BOOK REVIEW: Six of Crows {Six of Crows, # 1} by Leigh Bardugo

“A gambler, a convict, a wayward son, a lost Grisha, a Suli girl who had become a killer, a boy from the Barrel who had become something worse.”

Last May, having binged the Netflix adaptation of Leigh Bardugo's Shadow and Bone, I reviewed the book of the same title, only to find that the characters I truly adored from the TV series {Inej, Kaz, and Jesper}, were nowhere to be seen. Fast forward to April 2022, I elected to forgo the rest of the Shadow and Bone series {for the time being} and merely skip to the Six of Crows Duology in order to meet my favorite heist trio in novel form. Though intriguing and adventure-laden at times, I can't say that this introduction lived up to my expectations. In fact, I found myself slogging through repetitive dialogue, lackluster characters, and a premise that I was unable to ever become fully vested in - leading me to believe that I will not be reading part two. Womp womp.

Ketterdam {aka the Barrel}, a locale for sinners not saints, bustles day and night with international trade. Pickpockets prowl the streets; gangs take over entire territories; and, for the right price, anything can be had. No one knows this better than seventeen-year-old Kaz Brekker {aka Dirtyhands} - a criminal mastermind with fast hands and a crew of unlawful, fearless friends with the courage to take on any crime, known as The Dregs. Though Brekker is the brains behind each malfeasance; he himself knows that he would be unable to pull anything off without his crew of outcasts. And so, when he accepts the job of a lifetime, one that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams {if he survives}, he knows exactly who to enlist to get the job done.

The Dregs are quite the motley crew of criminals, with assorted pasts and personalities that oftentimes clash with one another; but they are a family of sorts - and families, regardless of how dysfunctional they may be, stick together. Inej {aka the Wraith}, a contortionist/spy with deadly dagger aim and a conscience; Jesper, a sharpshooter {and former farm boy} with a bad gambling habit; Nina, a hilarious Heartrender surviving the slums with the use of her magic; newcomers Wylan and Matthias; and Kaz himself - a convict hungry for revenge. Together, Kaz is convinced that he will be able to execute the heist of the century: penetrating an inaccessible prison facility known as The Ice Court and extracting Bo Yul-Bayur, the chemist behind the accidentally-created drug jurda parem, a product that, in the wrong hands, could spell disaster for Grisha. To the average criminal, it sounds like an impossible feat; to Kaz and his crew, it's a ticket to incredible riches.

This book y'all...I struggled - like, struggled-so-much-I-had-to-take-a-break-at-the-halfway-point. Don't get me wrong, I found the characters of Inej, Kaz, and Jesper to be entertaining at times, and seeing their backstory was intriguing; but the persistent shifts between character POV and present/past scenarios was enough to make my head spin. On top of that, I truly felt that, after the first 25% of the book, the rest of the story just kept going in circles. My main goal for continuing on was simply to finish it, so that I could begin the next book in my TBR pile - never a good sign. Part of my...disinterest in this story could be blamed on the romantic situations involving all of the characters, which I find incredibly boring; or, perhaps, I just wasn't sold on the characters willingness to attempt such an insane heist. Regardless of the reason, I feel that this will be my last foray into the Grishaverse and Bardugo's work as a whole.

Star Rating: ***



R's Rue said...

Thanks for the honest review. Have a great day lovely.

Ananka said...

Sounds okay :-D

ellie said...

I have struggled with Wuxia novels when I loved the drama so much, but somehow got lost in translation. Thanks for the review.

Caitlin'nMegan said...

So great to read your review. So honest. I am glad you liked the Netflix series. Glad that you reviewed this book.

Ivy's Closet said...

I have not read this, but I have seen the book around. I haven't watched the series either. Thanks so much for the honest review!

Better Left Unsaid said...

Oh, it does sounds like an interesting story. Glad to get the real deal from you.

Hollyn'Stevie said...

Very cool review!

Cherry Blossoms said...

Thanks for the honest review!

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