Wonder Woman: Warbringer
by Leigh Bardugo
Book 1 of DC Icons
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.
Leigh Bardugo is a solid and wonderful author, which is one of the reasons why I'm forever following her writing, and always excited about all her new releases.
Wonder Woman takes the famous super hero and gives her story an interesting new twist, by presenting her as a teenager, full of insecurities and ambitions, going on a journey to prove herself to her sisters and her mother as an Amazon, and dropping her in present-day New York filled with cars, phones, internet, and all sorts of fancy technology. I love that Bardugo takes this bit of backstory of the Amazon princess, the fact that she is different than the rest of the Amazons, sculpted from clay and given life on Themiscyra, as the push to propel her story line in this book.
The premise was extremely promising, and as per usual, Bardugo gives us a ragtag band of heroes who fall together to somehow save the world. The banter is wonderful, the characters created wonderfully with an excellently diverse group of kids, and the interactions are all fun.
Unfortunately, the book DID take some time to get into, and then might have gotten a bit complicated after the climax at the end. I'm also not quite sure that we were able to focus on Diana all that much, as she was a bit overshadowed by both Alia and Nim. This story, I felt, had set out to be a tangential story line in Diana's journey to becoming Wonder Woman, the superhero, but I feel like it ended up turning into a story outside of the Wonder Woman saga. In fact, this book could have been about any other young teenage hero setting off on a journey, with a Greek mythology backdrop, and it would have still worked.
This book didn't need a Wonder Woman basis, and it felt more like we started with Diana's story, but ended up telling another adventure journey instead. And while I DID enjoy the conflicts and loved the side characters, it sometimes felt like there might have been too much going on, and that the characters were all not as developed as I feel like Leigh Bardugo is capable of.
Nonetheless, as the story picked up, it was easy to get drawn into the world of Wonder Woman: Warbringer, and easier to want to know how our band of heroes would finally save the world.
On a side note, I will admit that I got taken aback by the turning point in the end... and as yet am not quite sure how I felt about it.
Square: The Summer Blockbuster 27 | Read a book that features a hero's journey or is a Bildungsroman (coming of age tale), or that has a word related to space in the title (I.e., star, planet, rocket).
How it fits: This book is a hero's journey.
Page Count: 374