are FANTASTIC, and I loved them. They’re fully developed and diverse, they’re brooding and they’re funny and full of life. We’ve got Kaz, a hardened, crippled criminal and the leader of the heist. Inej, all movement and no sound with knives hidden up her sleeves. Jesper, a sharpshooting gambler with too much energy. Nina, a Grisha who can stop hearts and cut off windpipes with a twist of her hand. Matthias, a betrayed convict with a heart that beats for his nation. And Wylan, a wealthy merchant’s son with a talent for explosives. I love unlikely, rag-tag characters who are tossed together to achieve a goal, and this book gave me exactly that. I loved learning their backstories along the way, unraveling their motives and their secrets, watching their relationships with each other change throughout the book. The plot is entertaining, but the characters are what make this book loveable. There were times I didn’t think I’d come out of the book loving all of them, but Bardugo won my heart over for each, despite and because of their faults. My only gripe is that while the characters are all about 16/17/18 years old, I didn’t feel as if I was reading characters so young- their stories and the way they were written led me to picture them in their early 20s, at least (except, perhaps, Wylan). It almost felt as if their ages were forced so it would fit the YA category, and I kept forgetting they were teens. Still, that didn’t lessen my love for them, and I still really loved this book. (Current fave? Wylan, he’s precious. Or…Jesper ❤ Or sweet, sweet Inej. OR badass NINA. Kaz!!!! How do I choose????? Don’t get me started on the romances…)
Writing: I love Bardugo’s writing. It’s smooth, it flows, it’s descriptive but not overly so, and I love the snarky dialogue between her characters. She creates such a great and thorough universe, and I loved the atmosphere of this book and the settings- the dingy city of Ketterdam, the grandeur of the Ice Court. I loved her storytelling in Six of Crows even more than I did the Grisha Trilogy because of the rotating points of views, and I loved getting to see through the eyes of the different characters. Bardugo tells her stories so well.
Was I satisfied? YES, I was very much satisfied and delighted with how much I loved this book. It was so much fun, and I cannot, cannot wait to start the second book, Crooked Kingdom.