Young Adult Book Review: Wonder Woman Warbinger
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The following review of Wonder Woman Warbinger (Random House Books for Young Readers, August 29, 2017) by Leigh Bardugo is from Food, Fitness & Fiction contributing editor Joshua Flores (pictured below).
In Wonder Woman Warbringer, Leigh Bardugo depicts the teenage years of princess Diana. With magical lassos, world destruction, and the possibility of being disowned by her own family, Diana faces one of the fiercest battles she has ever endured. With an equally humorous and intense plot, readers journey with Diana and her new partner, Alia as they strive to save the world from certain doom.
Here’s a description from Amazon:
She will become one of the world’s greatest heroes: WONDER WOMAN. But first she is Diana, Princess of the Amazons. And her fight is just beginning…
Diana longs to prove herself to her legendary warrior sisters. But when the opportunity finally comes, she throws away her chance at glory and breaks Amazon law—risking exile—to save a mere mortal. Even worse, Alia Keralis is no ordinary girl and with this single brave act, Diana may have doomed the world.
Alia just wanted to escape her overprotective brother with a semester at sea. She doesn’t know she is being hunted. When a bomb detonates aboard her ship, Alia is rescued by a mysterious girl of extraordinary strength and forced to confront a horrible truth: Alia is a Warbringer—a direct descendant of the infamous Helen of Troy, fated to bring about an age of bloodshed and misery.
Together, Diana and Alia will face an army of enemies—mortal and divine—determined to either destroy or possess the Warbringer. If they have any hope of saving both their worlds, they will have to stand side by side against the tide of war.
Wonder Woman Warbringer begins with Princess Diana on the island of Themyscira. Living among her fellow Amazons and avoiding all contact with the human world all of her life, one day she witnesses a boat that had recently exploded and a young girl stranded in the middle of the ocean. Faced with a choice to either defy her duty or save the life of a human, Diana heroically saves the drowning Alia. She then brings her to the island, an act that is forbidden on Themyscira. The longer Alia remains on the island, the more Diana sees the effects this mysterious girl has—effects that could prove catastrophic for both Diana’s home and the human world. From extreme disasters around the globe to the sudden spread of sickness, Alia and Diana face a journey filled with humor, intensity and heroic tale that Wonder Woman fans, young and old, will find refreshing and true to the comics.
From the glorious beaches of Themyscira to the subway stations of New York City, Wonder Woman Warbringer is an intriguing and engaging read from start to finish. With an expertly crafted story and great dialogue, Bardugo’s writing is stunning and each sentence more impressive than the last. Even though this story is unlike anything she has previously published, Wonder Woman’s world is brought to life and presented in a new light. When I first started reading the book, I had my doubts since I don’t tend to gravitate toward superhero-inspired YA novels. But Bardugo has made Diana’s story both original and captivating. Rather than focusing on backstory, Bardugo uses the three hundred plus pages of the novel to build upon reader’s previous perceptions of the iconic DC Comics character.
While there was so much to love about this YA super hero spinoff, the story started off at a fairly slow pace, only picking up speed around page seventy. While the book proves to be a fantastic read and is written in such a precise manner, the slow moving plot may prevent some readers from reaching the final pages of the book. I hope, like me, they give it a chance—it’ll be well worth it. And while Alia was a vibrant, entertaining, and bold female presence who took center stage through much of the story, Diana was far more peripheral a character, much of the time in the background and simply making comments here or there. I would have liked her character to be more fleshed out in the story. Despite these few drawbacks, Wonder Woman Warbringer is sure to attract anyone wanting more of the classic Amazon princess and her witty and bold persona.
The world is on the brink of total destruction. The Warbringer could change everything, causing chaos on both Themyscria and in the rest of the world. And the world’s only chance of survival rests on the shoulders of a mortal and an Amazon Princess. Told with plenty of comical dialogue, strong female leads and the journey of a lifetime, Wonder Woman Warbringer brings to life one of Wonder Woman’s greatest battles yet.
Here are a few other reviews of Wonder Woman Warbinger:
For more about Leigh Bardugo and her work, visit her website.
Joshua Flores is currently a freshman at Biola University studying English (with an emphasis on creative writing). When he is not doing homework or reading on the beach, he’s imagining hilarious and horrifying new situations for the novel he is working on, attending book signings (especially for his favorite young adult authors), or discovering new and exciting places in LA. He also writes for Germ Magazine. Follow him on Instagram (@booklover41899) or on Facebook.
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