Wowowowowow it’s been so long since I did one of these! Radio silence is not cool but life got hectic when I graduated college in May and started grad school just two months later *faints*
I waited a while to read Six of Crows because I wasn’t sold on it, but thank goodness it went in the sale area of the Barnes and Noble site! Since it was being marketed as a kind of prequel to Shadow and Bone, which I had not been interested in based on the free sample (when Nook still had them…. RIP), I saw the hype for this and ignored it as something for fans of the series. If you’re having the same feeling, let it be known that Six of Crows and its sequel, Crooked Kingdom, are their own story! While they are set in the same world as Shadow and Bone, the characters and plot line is in fact different.
Warning – when I finished this I immediately went on to Crooked Kingdom, which follows this plot line… so I will try to keep this review as separate from the sequel as I can. (also beware – the juiciness may force you to follow my footsteps!)
Meet Kaz Brekker, born and raised by the Barrel and a lieutenant of the Crows, one of the gangs swarming Ketterdam. He runs this gang in every way but title, and everyone knows it. He is brutal, efficient, and seemingly omnipotent. So when he gets taken by surprise on his home turf and offered a job he can’t turn down, anyone with ties to him is in for a wild ride. With a mind boggling payment dangling in front of them, 6 kids take on the most impossible heist of a lifetime.
This book keeps you turning the pages from start to finish with action, mystery, and just a dash of politics. Overall, I liked the originality of the characters. They are faceted and feel real without losing the core of the fact that these characters are still children, which I love. Often you get books in which the children actually form thoughts essentially as adults, and while these guys are definitely mature and hardened due to their lifestyles, they retain an innocence and belief that reminds you of their age. The point of view switches essentially every chapter, which I don’t always appreciate, but Bardugo does a nice job of making the switches necessary. It is true that when I finished this installment I felt like I needed more background on some characters, especially Kaz, but never fear! The story will come in book 2, for which I was greatly appreciative. It is an extremely face paced book, and you feel sympathy for the characters all the more because of the long hours spent awake with one event after the next. Spots that could have been slow were smoothly livened up with flashbacks or just a little bit of humor. I love that the flashbacks come in spurts throughout the novel, allowing the reader to come to understand the story piece by piece rather than all at once.
Basically, if you haven’t read this one yet, get out there and do it! You can see Kaz Brekker and his gang through not only Six of Crows but also Crooked Kingdom, which will have a review to come. Happy reading!!!!!