4.75 I loved it. It is near perfection.
It is rare that I become so invested in a book. It is even more rare that I love a book so much that I keep thinking about the book well after completing it. In fact, there is only one other book that has caught so completely and entirely. Just one. I loved this book with all my heart could give. And there were so many reasons why, so let’s get into it a bit.
There is a lot of talk in the book community about diverse books. People want to see themselves represented in the things they read. More importantly, at least for me, I want to see diverse characters in stories where their diversity is an intricate part of who they are, but not what the story is about. I walked into Six of Crows expecting a heist. I did not walk into it expecting to see a group of characters who were so diverse, yet that only added to the experience that could help aid the group. The story wasn’t about how diverse the characters were, but about them and their culture was a part of them. It was so refreshing to see.
Six of Crows is told brilliantly. The way the plot is laid out and the elements of the story are presented is absolutely wonderful. It mixes both the present and the characters’ pasts in such a way that it feels genuine. All the while the characters are seemlessly developed to the point that you care about them all as their well being is on the line. The way the story is told it moves forward through time, but as characters find themselves refelecting on certain situations is seamlessly transitions into a flashback scene. Instead of just being delivered the facts of characters talking it out, we get to see it. That added an element of feeling like you knew the characters longer than you actually did.
The action in this was done so fabulously well. This is in part because of the multi-POV. The action amps up so high at times that I found my heart racing. I was fearing for the characters, only for it to switch to another perspective. However, rather than it feel frustrating, it actually made sense. The breaks felt natural. Also because the group, for the the most part, was always in close proximity you didn’t often completely lose sight of a character.
As I mentioned, this is a multi-POV characters. While there are 6 people on the team, we only received 5 POVs. That said, leaving out the final POV didn’t mean we didn’t get to know that last character. In fact, the reason he was left out was largely because giving his POV would have ruined a number of elements of the story. Not to mention, we still spent enough time with the character to get to know them. The POVs that we did follow were compelling and interesting. Bardugo did a great job of balancing the POVs.
I was going to highlight two characters, then I realized I couldn’t leave out a third. Then I thought that I’d need to talk about another of the POVs and at that point I’d need to talk about the last. That is how invested I became in the characters. I loved them all in different ways and for different reasons. They were interesting with complex histories that drove them. They all had their own unique desires and flaws that made them feel more human.
Let’s be honest, despite the heist plot I still developed an OTP. I won’t say anything about them, but they break my heart and build it up, only to break it again. The problem with the romances in this, isn’t how the romance is done, but how broken these characters as they are dancing around how they may feel. Also another character is part of an OTP that I now ship so hard it hurts. So many ships and I refuse to give up on any of them.
The only negative thing that I have to say is that the first chapter, from an entirely different character than our normal crew, didn’t feel right. I don’t mean it was a bad chapter. It was effective and well written. I simply mean that it felt like a prologue. Other than the fact that by the end of his chapter I really liked him and it hurt that I didn’t get to see him again, it felt like a prologue. Yes, it ran longer than the standard prologue. Yes, it did book end nicely with the final chapter in which we also got another chapter from a non-standard POV character. Yet, it still felt like a prologue because it highlighted the what the team would deal with indirectly. If I never saw that chapter, it would take some of the urgency of how terrible the thing they were facing was. But it I wouldn’t have lost anything from the story. We still got great descriptions of it and even saw it happen. This goes for that final chapter that felt like an epilogue. It set things up for the next book, but if I went without it, I lost nothing from the story. So yes, these were chapters that worked really well, but they felt like a prologue and epilogue rather than regular chapters.
As you can probably tell by now, this book is one of my absolute favorites of the year. Heck, of all time. It just worked so well for me. The characters were great. The plot was entertaining. The story was compelling. I was floored by how much I loved this book.