Title: Six of Crows (The Dregs #1)
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
Publication Date: September 29th, 2015
Summary: 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.
Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.
Guys, this is seriously one of my favorite books I’ve read so far this year. Yes, I can say that with absolute certainty, it was really that good. Everything about it just drew me in and kept me hooked until the very end, and even after finishing it, I couldn’t stop thinking about what I had just read.
The main thing that really made this book for me was the amazing cast of characters. We have Kaz, Inej, Jesper, Nina, Matthias, and Wylan, who is kind of a not-so-main character because we don’t get any chapters in his perspective. I have to start with Kaz because he was my absolute favorite and amazing beyond words. He has a dark and mysterious past, doesn’t hesitate when he needs to get his hands dirty, is ridiculously smart and constantly ten steps ahead of everyone else, not to mention he has a bad ass cane with a crow’s head on it. I have a huge weakness for tormented, ruthless young men who are too smart for their own good and Kaz fits right into that category and swept me off of my feet. Then we have Inej, aka The Wraith, a girl who was kidnapped and forced into a pleasure house, only to be bought by Kaz and became his eyes and ears on the streets. She was a conflicted character but I love how real she felt and how strong she was, even after everything she had been through. Nina was spunky and so much fun, I love how she used everything she had as a weapon, from her looks, to her sharp tough, to her Grisha powers. Matthias was rough and tough and gruff and grumbly and I absolutely adored him, even though he could never figure out if he wanted to help everyone or kill them. Then we have Jesper and Wylan who I’m just going to group together because all of the scenes with the two of them made me laugh and ship them at the same time. Though it’s a huge cast of characters, they are all so unique and intriguing, it was hard to say which one I wanted to read about the most.
The thing is, even if the characters weren’t the best ever, which they were, the plot still would have kept me hooked. I loved being in this grimy part of the Grisha universe and I found this story to be a lot more engaging and interesting that Leigh Bardugo’s first trilogy. In Six of Crows, we have a sort of super drug going around that makes Grisha more powerful than anyone could have imagined. Kaz is hired to get a group together and break into one of the most impenetrable places in the world to break out the scientist who knows how to make said super drug of death and destruction. I found the plot to be intense beyond words at time, surprisingly dark and violent and made me feel some things I didn’t even know I could. I’m pretty sure that at one point I was half crying, have screaming, half cheering, then probably having a heart attack at the same time. This book was physically and mentally exhausting.
One complaint I’ve heard a few times is that all of the different characters and flashbacks make the story feel slow, or that it drags on. I personally disagree as much as possible. I found that all of the different perspectives and backstory contributed massively to character development and constantly kept me interested to see who was next and what we would get to learn about them. I was as excited and invested in the flashbacks of each character as I was in the current happenings, because both were equally gripping. It was definitely a slow burn at some points but then the exciting parts were so intense and suspenseful and it would just tease you by jumping to a different perspective in the middle of something, and it was evil and infuriating but genius. And I absolutely adore, beyond words, books like this that have so many twists and a character that is constantly planning ahead and is ridiculously smart so just when you think things are going bad, he reveals the trick up his sleeve and your head just explodes because HOW IS IT EVEN POSSIBLE?!?!
This book was so smart and complex and suspenseful, I think I set it down once the whole time just to go grab a drink of water because my throat was raw from screaming. And that ending was the most evil thing I’ve encountered in a book in a long time, I don’t know if I can handle it. Guys, you should do yourself a favor and read this book. Then do me a favor by coming back here and talking with me about it so I can vent and gush and try not to die waiting for the next book.