Six Of Crows by Leigh Bardugo | Book Review

Synopsis

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 is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.

Rating

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

(5 out of 5 stars)

Review (non-spoiler)

Wow wow wow! Six Of Crows was every bit as fantastic as I had expected it to be. It makes me wonder, have I already read one of my favourite books of 2021?

I have plenty to say about 3 star and 4 star books (you might have noticed that in my previous reviews😁) but with 5 star reads…I am speechless. But I will still try my best to convince you to pick up this novel through my review.

Six Of Crows was fast-paced right from the beginning. Usually, YA novels start off slow, so this was a surprise. There were no introductions to the characters and to the world, and though all the names and the different groups were a lot to take in in the first chapter, everything was explained later on, through each character’s thoughts and memories.

That brings us to the other unique thing about this book. It had multiple POVs, around 7, which is a lot more than usual YA novels. I feel like this brought out each character’s feelings really beautifully, allowing us to familiarize ourselves with not just the main character, but the others as well. This is one major reason why this book gets 5 stars from me.

Then the action. Six Of Crows made me realize that I love books where things, you know, happen, like, all the time. In this book I felt like there was an action sequence and a climax in each and every chapter, leaving absolutely zero chances for any kind of boredom.

This book hardly had any of the cliche tropes -most books that I come across nowadays have, for instance, the main character was not a teenage girl who suddenly discovers she has magical powers. I mean, I do like those typical kind of books (I love KOTLC, so….) but Six Of Crows was a nice change, you know? All the characters were morally grey, I think, that really added to the book.

Favourite Quotes

“You haven’t been arrested since you were fourteen, and since I know you are not an honest man any more than you were an honest boy, I can only assume you have the quality I most need in a criminal: You don’t get caught.

“Kaz leaned back. “What’s the easiest way to steal a man’s wallet?”

“Knife to the throat?” asked Inej.

“Gun to the back?” said Jesper.

“Poison in his cup?” suggested Nina.

“You’re all horrible,” said Matthias.”

Jesper could never tell how much of what Kaz got away with was smarts and planning and how much was dumb luck.

Jesper knocked his head against the hull and cast his eyes heavenward. “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 just 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.”

Rambling/Ranting

Alright, I showed a lot of restraint in the ‘review’ section by writing everything very formally and spoiler-free. But now I want to shout my heart out to the people who have read this book, which is why I present to you, my ‘ramblings’ section. This is going to be very much spoiler-y, so if you’ve not read the book, I’d suggest you go read it, and then later come back to this section.

First of all, Kaz. HOW CAN SOMEONE BE SO SMART? I really admire him for his foresight, I really really do (too many reallys?!). The decoy boat (remember? Ferolind, I think the name was) seriously blew my mind. And that was just the beginning of his amazing planning. I wish I could see his ‘scheming face’ as Inej, Jesper and later Wylan, call it. But when he’s so smart, WHY DIDN’T HE KILL OFF PEKKA ROLLINS IN THE CELL IN THE ICE COURT? (You can’t fool me Kaz, I know you easily could have killed him then and there). He would have got his revenge, and the crew would have one less problem to deal with. That just shows over-confidence, doesn’t it? Like he knows for sure that he would have another chance, and then he would kill him as he pleases. Maybe if he would have killed him, he wouldn’t have got that money from Pekka, but there are plenty of ways to earn that much money in Ketterdam, especially if you’re willing to sell your Crow Club shares, am I right Kaz?

I was beginning to like Inej, but I can’t help being cross about her attitude to Kaz. He is trying, isn’t he? She should understand how hard it is for him.

The one character of the crew that I didn’t care for was Nina. Wasn’t she too showy, and just unbearable, or am I the only one biased against her because of what she did to Matthias? But after finishing the book, I *may* have some respect for her, but only because she took the jurda parem to save the others.

The scientist had been dead all this while?! Serious dampener. It would have been so much more satisfying if after all that effort, they had actually found him.

How did Leigh Bardugo do it? The ending was not a cliffhanger, but was still very much a cliffhanger. Know what I mean? Anyway, I think I have shouted and screamed my heart out a bit too much, thanks for listening!

We have reached the end of this long post. Thanks for staying put. My final say on this book is Pick. It. Up. Right. Now.

And on that very *non-threatening* note, let’s conclude. Oh, and before you go, let’s say it together: NO MOURNERS, NO FUNERALS!

The Red Scrolls Of Magic by Cassandra Clare | Book Review

Name of the book – The Red Scrolls of Magic

Author – Cassandra Clare

Genre – Fantasy

My Rating – ⭐⭐⭐

My Review (non-spoiler)

First I would like to warn you something about this book – brace yourselves for extreme boredom in the beginning. The first half of the book was so monotonous, I nearly DNF’d it. But I was curious so as to who really was the villain (emphasis on curious, because in most books, I am not merely curious, I am dying to find out) so somehow I continued reading. I must admit, I am glad I did, because the rest of the book was much better.

The action and the actual plot began after around 60% of the book. And its not like there was any character-building or world-building in the first half. Come to think of it, the first half of the book wasn’t telling any story at all.

