ARC · book review · book to film · young adult

ARC Review: Wonder Woman Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo

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  • Wonder Woman: Warbringer (DC Comics #1) by  Leigh Bardugo
  • YA Fantasy, Comic-Book Superhero, Greek Myth
  • My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
  • Official Publication date: August 29, 2017

I picked up this Advanced Readers Copy from my library where I work.

When my bookstagram friend Jennifer told me about this book, I hopped onto Goodreads, added it to my TBR, and immediately pre-ordered it…this was back in March haha. Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo is just the FIRST in an upcoming series of DC Comic Origin Story re-tellings, each written by a different and notable YA author. Here are the other books set to come out next:

Batman (DC Comics #2) by Marie Lu
Superman (#3) by Matt De La Pena
Catwoman (#4) by Sarah J. Maas

In this contemporary origin story of our favorite super lady, Diana is Princess of the Amazons and daughter to Hippolyta. They live on the island Themyscira, which serves as their Paradise away from the hateful world of Man. Diana longs for her own story and to achieve glory like her sisters, but when she drops out of a competition to save a mortal’s life, she threatens not only her chances to become a legend, but the life of Themyscria too.

Leigh Bardugo’s writing is great – it’s descriptive without being too intricate and her overall story-telling is excellent. I’ve been dying to read her Six of Crows duology and this has gotten me even more excited to read it. 

I love the characters she crafted in this book – they’re funny, they’re witty, they’re sassy, and they’re very accessible. They’re also diverse – Alia and her brother are mixed race (half black, half Greek) and Alia’s best friend Nim identifies as lesbian. LB’s Wonder Woman story is an inclusive contemporary re-telling that isn’t so in your face about being a diverse read, a fact which I love! Instead of making an obvious example out of her diverse characters as a means of promoting diversity, she treats them like regular people which is how we should treat people of all races, beliefs, abilities, and sexual orientations.

The story, of course, is filled with adventure and excitement. There’s plenty of action to go around, kick-butt females, and a few plot-twists that surprised even me (and I’m usually good at sniffing them from a mile away). If you’re not into romance, have no fear – there is merely a hint of romance in this book! According to this article from EW, LB points out that in the original WW retelling, she falls in love with Steve Trevor and that’s why she leaves Themyscira. But she wanted a story that was more focused on Diana and her growth.

I wanted to give Diana her own quest, and I wanted her friendship with Alia to be the core of the story, the bond that will forever link her to the mortal world. For me, writing Diana’s story was really about asking what forged her strength, what she thinks makes a hero at the book’s beginning and how that changes through the friendship she forms with Alia.

Brava, LB! I loved her take on Diana’s hero development and all the female characters she crafted who each has their own insecurities along with their strengths.

Maybe because it’s a contemporary setting, but it felt so movie-esque – kind of like a cinematic reading experience. There were a number of comedic moments that made me think, wow, this would make a great movie adaptation too. And of course, there’s a new WW film coming out this year, but man…are they sure they don’t want to use this book as the inspiration, instead?

As WW’s story should be, there’s a unique integration of Greek myth in here that makes the story even more fun because let’s be real, who isn’t into Greek myth? From the same article mentioned earlier, LB says this about her inclusion of Greek myth in this story:

I also wanted to put my own spin on Amazon lore, to step away from the idea of them as some kind of ancient super race, and create a mythology that allowed any battle-proven woman from any culture the chance to find her way to Themyscira.

Who knows! Maybe we can discover Themyscira ourselves, one day 😉 .

Verdict: This is a wonderful twist on Wonder Woman’s origin story, which I think will resonate with readers of all backgrounds. I think that by focusing more on Diana’s personal strength and her friendship with Alia sends a positive message to all females about understanding what it means to be a hero and what it means to be your own hero. A fun and exciting diverse read, even if you’re not huge on superheroes, comic books, or Wonder Woman stories!! This will be sure to make you fall in love with her anyway. I can’t wait until my official copy comes in August! Do yourself a favor, and pre-order this awesome book.

 

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3 thoughts on “ARC Review: Wonder Woman Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Ashton! It’s truly an awesome contemporary retelling and I cannot wait to own my own copy! And yasssss working at a library definitely has its perks! We are often sent ARCs from The company we order books from or my coworkers get them from library conferences!

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