Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo has got to be one of the most highly anticipated YA novels of 2015. I remember first seeing it as the must-have book from BEA, and I have to admit I was mad jealous that everyone seemed to have a copy but me. I pre-ordered it, of course, and like always, once it arrived it sat on my shelf…and sat, and sat. Eventually, I picked it up and it blew my expectations out of the water.
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.
Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.
The main reason I loved this book was the hidden depths in each of the six characters we follow in the novel. The chapters are told in various POVs and the secret motivations and traumatic past of most of these characters was so intriguing. I have to say Kaz and Inej were my favorite because they were so complex with the trauma they endured, but Matthias totally did it for me with his constant brooding and unyielding loyalty. All the characters had something to offer and unlike other books that often shift POV, I was never bored or felt like skipping over a character’s perspective. Bardugo did a great job in creating widely diverse characters, whether they were from different cultural backgrounds or suffered from disabilities. I loved the variety, which isn’t found in many books.
An interesting, and unexpected, thing about this book was the lack of romance, yet it was incredibly romantic. Bardugo weaved an action-packed story with edge-of-your-seat tension as the gang undertakes the ultimate heist, but like all professionals, there is no room for romance. Or is there? The romantic elements throughout the story are subtle at first and by the end it slaps you in the face…in a very, very good way.
I loved the buildup in this story. With each life or death encounter, I had NO IDEA how Kaz and the gang would get through it but they always did in the most unexpected and exciting way. I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes heist movies like Ocean’s Eleven.
The ending wasn’t what I wanted but I was oddly satisfied. Perhaps it’s because I know there will be a sequel. I am exciting to see what new plotting adventure Bardugo will take us on as the gang takes on Kaz’s ultimate enemy in their home territory all for the sake of an unaddressed but oh so real love.
STARS: 5 out of 5