I always found Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha trilogy relatively entertaining and readable, but the books in that series never made my “Best of 201-whatever” lists. They were pretty good and I enjoyed them for the most part, even when I didn’t really connect with the characters (except for Sturmhond, he was always awesome and should have been in the books more), but they never became favorites of mine. As a result, I went into the first book in this spin-off trilogy with a little trepidation, expecting more of “yay, I think I like it, but now that I’m done, I don’t really care” – luckily, for the most part, I was wrong.
Looking at my ratings, this book is pretty much on par with the books in the Grisha series, but I think it’s different because it’s likely to stick with me more long after reading it. There are six main characters and we get in the head of five of them, and they’re pretty much all more memorable and interesting to me than Alina ever was.
This book had a lot of hype going into it, and unfortunately I think that affected my reading of it, but not nearly as much as some other books have suffered in my mind. Sometimes I think I was supposed to enjoy the banter between characters more, and I just couldn’t get into it for some reason, but the relationships and the plot pulled me in enough that that didn’t matter too much.
I like heist-type books, which is probably why this book impresses me more than Alina’s story in the Grisha trilogy, which was sorely lacking in heists and elaborate plans. Even when I was a bit irritated because the background of most of the characters was withheld and very, very slowly revealed the more we read (really, that was a sore spot for me – I feel like it’s supposed to add a sense of mystery, but it just annoys me and makes me want to skip ahead just so that I don’t have to listen to the vague, convoluted double-speak about their past without actually revealing much), the plot interested me enough that I could forget about it for the most part. I wanted to see how they were going to pull things off, and what they might have to sacrifice in the process.
I think the big difference between this book and the Grisha books is how I feel about it afterward, when I’m thinking about it and reviewing it. Even though I enjoyed the Grisha books for the most part while I was reading them, when I would think about them afterwards, I would be kind of “meh” about them – I get that feeling a lot, where I enjoy something while reading or watching it, but have trouble pushing myself back into them when I’m not actively reading/watching them because I have trouble remembering how much I enjoy them. I had trouble picking up later books even though I knew that I read them fairly quickly and enjoyed them while I was reading them. With the Six of Crows series, I think that’ll change – I’m already excited about the sequel, Crooked Kingdom, so that I can see what happens to everyone after the end of this book. I look back on the story much more fondly, perhaps even more fondly than I felt while I was actually reading it, and it’s that lasting feeling that can be very important for a book.
If you were too lazy to read all this rambling (which would be understandable, don’t think I’m insulting my beloved readers!), this is the gist of the whole thing: this book wasn’t perfect, but I did enjoy it more than its companion trilogy and look back on it fondly, which seems like a pretty good sign to me. So I’ll just be over in a corner, mulling over my thoughts some more while I wait for the sequel.
Title: Six of Crows
Position: Book One in the Six of Crows series
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.