I imagine all wars look the same to those who die in them.
‘Wonder Woman: Warbringer’, penned by best-selling author Leigh Bardugo, is the first book in the DC Icons young adult series. ‘Wonder Woman: Warbringer’ is the coming of age story of Diana, Princess of Themiscyra.
“Wonder Woman: Warbringer” is an average read, especially if you are a DC fan or someone who likes young adult fiction. But, it is disappointing given the pedigree of the character and the author.
I picked this book up since it stars Wonder Woman (I am a fanboy of the DC Trinity) and the fact that it is authored by Leigh Bardugo, who has written the excellent ‘Six of Crows’ and ‘The Grisha’ series. At this point, it was stupid of me to not realize that this would be a young adult book, though this realization came quickly enough, a few chapters into the book.
As a book, “Wonder Woman: Warbringer”, is average. The pacing is good- I finished the book in one setting. The usual YA garbage (narcissist one-dimensional characters, love triangles etc.) is present but diluted to a certain extent. I am disappointed in a couple of areas – character development and plot. Other than WW (who has to go through her hero’s journey), I found the other characters to suffer from the curse of YA one dimensionality. Each of them has a strength and a weakness but none of them has a personality. Ultimately, I stopped giving a shit about any of them midway through the book. The lack of love triangles is the only saving grace. Why can’t we have YA fiction without all this BS? The plot was simplistic, did not make any sense and I could see the twist coming a long way off. There are no consequences.
As far as WW is concerned, this book is semi-true to her origins. It is quite similar to the movie. Somehow, WW’s pacifistic character trait has come to the fore in popular media. But her most significant character trait (that sets her apart from Superman and Batman) is her pragmatism. She will kill to save the innocent – after all, she is an Amazon. Look at what happens to Maxwell Lord. I am a bit disappointed Leigh Bardugo did not explore these aspects of WW. given her exploration of dark themes in her fantasy series.
Other Thoughts (Spoilers warning)
Spoilers below. Continue reading at your peril.
Gods! I have more rants.
First off, what’s the deal with force-fitting muti-cultural casts into YA fiction. I can understand the commercial reasons for doing this but there needs to be some logic and reason. In this book, we have one white girl (WW), one chubby indian girl (Poornima), one half-african american and greek girl (Alia), her brother (Jason) and another boy whose ethnicity I don’t remember off-hand. Maybe its latino. WTF. This feels so artificial.
Second, why do Phobos, Deimos, Eris etc. stop attacking them when they are near the spring and afterwards? There is no explanation or reason. Also, where is Ares? Shouldn’t he care about Warbringers?
Third, injecting WW’s blood to make you strong like her. My third WTF. This is lazy writing. At least, explain this away by saying it’s magic.
Also published on Medium.