Before I start this review, I think you might want to know 2 things:
1) I’ve only ever read Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo. It was fun but nothing impressive.
2) I’m not a DC fan. Not that I hate it, but rather that I don’t know much about it. I haven’t read any of the comics and I’ve only watched a movie or 2. So my knowledge about Wonder Woman is very limited.
That’s why I won’t compare this book to any of Bardugo’s other works. I can’t tell you if this book is good or bad compared to her other work. I can’t tell you if WW:W is faithful to the original story or if it’s a good superhero story. However, what I can tell you is whether or not this story was a good read, just by evaluating this book as I would any other, regardless of who the author or the MC is. For those who don't know much about this superhero, don't worry, you won't feel confused or anything.
OK. Let’s start!
Wonder Woman: Warbringer was on everyone’s most anticipated books list for 2017. I was looking forward to reading it because, maybe, it’ll make me want to watch DC related movies and works. The good news is I’m definitely going to watch some… but that’s only because of my friends and certainly not this book. Was it a disappointment? Oh, yes.
When Diana saves a girl from a drowning ship, she soon discovers that this girl, Alia, is a Warbringer. If her sisters were to discover what she had done, she would probably be exiled. Wanting to prove herself as a true Amazon and refusing to leave Alia to die, Diana leaves the island to take Alia to Helen’s tomb in Greece to be purified and, thus, prevent an upcoming war.
I’ll start with the characters because they were my main problem.
It’s always easier to get attached to a book when you connect with the character, and I liked Diana quite a lot. She always tries to do her best. She’s ready to make sacrifices for others and she’s badass. She also seems quite fascinated with the mortal world, her remarks were funny. I wish the book was more focused on her but I think that's why we have Warbringer in the title.
Anddd… that’s it. She’s the only character I could stand in this book.
✘ Alia: She’s okay. The story is told from her pov (3rd person) and Diana's. She tried to be her best self after discovering so suddenly what she is. However, while I didn’t hate her, I didn’t like her much, either. Not my kind of MC. I just couldn’t relate to her. Sometimes nothing is wrong with a character, but you simply can’t feel a bond. There was some character development by the end, and I did finish the book with a slightly higher opinion of her. Still, I didn’t sympathize with Alia much and even though the point of this book is female friendship - something I admire Leigh for doing here - it didn’t feel natural at all to me. I think it might be because I liked one of the two girls a lot, while the other as “meh”.
✘ Jason: I don’t like the name Jason. I’m always suspicious of characters named Jason. Not Jayson or Jaison or other variation of the name. Just Jason. Many here might relate to this, to having a name you just can’t stand; maybe it reminds you of some you dislike or maybe you just don’t like it… for whatever reason. So you might say I was prejudiced against this character from the start, just from the name. But the more I read about him and saw what he did, the less of a fan I became. He is so rigid, so dull, and so controlling. He is just so annoying. No, you should not do that. No, you should not say that. No, no, no. Everything about him is a “no”. Nothing was interesting about him.
✘ Theo and Nim: Like Alia, I wouldn’t say I hate them, but I’m not a fan either. But I would say I like them the best after Diana. Still, they aren’t anything memorable. They aren’t funny, either. Their sense of humor is silly and ridiculous. Also, what’s with jokes in dangerous situations? It’s so not cool. Get serious, would you!
✘ The Amazon Sisters: They played an interesting part in the first few chapters of the book. This made me want to know more about these kickass women. Sadly, my curiosity wasn’t satisfied, as Diana spent very little time with them, and later left the island.
In some books, even when you don’t care much about the characters, the plot itself is sometimes gripping enough that you can’t stop reading. Wonder Woman: Warbringer isn’t one of these. I didn’t enjoy the story and was bored most of the time. I couldn’t care about what happened next. I forced myself to continue reading even during action scenes. Things got a bit better after “the plot twist”, which was poor, in my opinion (chapter 25 out of 33). However, I lost interest and had to push myself to finish it. The book was trying so hard to look badass, but it was just really boring. Again, my opinion. It felt like a Contemporary with a touch of Fantasy. The dialogues were a bit stiff and dry more often than not. Like please give some action and stop talking.
What’s more, this book focused a lot on how the Warbringer is a cause for war. Yes, it was mentioned that it’s only a catalyst, yet what was shown was that it’s more dangerous than the greed of men. The war tension and the dangers of one were somehow lacking.
However, I should say that Leigh Bardugo did a great job describing Themyscira. She successfully showed how magical and beautiful the island is - makes me want to live there, forever!
I hated the romance between Diana and Jason. She’s so naïve because, obviously, she has never had any interaction with men; so, I don’t blame her. However, their thing made me cringe. The dialogue didn’t feel natural, it felt forced. I just hated it so bad.
While I understand that Diana should have some romance - and I’m not against that - I just wish it was with someone that is not Jason. Or maybe a better version of him. Maybe a cooler, more understanding, and a smarter one. But if giving him a better personality is out of the question, then no romance at all would’ve been better.
Alia and Theo’s relationship, on the other hand, was OK. It was acceptable because it was almost non-existent. They make a good match.
I did not enjoy reading this book. Apart from Diana, I wasn’t a fan of any of the characters. I was bored most of the time and just wanted to finish the book – which I read in less than a day just to be done with it and not because I couldn’t stop reading. I really wanted to like the story, but, sadly, I couldn’t find anything interesting about it. Obviously, I’m in one of the minority here. Everyone said the story was exciting, which made me feel like I haven’t read the same book. I’m still looking forward to reading Batman, mainly because I like Marie Lu’s novels. While the ending was wrapped up, the book could have a sequel. But I really hope it doesn’t. You might end up liking this book better than I did, so please don’t let my review keep you from reading it. However, don’t expect anything mind-blowing.
I’ve only seen the movie trailer, but I can tell you, this book is nothing like it.