Title: Wonder Woman: Warbringer
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Series: DC Icons (Book 1)
Why?: On TBR, just watched Justice League, LEIGH BARDUGO
So I've read quite a few books based off of superheroes from comic books/movies, and they generally fall into one of two categories: really good, or really awful. Luckily (actually, no luck involved, this was Leigh Bardugo people) this was one of those really good ones.
I should put out a slight disclaimer here that I am MUCH more familiar with the Marvel Universe than I am with the DC one. I've seen Wonder Woman (the movie) and Justice League, and that was about it. Actually that is it. My entire experience with the DC universe is two movies. So obviously I'm super well-informed when it comes to Diana's backstory and all that jazz. So sorry in advance if I screw something up by assuming something based on the movies because that's all I have to go off of.
Anyway, I thought this was a really creative twist on (what I know of) Diana's story. Steve Trevor was replaced by Alia, which made it hard at first for me because I was constantly comparing their two stories. However, I came to really like Alia as a character, as well as her story, so I'm glad that Bardugo replaced Steve. Also that cut a large chunk of the romance out (although there was still quite a bit) which made me a happy camper since romance is not my thing at all.
First off, I love the fact that Diana's confusion/inability to fit in with "normal" society made it into the book. That was 100% my favorite part of the movie (idk why I just found it really funny) and so to see that in the book made me very happy. I also loved the fact that Aila replacing Steve Trevor didn't necessarily alter the foundation/basics of the story. The Alia/Steve plots pretty much paralleled each other the entire time, yet it was only obvious when you focused/looked back on it. Otherwise you would assume that it was a completely different storyline, so I loved the fact that it stayed true to the original yet felt like a completely new story. In fact, it felt so much like a new story that I 100% MISSED the HUGE reveal at the end. Normally I'm so good at predicting those, and looking back comparing it to the Steve Trevor storyline it is so obvious, yet at the time I was completely blindsided. So it's not one of those books where all of the twists are completely spoiled by the fact that it's based off of a pre-existing character.
The romance aspect was not my most favorite thing in the whole world, mostly because a) romance and b) it felt a bit forced, like the whole round-peg-square-hole deal. Almost like someone looked at the first draft and went "we need romance FIGURE IT OUT." I feel like while certain reveals wouldn't have been as devastating without the romance, Bardugo still could have made it work and the story would have flowed 10x smoother.
Also, a complaint I've seen on Goodreads is that the story is on the slower side, which is true. There's a lot of kinda wandering around in-between huge chunks of action, so the lulls are more obvious than they would be otherwise and are kinda annoying. But the action more than makes up for it so it didn't really bother me that much.
Also I loved Aila's friends. They were awesome.
I would definitely recommend reading this book, it's fun, quick, and enjoyable!