DNF: Ink and Bone  My Thoughts: Six of Crows My Thoughts: A Darker Shade of Magic My Thoughts: Quake

Saturday, January 9, 2016

My Thoughts: Six of Crows, By Leigh Bardugo

  • Age Range: 12 - 18 years
  • Lexile Measure: HL790L (What's this?)
  • Series: Six of Crows
  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) (September 29, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1627792120
  • ISBN-13: 978-1627792127

"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.

Kaz's crew are the only ones who might stand between the world and destruction—if they 

don't kill each other first"
 - Goodreads

My Thoughts:
In a sea of post-apocalyptic bloodfests and other end-of-the world scenarios, Six of Crows is a refreshingly low-stakes novel, that reads more like a character drama as opposed to a big summer blockbuster. Of course the inherent risk in this, and the reason why there are so few novels like Bardugo's is that the characters have to be amazing. Which is thankfully the case here.
“He needed to tell her...what? That she was lovely and brave and better than anything he deserved. That he was twisted, crooked, wrong, but not so broken that he couldn't pull himself together into some semblance of a man for her.
Our big escapade, courtesy of a wealthy merchant is headed by five acquaintances and "employee's  of Kaz Brekker's street gang- the Dregs. Each of who have each been selected for their specific and prodigious abilities, making them indispensable to each other. That however doesn't stop this group of  17 year old's from occasionally rubbing shoulders, or even breaking into a few heated arguments. I can say with confidence that the banter, and perhaps even more so the emotional dialogue between these outlaws carried the book, and even "lubricated" the moments without much action. Which somewhat ties into my criticism about...

Six of Crows being too long. Huh!? I get the idea, I know - its a wonderfully "slow burn" story. But as I turned the last few pages, and carefully closed the decorative hardback - two thoughts rose to the surface. 1: The entire first chapter and almost all of the Ketterdam city setup could've been shortened, and 2: This whole fiasco doesn't need to be a series. It could have been a perfectly good standalone adventure had the last few chapters been done a bit differently.

Hell, the way Volume 1 ends, you'd practically HAVE to buy the next installment; which would be fine if it were a post-apocalyptic end-of-the-world saga like Star Wars and had a bunch of perceivable material to go on, but judging by book one, I'm starting to doubt it.

"Kaz flexed his fingers in his gloves. How did you survive the Barrel? When they took everything from you, you found a way to make something from nothing"
The quality that redeems Six of Crow's in my mind, and reedeems some of the points raised above is its very "qoutesy". And by that entirely made up term, I mean to say its chock full of vibrant and thought-catching quotes, Seriously, the ones I've used in this review are just a few of many that significantly help emphasize the brutality of Ketterdam's "Barrel" as well as the people who come out of it. I can't say you'll emphasize with the savagery of Kaz, but after taking a peek into his backstory, you'll certainly feel for him.

My Rating: 4/5

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