The Crew, the Plan, the Heist of a Lifetime: 'Six of Crows'

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Six of Crows
Leigh Bardugo  

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.

Note: I got this as an ARC from the Guardian.

The mission if you choose to accept it is to break into the Ice Palace and retrieve a prisoner who could cause magical havoc on the world.

Step One: Assemble the Team

Step Two: Plan the Attack

Step Three: Begin the Attack

Step Four: Make Sure Matthais and Nina Don't Slaughter Each Other (With Love)

(If you get this reference, I will love you forever.)

Step Five: Don't Fall For Inej--I Mean Find Bo Yul-Bayur

Step Six: Bring Bo Yul-Bayur to Kerch

Step Seven: Spend Your Reward (If You Don't Die)

I have to say this first.
No, you don't need to read the Grisha Trilogy before this book. Sure, there are references to Mal and Alina and Zoya in lots of places, but you don't have to. It would be a different experience entirely. I personally DID read the Grisha Trilogy, and this was a great first book to a new series.
Now, back to your regularly scheduled programing.

My favorite part was Nina. Gah. Nina was perfect. She was witty and hilarious. She was sarcastic and flirty. I loved her character. Not to mention her bravery. She stood up for herself. She fought for her friends. She had a big heart, caring for these unloved Barrel rats like they were her own. She was caring without being warm and fuzzy. She was useful in her own way.
She was so real. Nina could be my best friend. She could be my cousin or a long-lost sister. (Psh. It could totally happen.) She could be anyone I know.
Congratulations, Leigh Bardugo, on making Nina real.

I thought the plot was amazing. Kaz really kept you guessing. Even when it was from his perspective. There were a million moving parts. Kaz didn't predict them all, but the crew acted on their feet. They reacted and fought back. They faced problems and calmly walked through them. I admired their level-headedness. It's definitely a quality a reader needs when waiting for the next book. (Honestly, we readers can be very impatient people. Level-headedness isn't a trait we readers have.)
And not to completely forget the action. Can I just fangirl about it? These people could fight. They could seriously fight. I loved that. I'm an action junkie when it comes to books. Action gets my heart rate up.

I adored the multiple perspectives. Others might complain about it. I liked it. We got the backstory from two perspectives. Nina and Matthais were both there on the sinking ship.
And, not only that, Bardugo built tension from the switching scenes. Especially in the Ice Palace. The group was divided and separated. They each had their own tasks, and the others might not know about that task.
For example, when Kaz walked off, we had a worried Jesper and a frantic Nina. Two different perspectives about one guy walking off. And then, we had the real reason Kaz went on his own. It gave the story a bit more depth and tension.

The way the characters changed throughout the mission was great. They gained strength and knowledge. (The latter pertains mostly to Wylan.) They gained companions and care and love. Bravery and defiance. I loved their change. They became different people. They became stronger and braver and more loved.
This team was connected in more ways than one by the end.

Every time I saw a character from the Grisha Trilogy, I squealed a bit. Look! Alina. Look! Zoya. (She was really involved in Nina's backstory actually.) I really loved it. I enjoyed the Grisha Trilogy, so it was a nice reminder to see their names in this series.
Also, does anyone remember if Alina is ever killed in the Grisha Trilogy? I just read something that made me suspicious. Was she killed? I completely forgot.

For these reasons, I could barely keep myself from reading. I read every chance I got, sneaking in peeks during lunch and reading in English. (Thank the Saints for SSR.)

My opinion on the cliffhanger ending is meh. I was disappointed by the last chapter from Rollins's perspective. I wanted Kaz or someone to recount that. It would have been cool if Kaz narrated that part.
I wanted to be reassured about Inej's safety. I wanted to be reassured about Nina's well-being. I wanted confirmation. I wanted them to be safe.

I was disappointed by the fact that all the characters paired off. It was annoying.
And almost all the characters revealed hidden love for another. Why? I don't love romance. I've never hidden that fact. I don't like seeing character pair off. (Oh look. Exactly six people. Three couples exactly.) It makes my eye twitch. (Not really.)
And don't say that two of them are guys. Just don't.
And it's worse since I didn't have any love for the couple. No chemistry. I thought one had a good backstory, though. The others? Nope. Nope nope nope.

I wanted more of Wylan and Jesper's backstory. Everyone else got backstories! These two needed it as well. They are amazing characters. Brave and strong characters. Why can't we get backstory? I'd definitely like that in the next book. 



(Pretend that's totally 4.5 suitcases.)

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