Book Review: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

six of crows cover

Six of Crows
by Leigh Bardugo
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Series:  Six of Crows #1
Release date: September 29th 2015
Rating: life ruining

I dragged myself through Shadow and the Bone because I wanted to read this book.  It has been on my TBR for the last year.  I am kicking myself for not reading it sooner. Six of Crows is essentially a YA fantasy heist book.  Six teens travel to the North to break a scientist who has developed a dangerous drug out of the most secure place in the world.  Which kind of sounds as if it will be ridiculous but ended up being awesome.

Some of the reason that I enjoyed Six of Crows more than Shadow and the Bone was the switch from third person past to first person.  First person is pretty tricky for me.  If the author doesn’t hit exactly the right note then I get all huffy and start resenting the narrator.  It is a problem.  I am far more forgiving of third person narration.

I was hardcore rooting for each of the couples.  There isn’t really any kissing which makes sense because they are pulling a job and if any of them had been making out I would have been yelling at them (literally) for being stupid.  Kaz is a magnificent bastard mastermind in the full tradition of that trope.  I know that he has a hidden heart of gold.  Somewhere.  I know it.  I hate that I am so much more willing to accept and a jerk of a character as a male than as a female.  I loved the core of strength and decency in Inej.  She more than any of the other is clear headed about who she is and what she wants.  The process that she goes through to decide what she wants for herself and for her life is truly inspiring.  Note to YA authors: please write more female characters who can problem solve their lives like this while still remaining a warm and likable character. 

I loved Jesper but I also wanted to put him in a twelve step program.  In addition I want to do some serious work with his to help him develop more heathy coping strategies for (what I have diagnosed *not qualified*) as ADHD.  So much potential.  I am very impressed with his his bisexuality was handled.  It was just casually addressed.  There but not a THING.  No Angst.  Yay! Nina was the most difficult character for me to warm up to.  While her motivations are perfectly clear I found her a bit too “lone wolf” for me.  However, her actions were never stupid so I can get over it.  Matthias is the kind of damaged and morally torn character that I am a sucker for.  Unjustly imprisoned?  Check.  Betrayed?  Check.  Forbidden love?  Check.  Plus he has a grouchy stick up his ass.  Just kiss Nina already.

The plot was impeccable.  There are a lot of elements that felt familiar if you have ever watched a heist movie.  Leigh Bardugo plays with tropes here to great effect.  The plot and the characters are familiar and yet not predictable.  That takes some talent.  Immediately started Crooked Kingdom after finishing this.