Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo.
Published 8/29/17 by Random House For Young Readers, 384 pages. 4 out of 5
These days, few books can keep me up too late because I value my sleep so highly. Although I used to be able to stay up late-late finishing books, I've not been able to do so for a few years, even with my favorite novels. 'Wonder Woman: Warbringer' changed that. Bardugo's writing is so captivating and I read the last 250 pages of this book in a single day because I was completely hooked. Having only read fantasy from her before I was really excited to see what she could possibly do with an archetypal heroine, and it definitely didn't disappoint.
Wonder Woman is a legend, but before she became one, she was just a princess, trying to prove to herself and her sisters that she is much, much more than that. That she is a true Amazon. Diana's characterization is so well-done. This is sort of a prequel story to the actual Wonder Woman stories many people know. The book is set in modern day, and Diana is around 17 years old, so be aware of that. It hurt my head to try and figure out the logistics of it at first, but after awhile I stopped trying to place the story in time and just enjoyed the story at hand. If you're hoping to read this book and find the wonderfully adorable and badass Diana you know and love, then you will not be disappointed. Bardugo did an amazing job representing our favorite warrior, with the book full of hilarious revelations from Diana. "Is Google one of your Gods?" it was refreshing to see her ironic humor in a book.
This is your average quest book, but I still found the story engaging. The beginning of the book was very similar to the opening of the movie--a plane crashing into the water in the movie, a boat exploding in the water in the book--and I thought that was neat (coincidence? I'm not sure). From the first page, I was rooting for Diana, and once other characters were introduced, I was rooting for them too. There were times I wished there was some more urgency--if Diana and Alia didn't complete their task, world war would break out--but I was never really bored. How could I be? Even the downtime moments were filled with excellent character development.
When it comes to the “Ships” or the “Triangles”, I loved that the focus was not on romance but on friendship and the loyalty, trust and effort required to make it work to get through the toughest of times. Of course there were twists and the discovery that people are not always who you think they are. I also thought it was fresh that the lines of good vs evil or maybe it's more right vs wrong, I don't know, were a little blurred. I was certainly kept intrigued by who the real bad guys were anyway.
As she is a die-hard and lifelong WW fan, it definitely comes out and it is apparent that Bardugo had fun writing this. 'Wonder Woman: Warbringer' doesn't read like Bardugo's fantasy work, BUT...I'm now convinced this woman can write any genre. Her magic for writing multi-layered characters, sassy dialogue, and electrifying plot twists will never cease to amaze me. Highly recommended.
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