Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
Publication Date: September 29th, 2015
Song I Played While Reading: Ghosts 'n' Stuff by deadmau5
Rating: 4 stars
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 right 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
Kay's crew are the only ones who might stand between the world and destruction- if they don't kill each other first.
I have no words. None. The thought-process behind this book was GENIUS and I don't understand how Bardugo did it. It's absolutely mind-blowing.
You might know Leigh Bardugo from The Grisha trilogy, which, now that I think about it, I have a weird love/like relationship with. Some days I'm like "I NEED TO REREAD THIS SERIES NOW BECAUSE IT'S LIFE" and other days I'm like "FUCKING BARDUGO, FIX THAT ENDING" or "I NEED A BOOK FROM NIKOLAI'S POV NOW".
You don't need to read that series to read Six of Crows, which is a good thing because then everyone can go out now and pick this up and read it. The writing was impeccable, the characters were FLAWLESS AND WONDERFUL AND FUNNY, and as I said earlier, this heist?? MIND BLOWING. The ending will leave you screaming for more. It did for me *insert my fav emoji: the nervous smiley face with the sweat droplet on his brow*
Let's start with WHYYYY I gave this four stars instead of 5. Why, Mariah? Why? WHY?
The second chapter (Or the first from our crew's pov, whichever you decide) blew me the hell away. It not only solidified my love for Inej, but it gave me a sneak peek into what kind of cunning criminals we were dealing with here, and my oh my, did I fall in love.
Now, I had believed that my one true love would be Matthias, and Nina would be my girl-crush, mostly from what I heard about them and their pictures on the Six of Crows poster. Bardugo said she got physical inspiration for Matthias from Charlie Hunnam. If you guys don't know who that is, FEAST YOUR EYES.
And since Mr. Hunnam is the embodiment of my perfect man, I thought I was done for. I was ready to sign off as being Mrs. Helvar. But I was in for a hell of a shock when we meet him and... he's a stuffy, judgmental, turd head. And Nina? She wasn't as funny and wicked as I thought she'd be. She was more emotional and kind, which obviously isn't at all a bad thing, but it was unexpected and threw me off.
This story was a little slow for me in the beginning, especially before breaking Matthias out and during the planning stages. I got a little scared for a minute, thinking "crap, what if this isn't as good as I thought it would be?! First Queen of Shadows and now this?!" Luckily, it didn't come to that. Once everyone warmed up to each other (i.e. Matthias started acting a little less frigid toward everyone and wasn't trying to strangle Nina) I became a happy girl and was sucked into the story. I warmed up to them as the story progressed and was obviously rooting for them, especially as I heard their crazy backstory.
Inej and Kaz stole the show, though. THEY'RE MY OTP AND OF COURSE INEJ HAD TO BE TAKEN AT THE END. It was her fearlessness, her quiet and watchful demeanor that made me connect to her on a whole different level. I kept picturing this tiny, badass ninja, and I just would get all mushy inside and think "I WANT TO BE YOU.' Us shorties have to unite!
The next shining star was Kaz Brekker, criminal mastermind and clean freak galore. You wouldn't think he would stand out from most of the dark, badass characters in YA literature today, but he does. His limp and huge fear of personal proximity, along with the 'no touchy' thing, could have easily broken him in such a cruel world. But he didn't let that get to him, and instead twisted it so it made people fear him more. I have a soft spot for people who do bad things and fully accept it, and Brekker is quite possibly in the top three on my list now. And by bad things I don't mean kill people for fun or kick puppies. I mean the kind of person who understands there's evil in the world and isn't afraid of it. The kind of person who will get the job done, no matter what situation he's in. The kind of person who stands by his word. THE KIND OF PERSON WHO PULLS OUT SOMEONES EYEBALL AND STILL LOOKS HOT DOING IT. That scene, though extremely nasty, made me fall in love with him even more.
Jesper and Wylan were so damn cute I just wanted to squish their cheeks together and make them kiss. Though I do have a funny story on these two: I knew there was a gay couple in this story, and for some idiotic reason, I thought it was Kaz and Jesper, not Wylan and Jesper. You're probably thinking I'm a complete idiot because I saw the fucking ship name (Jylan? Wesper? WHATEVER IT IS) and still thought it was Kaz. To say I was shocked and confused when Kaz was thinking about his feelings for Inej was an UNDERSTATEMENT.
Now, onto the heist. I was beyond grateful for the map of the Ice Court because that shit got a little confusing. As it sometimes happens with information overload, the crew would be talking about their plans and what rotation the guards were on and where certain buildings were and the ice moat and how was their water beneath it if there was no body of water around the court?? And my brain would just kind of stutter and refuse to suck anything in, so I would have to repeatedly read over those passages until it started making sense. Having a map really helped to visualize their plan, especially during the action sequences. God, the whole scheme was absolutely brilliant. There was so much action and suspense and jaw-dropping surprises. There were so many things that I so didn't see coming and I would curse Bardugo for getting the better of me. I'm not at all creative or cunning, so there's really no surprise there, though
Overall, a little bit of a slow start for me (besides Inez's first chapter), but it quickly picked up speed and turned into one of the greatest heist stories I've ever read. Keep doin' you Bardugo, AND HURRY UP WITH EMPIRE OF CROWS. THAT ENDING MURDERED MY SOUL.
"When everyone knows you're a monster, you needn't waste time doing every monstrous thing."
""We enter from the north as planned," Kaz said.
Jesper knocked his head against the hull and cast his eyes downward. "Fine. But if Pekka Rollins kills us all, I'm going to get Wylan's ghost to teach my ghost how to play the flute so that I can annoy the hell out of your ghost."
Brekker's lips quirked. "I'll just hire Matthias' ghost to kick your ghost's ass."
"My ghost won't associate with your ghost," Matthias said primly, and then wondered if the sea air was rotting his brain."
"There was no part of him that was not broken, that had not healed wrong, and there was no part of him that was not stronger for having been broken."
"Matthias nodded. "If procedure hasn't changed, they'll do a quick head count at the first checkpoint, then a second count at the next checkpoint, where they'll search the interior and undercarriage for any contraband."
Nina passed the book to Inej. "The driver is going to notice six more prisoners when he opens the door."
"If only I'd thought of that," Kaz said drily. "I can tell you've never picked a pocket."
"And I can tell you've never given enough thought to your haircut."
"Trickery is not my native tongue, but I may learn to speak it yet."
"She'd laughed, and if he could have bottled the sound and gotten drunk on it every night, he would have.
"I will have you without armor, Kaz Brekker. Or I will not have you at all.