Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
Source: ARC from Rachel at Rachel Reads (Thanks, Rachel!)
Series: Yes, this is book #1.
Rating: 4.75 out 5 stars
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.
Review: I will admit that I was a bit hesitant going into this one. I was worried about the hype. Everyone that has read this so far that I've seen has raved about it. It's still early since the book just released this week, but I was still nervous going in and pushed myself to go in with a blank slate and just enjoy the book for what it is/what I would make it out to be. I'm happy to say that I wasn't disappointed, not in the least. This new series is promising lots of things that I love to see....fantastic worlds, complex characters, action, and romance.
The world. This book is set in the same world as the Grisha trilogy (Shadow & Bone, Siege & Storm, and Ruin & Rising). In this world, there are Grisha which have magical abilities to manipulate different types of things. Heartrenders, like a character in this book, can manipulate a person's body, such as stopping their heart or closing up their lungs. A few others include Fabricators which can manipulate materials (like fabric or metal), Tidemakers which can manipulate water, and healers that can heal. There are more complex parts to this world and the more I learn about it, the more I fall in love. My favorite parts are seeing what the Grisha can do with their abilities, it's just so fascinating to me.
The complex characters. Each of these characters are developed so well throughout the book. We start by knowing very small, basic things about the characters but grow to learn so much more. The alternating chapters between all the perspectives really helps to show different sides of the characters and the underlying reasons behind why they're doing what they are doing and who they are. I grew to care about each of the characters in this book.
Also, the witty banter was a favorite of mine throughout this book. Like most heists, you have a bunch of smart and clever people together that might not always get along and have some interesting and occasionally hilarious things to say about each other. I really enjoyed seeing these playful type of interactions among the characters, I loved that it added a bit of humor into the story.
The action. There is no shortage of action and adventure in this book. I think Bardugo did such a great job intermingling action with characters and other pieces of the story all within a well-balanced plot. There wasn't a time where I was bored when reading, in fact, I didn't really want to put this book down. This one did take me a few days to read but I was glad because it was that much longer that I got to live in the world.
The romance. I have so many ships in this book that I think my heart might have exploded. I was rooting so hard and reading quickly (as I could without missing anything) at points because I was so excited and had to know what was going to happen next with my ship(s). I love everybodyThe only thing about the romance plots that I wasn't very fond of is that there seems to be pairings that fit a little too perfectly. I just wonder about why characters have to be paired off..can't they just be awesome without having to have romance in their storyline? I don't have any complaints about specific romances in the books, I love them all, but I wonder about this in general when things seem a little too good to be true.