“I’ve realized—I don’t need to change. And neither do you, Helen, or you, Aline. It’s the world that needs to change, and we’re going to be the ones to change it.”

Then I would like to tell you that the synopsis was a little misleading. You know, the “revealing the secrets they’ve both been keeping” part. Firstly, there was no such secret Alec had (I was actually looking forward to this) and secondly, Magnus did not reveal his secret.

The twist (I mean the one where we know who was the ‘villain’) was very unexpected and quite clever, I must say. It was one that I should have seen coming, but didn’t. As for the other twist, the one on the very last page, very last sentence, well, THAT was a big and really shocking one.

“He did not want to die in this banal pit, surrounded by the pallid ghosts of past mistakes, but if he had to die, he planned to die with style.”

Raphael Santiago is officially my new favorite character. I loved how he was portrayed in this book, as somebody who pretends he is heartless, when he actually does care about people, and does his best to help them. That moment when Alec found out who Raphael was texting at the party, that just broke my heart.

Although I rated this book 3 stars, which is a pretty average rating, I don’t think I will be reading the next books in this series, because this just failed to engross me and have that need to know more (know that feeling anyone?).

Hope you liked my review and it helped to convince you to read or not to read this book. I would also like to tell you that while this book was not that great, all the other Cassandra Clare books I have read (the Mortal Instruments series and the Infernal Devices trilogy) were really good, so I’d recommend that you check them out!

Tin by Padraig Kenny | Book Review

Hey there bookworms! I haven’t written a proper review in ages, so here I am with a review of a book that I finished just this afternoon (6th January).

This will be a non-spoiler review so even if you’ve not read the book, you can very well read the review. I will be including a couple of quotes from the book in the middle as well, just to make this review more interesting. Oh, and I would be giving my rating in stars right at the end of the post.

The synopsis :

Christopher is ‘Proper’: a real boy with a real soul, orphaned in a fire. He works for an engineer, a maker of the eccentric, loyal and totally individual mechanicals who are Christopher’s best friends. But after a devastating accident, a secret is revealed and Christopher’s world is changed for ever… What follows is a remarkable adventure, as Christopher discovers who he really is, and what it means to be human.

The Review

First of all, there was a HUGE twist in the beginning of the book itself, and this is quite uncommon, at least I personally have hardly come across books like this before where everything turns upside down right at the beginning. A plus point here.

While reading after the first few chapters, I became confused so as to who the main character really was. The synopsis states very clearly that it is Christopher, but while reading the book I began to wonder for some time whether the main character actually was Jack.

After the first few chapters, the chapters started alternating between Christopher and the others (Jack, Rob, Gripper, Manda, Estelle, Cormier), so while Christopher was the main character, equal focus was given to other characters as well. I felt this made the story more interesting and happening.

He stared ahead at the ceiling, and thought again about the way life had changed for him, and about what was true and what was false.

I felt that Rob was meant to be a likeable character, given his cheerfulness in every situation, but for some reason I didn’t like him and he felt quite annoying at times to be honest.

There were two characters I would have liked to know more about. Estelle (for obvious reasons! We were told too less about her), and Richard Blake (why would he still want to impress his late father, who used to hit him for doing what he loved the most?).

There were a couple of things that were left unexplained throughout the book, for instance, it felt like there was something significant about Cormier’s killing of the beast that was guarding the Diviner, but nothing was said about that later. If this was intentional, it definitely did not work out as well as the author might have wanted.

He felt the strange cold and warmth again, the heat and iciness, the sound and fury, the sorrow and the pain, but he didn’t mind it.

The author did a good job at making the reader disgusted by Blake (he is the antagonist) though another thing regarding this was left unexplained – Blake’s initial attitude towards Christopher.

The redemption arc was pretty well handled too.

And finally, the ending was fabulous. After everything the characters had gone through, they deserved the happy end that they got.

He was leaning on a table with his head bowed, looking away, perhaps thinking about another time and another place.

Okay, so I made a lot of points there. My final say would be that do definitely give this book a try, if you are a sucker for strong friendships.

I rate this book 4 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? And if you haven’t, was my review helpful in deciding whether you want to read it? I would love to know all your thoughts in the comments section! See you there!

The Infernal Devices Trilogy (Review)

After finishing the Mortal Instruments Series, I was somewhat obsessed with the fantasy world Cassandra Clare had created. I became irresistibly drawn to the life and world of the Shadowhunters, and that is why I picked up the Infernal Devices trilogy, which is a prequel to the MI series.

I had high hopes of the books in this trilogy, and I must say, they lived up to my expectations. I devoured all these three books last week, and as it often happens with books in a series, now I can’t separate the stories of the three. All three books make up one story for me. So, this is going to be a combined review for the entire trilogy, not the individual books.

THE CHARACTERS

They say that the real story is not the plot, but how the characters unfold by it. So in this review, the characters are the main thing I am going to talk about. In the trilogy, there were few characters, but they left lasting impressions.

