Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo | Book Review

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| Princess Diana is desperate to prove herself to her legendary warrior sisters. Alia Keralis just wanted to escape her overprotective brother with a semester at sea. But Alia is a Warbringer, a direct descendant of the infamous Helen of Troy, fated to bring about an age of bloodshed and misery. Together they will face an army of enemies, both mortal and divine, who are determined to either destroy or possess the Warbringer. |

Rating: 2/5

Favourite Quote: “Sisters in battle, I am shield and blade to you. As I breathe, your enemies will know no sanctuary. While I live, your cause is mine.”

Review: Before watching the 2017 Wonder Woman film I knew nothing about Princess Diana of Themyscira. Wonder Woman was never on tv whilst I was growing up and I didn’t, and still don’t, read comics. But the recent WW film meant that I could now declare I had a favourite superhero!

So imagine how excited I was, as a self proclaimed #bookworm, to learn there would be a whole book dedicated to Diana’s story. One that would reveal what Diana was like when she was a teenager.

Then imagine my disappointment when I slowly realised this isn’t even really a Wonder Woman story. At all. It should have just been called Warbringer and then Wonder Woman being in it would have been a nice little extra.

The first and last chapters are Diana’s, I’ll admit, but everything in between is about Alia, who is the “Warbringer” from the title. And even though roughly every other chapter is from Diana’s perspective, she’s definitely a background character. Very nice to everyone, but with an incredibly bland personality. Life on Themyscira is barely touched on and we get no sense of who Diana is as either a person or a teenager.

Instead what we get is every detail of Alia’s school and romantic life, her wants and ambitions. We meet Alia’s friends and brother. A huge section of the story is wasted by being set in New York, Alia’s home town. This would be completely fine…if I wasn’t lured in to reading this book because it promised Wonder Woman!

And whilst Alia did grow on me (eventually). I couldn’t really get past her judgmental attitude from right at the beginning. Diana had just saved her from drowning a few hours earlier and had come back to try and help Alia off of the island, when Alia starts labeling Themyscira “cult island” and a “radical feminist cult” and the women who live there “paranoid survivalists”, “delusional”, “hippies” and “socialists”.  And at one point decides Diana is “queen loon”.

All these labels and insults are thought up by Alia in the space of just 5 pages btw!

Alia is much nicer to her best friend, Nim, though. And Nim is an amazing character. She’s herself and unapologetic about it! So this meant I started to warm up to Alia as well. But then Alia’s arsehole brother, Jason, keeps coming back in to the story and I’m back to loathing everyone and everything again.

But really neither lovely Nim or nice Diana could save this book for me. Which was overall a real hard slog. It felt too much like a slow contemporary ya. The characters say they are in a rush a lot but there’s an awful lot of hanging around, jumping in pools and going to parties. Oh and best of all (not) there’s a bit of romance thrown in, for no reason, between Diana and someone I won’t name. Completely unnecessary!

Basically this was a huge let down after the fantastic 2017 Wonder Woman film. I thought I was getting more of film Diana but instead got Diana relegated to the role of glorified bodyguard for a rich girl with a private plane. And see at the top of this post where I’ve written some of the synopsis from the back of the book? It says Diana is “desperate to prove herself to her legendary warrior sisters”. SPOILER ALERT She doesn’t…!

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Book Series I Won’t Be Finishing

A few days ago I finally decided I needed to get rid of some of the books on my shelves. *shocked gasping* I know! But it has to be done because I have so little room these days for new books. And tbh I’m getting to the point where I would like my shelves to reflect my taste a bit more. So here is a list of 8 series I have officially removed from my shelves (and tbr list). I’ve read the first book in all these series and they were all a bit (or a lot) crap so honestly there’s no sad feels here. Feel free to comment below why I’m wrong though haha!

1) The Devil Wears Prada series by Lauren Weisberger

| A delightfully dishy novel about the all-time most impossible boss in the history of impossible bosses.|

Honestly…just watch the film. Even if you wouldn’t normally like this kind of thing it’s worth it to witness both Emily Blunt and Meryl Streep being super snobby.

2) Geek Girl series by Holly Smale

| Harriet Manners knows a lot of things. What she isn’t quite so sure about is why nobody at school seems to like her very much. So when she’s spotted by a top model agent, Harriet grabs the chance to reinvent herself. |

Harriet is a typical protagonist that doesn’t realise she’s beautiful and special until one day she finds out that actually, surprise! (not really), she was model beautiful and special all along. It’s all a bit sickening really.

3) Fifty Shades of Grey series by E L James

| When literature student Anastasia Steele goes to interview young entrepreneur Christian Grey, she encounters a man who is beautiful, brilliant, and intimidating. Unable to resist Ana’s quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her, too—but on his own terms. |

I usually enjoy reading the odd smutty book but this just wasn’t sexy in my opinion. The story in between the cringy sex was boring as well, and without a good story what’s the point?!

4) Lorien Legacy series by Pittacus Lore

| Nine of us came here. We look like you. We talk like you. We live among you. But we are not you. We can do things you dream of doing. We have powers you dream of having. We are stronger and faster than anything you have ever seen. We are the superheroes you worship in movies and comic books–but we are real. |

Again, like with The Devil Wears Prada, just watch the film. It’s kind decent and is less than two hours long. Unlike the book which must have taken me weeks to get myself to finish.

5) Delirium series by Lauren Oliver

| In an alternate United States, love has been declared a dangerous disease, and the government forces everyone who reaches eighteen to have a procedure called the Cure. |

This must have been the slowest book I’ve ever read! The premise, I thought, was fascinating but the writing style just kills any mystery and intrigue. I just did not care about any of it by about the half way point.

6) The Wolves of Mercy Falls series by Maggie Stiefvater

| For years, Grace has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf—her wolf—is a chilling presence she can’t seem to live without. |

I read Shiver so long ago now that I honestly can’t seem to remember anything particularly exciting happening in this book. I want to say there was a drama at a hospital…? Or something. Anyway I remember it took me forever to finish which I wasn’t happy about.

7) The Chemical Garden series by Lauren DeStefano

| By age sixteen, Rhine Ellery has four years left to live. A botched effort to create a perfect race has left all males with a lifespan of 25 years, and females with a lifespan of 20 years. Geneticists are seeking a miracle antidote to restore the human race, desperate orphans crowd the population, crime and poverty have skyrocketed, and young girls are being kidnapped and sold as polygamous brides to bear more children. |

Wither is another example of me being excited by a premise but then finding the writing style has slowed down the story too much. So much of the book was set in this massive luxurious mansion and I just didn’t care about anyone in it.

8) Black Dagger Brotherhood series by J R Ward

| In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there’s a deadly turf war going on between vampires and their slayers. There exists a secret band of brothers like no other-six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Yet none of them relishes killing more than Wrath, the leader of The Black Dagger Brotherhood. |

I’m fairly certain I’ve mentioned this before on my blog but I really only gave the first book in this series, Dark Lover, a go because Sarah J Maas said it was one of her favourites. But I just thought it was kind of meh and boring. I think vampires just aren’t my thing anymore?

Soooo apparently I have something against authors with the name Lauren?! And I don’t know why because I don’t think I’ve ever known a Lauren in real life. But anyway, there’s the 8 series I won’t be continuing. Let me know if there’s a series you’ve decided you just can’t bring yourself to finish!

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