Wonder Woman: Warbringer (DC Icons #1)
by Leigh Bardugo
Read by Mozhan Marno
Summary from Goodreads:
Daughter of immortals.
Princess 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 mortal. Diana will soon learn that she has rescued no ordinary girl, and that with this single brave act, she may have doomed the world.
Daughter of death.
Alia Keralis just wanted to escape her overprotective brother with a semester at sea. She doesn’t know she is being hunted by people who think her very existence could spark a world war. 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.
Two girls will face an army of enemies—mortal and divine—determined to either destroy or possess the Warbringer. Tested beyond the bounds of their abilities, Diana and Alia must find a way to unleash hidden strengths and forge an unlikely alliance. Because if they have any hope of saving both their worlds, they will have to stand side by side against the tide of war.
So I tried to write a spoiler free review, but I had to mention something about the ending of the book, because it irked me. If you have not read the book, you might want to skip my review.
I so wanted to love this book. I love Leigh Bardugo’s work. But I just could not connect to this one. When this happens, especially with an audio book, I usually can blame it on the reader. But I really don’t think that is the case here. Mozhan does a wonderful job and I enjoyed listening to her. I just couldn’t find it in myself to care about the characters, Diana more so than Alia. I think a small part of it was because I never liked the Wonder Woman character in the first place. I didn’t read a whole lot of comics as a kid, but I did, unfortunately watch those awful TV shows in the 60’s and 70’s with the superheroes in them. Wonder Woman was one I didn’t ever get into. It was just too cheesy and her outfit, Yikes. I think that is what I kept seeing in my head even though she never wore anything like it in the book. Ah, TV ruining yet another book, but in a backwards way.
The writing as always with Leigh, was beautiful and amazing. I even liked the plot once we got off the island. The island part of the book, just bored me to no end, I found myself not picking the book back up for a couple of days and almost DNF’d it. But once in New York and then in Greece, I started to enjoy it more. I especially got into it about the last 100 pages or so (I’m estimating here, audiobooks don’t have pages) and that ending, I really did not see that coming. Although I am not a big fan on the whole personality and body change because I inject someone’s DNA into my body, I just can’t make myself buy it and that spoiled the ending a little bit for me. For the most part I found the rest of the book to be pretty predictable and a little too long.
So, Diana. As I said I was never a Wonder Woman fan, and I think I held that against her in this book. I just found her unappealing and abrasive most of the time and that really turned me off. I also didn’t like her motivation for helping Alia at first. Her relationship with Alia changed over the course of the book, which was good, but I needed more than what I got from Diana. I don’t know what was missing but something was.
I liked Alia slightly better than Diana, but not by much. She was a little bit whiney and somewhat selfish. Although I thought her interactions with Diana and some of her reactions to what was happening was priceless. I also liked her relationship with her friends Nim and Theo. Once they entered the story, it got more interesting. Nim was a great character and was one of the reasons I kept listening. I just had to know what she was going to do or say next.
Jason was an interesting character as well. I didn’t totally like him from the start, I thought something was up with him and his choices, but I didn’t totally dislike him either, even by the end. I liked his interactions with his sister and with Diana, especially with Diana. He helped to make her more human to me.
Overall I liked the diverse cast of characters and except for the first 100 pages or so when they were on the island, I liked the plot. I just wished that I could have connected to Diana a bit more. I also enjoyed listening to Mozhan, I thought she did a great job with the narration. The ending made it seem like there is going to be a sequel, not sure if I would read it or not. I would probably give it a go if it is by Leigh. Like I have said I love her writing style. I really don’t think that this was a bad book, I think it was me that just couldn’t connect with it.