Ketter-“damn that place is messed up”
Six of Crows takes place in the seamy port city of Ketterdam where gangs rule the dark underworld with violence and corruption. The setting evokes the movie Gangs of New York with its dark, twisting alleyways and greasy kingpins. At the heart of the story are six young adults from the Dregs, a gang who live, fight, steal and work together to form a twisted family of derelicts. Yes, they are teens, but this book is dark and their experiences are gritty so they act and seem much more mature. This is not your typical Y.A. fare, these are well-developed characters with distinct voices.
The story really takes off when Kaz, the leader of the Dregs, is hired to steal something of great value from the neighboring country of Fjerda’s impenetrable Ice Court. If you’re like me, you hear “ice court” and automatically start humming “Let it Go,” but believe me, this is serious. Kaz accepts the challenge and hires five of his more talented (if sharpshooting and bomb building are talents) friends from the Dregs to pull off the heist. This is where comparisons to Ocean’s Eleven start popping up in other reviews and those comparisons are warranted. Prison breaks, shocking plot twists, murder and betrayal are commonplace and told through an intriguing choice of five different points of view, both male and female.
Why you’ll love it too
Speaking of those male and female characters; they are fantastic. Of course they’re all ridiculously good looking, this is Y.A. afer all, but they also have well-developed backstories that realistically influence their decisions throughout the narrative. They’re smart and savvy while also being vulnerable and broken. Even better? There is not a damsel in distress to be found. Rather, there are both men and women in distress and they all need the individual strengths of their friends, regardless of gender, to save them. Multiple times and in numerous ways that made me chew half of my fingernails off. Oh and did I mention the swooning? It’s not Y.A. without the perfect hint of deep unadulterated romance. There were a few lines in this book that I wanted to print out and staple to my dorm room wall circa 2002. Swoon. So much swoon.
Six of Crows has a slow build that comes to a roaring crescendo with multiple peaks. It took me a couple of tries picking up and putting back down the book to really get into the story, but once you’re in it’s difficult to get out. I finished reading it at around 4am on a school night if that tells you anything. Good thing my kids are too young to be embarrassed of my yoga pants and mismatched flip flops. Yes, this is the first in what is bound to be a must pre-order-and-stay-up-waiting-for-it-to-download series for me so the ending is not completely satisfactory, but when a book is this much fun I’m willing to forgive it.
My Final Boozy Review
Four wine bottles! I’ll be honest, my initial review on Goodreads gave it 5 stars, but after stepping away from it for a few days it had maybe one too many convenient twists for my liking. Overall, it’s a book that I happily recommend. I’m looking forward to a reread and counting down to the second in the series.
What did you think of Six of Crows? What direction do you think the next book in the series will go? Did you swoon as hard as I did? Let’s talk in the comments.