Tessa, who can be called the main character of the entire trilogy, was not exactly how I hoped she would be. Call me the heroine hater (I made that up right now, not sure if it even is a term), but she was definitely not my favourite character. I mean, she made terrible decisions all the time, endangering her life as well as of those who were near her. Although everyone tried to tell her otherwise, she WAS actually the reason the lives of everybody at the Institute had turned upside down. They were better off before they took her in, is all I have to say.

Jem. Jem was that character in the story for whom you continue reading the book. He was also that character that made me feel that I would give anything just to go to him, keep a hand on his shoulder, and tell him everything was going to be all right. Through the first book, Clockwork Angel, his illness was a mystery. In the second, we come to know more about his disease, and in the third…well, I can’t really tell you what happens, that would be a dreadful spoiler. But know this, he is the only person in the entire trilogy who is actually, and completely ‘good’, if there is such a thing in this world.

And Will. Will was an…interesting character. Throughout the trilogy, I kept making different impressions of him, as the story progressed. It would be nearly impossible to describe him in a mere couple of words. He was the complex, misunderstood, shrouded-in-mystery character. And although he reminded me of Jace (from the Mortal Instruments series) a lot, Jace was nowhere near to Will in passion and mystery. What I liked about Will was his impulsiveness, his fierce protectiveness of his parabatai, Jem, and his love for novels and poetry.

And of course, all the side characters were charming. The determined Charlotte, the delightful Henry, the Lightwood brothers, Sophie, Magnus Bane( oh, and I AM eyeing the Bane chronicles next) and Mortmain, all did their bits to make up such a wonderful story.

THE PLOT

Although the plot of the entire trilogy was very attractive, and kept me hooked throughout, I wouldn’t say it was entirely unique. There are so many books with the same storyline – the main character is something like the ‘Chosen One’, the fate of the world lies in his or her hands, then he/she gets kidnapped, then there is a rescue, blah blah. So I really had expected something a little more different, but never mind.

THE SETTING

This entire trilogy was set in London, in the 1880’s. This was interesting because there were no cell phones, and because of this the characters were in constant dilemma of how to contact the others and tell them of the danger that lies in await. There were also no cars, and in the ‘rescue’ part of the story, Will rushed off on horseback and traveled through an entire city to rescue Tessa (the horse he took died later, in case you are wondering). I believe due to the year chosen, in contrast to the time of the Mortal Instruments, which was set in the 21st century only, I wanted to read on and find more about the lifestyle of people in those days.

Have you read any of the books of this trilogy? How did you find them? Do you have any recommendations on what I should read next? Feel free to share your views in the comments!

Black Coffee by Agatha Christie (Review)

When the inventor, Sir Claud Amory, discovers that his precious formula for a powerful explosivehas been stolen, he is sure it has been done by someone in his house. Seeking a swift remedy, he locks all doors and switches off the lights to allow the thief to return the formula, no questions asked. But little did he know that he would not live to even regret this decision.

This was a classic ‘the murderer is in this room’ mystery, which I would have otherwise enjoyed, had it not been for the weak plot. Yes, this was one of those rare Christie novels that I had high hopes on, but I was let down. The beginning of the novel was quite promising, but I was disappointed in the end.

Let me tell you, as a Christie fan, that most of the murderers in her books can be of two categories. They are either the main character, whose name has been used throughout the book, or they are a character who has been completely ignored in the story, someone you would never dream of suspecting. The murderer in ‘Black Coffee’ fell under non of these categories, which is quite uncharacteristic of Agatha Christie.

So all I can say is while the story-line was good, the end could have been a whole lot better, because in murder-mysteries like this, it is the end that matters.

Still, it is definitely worth a shot. Who knows, you may even like it! Anyway, everyone has their own taste, and I would love to know your views about this book in the comments section!

Animal Farm by George Orwell (Review)

Animal Farm -

‘All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others’ ~ Animal Farm

Such meaning lies in this line. It tells you more about the book than I ever could. But still, I will try.

In the story, the animals of Animal Farm, or Mayor Farm as it was previously called, rebel against their drunk and irresponsible farmer, in the hopes of creating a society where all the animals were treated fairly and equally. They overthrow all humans and decided to run the farm themselves, and for a while, everyone was happy and free. A list called ‘The Seven Commandments’ was made, which laid down the seven primary rules that all animals had to follow. But very soon this ideal society gets destroyed, and all the animals find themselves under the dictatorship of a pig named Napoleon.

Very soon, the pigs declared themselves as the leaders and began to resemble humans – they walked upright, carried whips, drank alcohol and wore clothes. Even the Seven Commandments were altered by them. ‘All animals are equal‘ changed to ‘All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others‘ and ‘four legs good, two legs bad’ was changed to ‘four legs good, two legs better’.

The last page of this amazing novel describes men and pigs playing cards together, both of them cheating throughout the game, praising and arguing with each other, and the other animals who stood outside watching the pigs and the men, could suddenly not distinguish between the two.

Now still if you want my opinion of my book, all I will say is that it is definitely worth reading as well as recommending to others. So do read this unique and relatable novel as soon as you can.

See you in my next book worm-ish post! Till then, happy reading!