I received this ARC for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Wonder Woman by Leigh Bardugo
Published by Random House Children's Books on Aug. 29, 2017
She will become one of the world’s greatest heroes: WONDER WOMAN. But first she is Diana, Princess of the Amazons. And her fight is just beginning. . . .
Diana longs to prove herself to her legendary warrior sisters. But when the opportunity finally comes, she throws away her chance at glory and breaks Amazon law—risking exile—to save a mere mortal. Even worse, Alia Keralis is no ordinary girl and with this single brave act, Diana may have doomed the world.
Alia just wanted to escape her overprotective brother with a semester at sea. She doesn’t know she is being hunted. When a bomb detonates aboard her ship, Alia is rescued by a mysterious girl of extraordinary strength and forced to confront a horrible truth: Alia is a Warbringer—a direct descendant of the infamous Helen of Troy, fated to bring about an age of bloodshed and misery.
Together, Diana and Alia will face an army of enemies—mortal and divine—determined to either destroy or possess the Warbringer. If they have any hope of saving both their worlds, they will have to stand side by side against the tide of war.
I’m thrilled to be sharing my review for Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo as the next stop on the blog tour.
I read this book back in March and have not stopped thinking about it since. I am so head over heels for it. It’s kind of ridiculous.
But before I talk more about why I love it, a disclaimer: I had a very surface level knowledge of Wonder Woman before starting this book. I’d never read a comic or watched a show/movie. I basically just knew her outfit, logo, that she’s an Amazon, and that she had an invisible jet. If you’re like that, it’s totally ok! Wonder Woman: Warbringer is a totally new Wonder Woman story. It’s Diana as a teen, but not tied directly to any other Wonder Woman storyline. You will not be missing any important information, I promise.
And now to try and articulate my love for this story… where to even begin. I was immediately drawn into Diana’s story. Bardugo is such a stellar storyteller. The way she weaves the world building and character development into the plot is seamless. She captures the readers attention and doesn’t let it go. For example, the story starts on Themyscira. As a reader we learn so much about the island, the way of life for the Amazons, and Diana’s personality. Each detail is revealed naturally and helps to move the story along. No info dumps or sections of overwhelming descriptions. But somehow everything is vivid and characters are unique and rounded. HOW DOES SHE DO IT?!?!
Speaking of characters, this book has such a great cast. Themyscira is an island full of female warriors from throughout time and all over the world. We see glimpses of all different backgrounds and beliefs. Once Diana enters our world with Alia we get the group of five characters we spend most of the rest of the book with. It was so refreshing to see a group of characters that are realistically and authentically diverse. I’m not really sure how else to say that. Basically, the diverse characters weren’t in this book as tokens. I recommend reading this review at Black Nerd Problems for more.
And the friendships!!! Blessings upon blessings to Leigh Bardugo for a book where the ladies support one another and have strong, beautiful friendships! I loved seeing Diana’s friendships develop as she meets more new people and realizes she doesn’t have to stay in the boxes almost everyone on the island tried to put her in.
There were so, so, so many scenes in this book that I flagged and made notes on. Seriously. It was basically every few pages that I had to stop and make note of something I loved. So much truth! Diana was raised on an island of warrior women. She doesn’t have the same gender bias that our society fosters. I loved basically every interaction with her and a dude. She’s smart and strong and tells it like she sees it. I want to be more like her!
Many of the scenes I loved are spoilery but I’ll share two here that really stuck out to me:
I absolutely adored how Alia acknowledges her anger here. She starts to do the thing so many women are taught to do… brush it off. I love how Leigh has her stop and acknowledge how angry she is, but also move on in the way that is most beneficial to her. This seems like such a little thing… acknowledging anger. But it was huge for me to see.
And I’ve already changed my mind about sharing the second excerpt. I think it will be better experienced if you read it in context. I will say it’s about half way down the page on page 304. I sobbed when I first read it. Like, uncontrollably. It hit me as a woman, as a teacher, as an aunt to nieces. Ugh. Leigh = brilliant.
Basically I just really, really, really think you need to read this book. It’s smart and funny and has so much truth about our society today in it. Also, Hamilton references. So all the important things!