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Thursday, February 01, 2018

Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo

Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo

Book Stats:  

Reading level: Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy, mythology,
Hardcover: 369 pages
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Release date: August 29, 2017

Series:  DC Icons, #1

Source: Library

Reviewed by: Kara

Order: Amazon | Book Depository

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.

Fans of the recent movie will want to know, where does this book fit in? Well, Diana is a "teenager" in years, for a start. It seems to be pre-movie, but is not in any way connected to the movie or the comic series in chronology. (I've never read the comics, so I'm just taking this from Leigh's info about writing the book that she spoke about once.) This tale takes place in the modern era, finding Diana desperate to be worthy of her sisters and her mother's legacy. Diana is much less sure of herself and rather impetuous, choosing to fight her insecurities through action by rescuing Alia and attempting to reverse her Warbringer destiny. Rather than being sure of her superhuman abilities, here Diana does not fly or cause pulse shocks (or whatever you call it) with her armbands. Instead she is constantly trying to show her skills as a warrior, tougher than average because she's been trained by the best of her Amazon sisters. Even without her more flashy superpowers, Diana shines as she single-handedly manages to keep a horde of gun-toting mercenaries in a chase for miles and then leap aboard an ascending aircraft.

In Diana's relationship with and through Alia, we finally get to see how she navigates female friendship, potential romance, and discovers modern customs and humor as she meets Alia's friends Theo and Nim and her brother Jason. Here Diana gets her first dose of human violence, politics and manipulation all the while adapting to the mythical power of the Warbringer and the entropy towards mass destruction. I loved the characters and Nim, Theo, Jason and Alia come to life just as much as larger-than-life Diana.

It's a very clever, fun book, and while I don't want to give too much away, I will say I was laughing out loud at times and impressed by some astute observations on the behavior of humanity. I also learned a shared fact about Wonder Woman - she prefers Shakespeare's Benedick and Beatrice over Romeo and Juliet, a woman after my own heart! This was a fantastic book for fans of Wonder Woman and will grab teens who're new to the fandom. I loved the twists at the end and the spurts of mythology that almost remind readers of the appeal of Rick Riordan's famous Percy Jackson etc. series.

Here are some of my favorite quotes:

Jason: "I'm just saying all those things that make our lives so convenient have a price. Think about the way technology has changed modern warfare. How much courage do you need to launch an air strike from behind a computer screen?"

Nim shook her head, "Alia and I have spent half our lives being bullied. If those asshats think they can scare us into not fighting back, they're in for an education."
Nim held up her right pinky and Alia locked her own finger into it. Alia raised her left hand, and after a moment of confusion, Diana hooked her pinky with Alia's, then offered her other pinky to Nim.
"Are you guys forming a coven?" called Theo, the spare slung over his bony shoulder.
"Bubble, bubble," said Nim with a determined grin.
Alia squeezed her pinkies and felt Nim and Diana squeeze back.
They answered together, "Make some trouble."

Read an excerpt.

Watch the book trailer.

Kara is a teen librarian living in the southeastern US with her husband (who listens to books), young daughter (who sleeps with books), and dog (who tastes the books). She loves all sorts of books, but mostly YA, and will never catch up to all of the wonderful things to read.

1 Person left their mark:

  1. I'm so excited to read this! I haven't had a chance to read any of the new DC books yet but I have seen the Wonder Woman movie (which, honestly, is all I know about her) but I'm kind of glad to hear this doesn't really connect to the movie at all. I really want to see the other sides of Diana before she became the self-assured warrior we all know from the movie. I think I may have to buy hardcovers of the whole series though just because the covers are SO beautiful! Lovely review, Kara!

    Laura @BlueEyeBooks