Book review: Wonder Woman by Leigh Bardugo

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Daughter of immortals.

Princess 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 mortal. Diana will soon learn that she has rescued no ordinary girl, and that with this single brave act, she may have doomed the world.

Daughter of death.

Alia Keralis just wanted to escape her overprotective brother with a semester at sea. She doesn’t know she is being hunted by people who think her very existence could spark a world war. 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.

Two girls will face an army of enemies—mortal and divine—determined to either destroy or possess the Warbringer. Tested beyond the bounds of their abilities, Diana and Alia must find a way to unleash hidden strengths and forge an unlikely alliance. Because if they have any hope of saving both their worlds, they will have to stand side by side against the tide of war.


RATING: ✨✨✨✨

I am queen and an Amazon. You are wise to tremble.

I really thought that by now I would have already been adopted by the Amazons of Themyscira who admittedly hated the world of men but found a soft spot for idiotic yet well intended Me, leading me to self-acceptance after a sixty minute movie/montage of facing my deepest fears and some nice scenic shots maybe (?)

This book was a good and quite fulfilling substitute for the fantasy though.

“The sun sets. An age of heroes begins. And I believe I promised you a beautiful death.”

I have a lot of feelings about this book and I think we need more situations where everyone accepts that it’s socially appropriate to SCREAM because I haven’t been on a roller coaster in like two years and boy do I have A LOT of things to get out!!

But first, can I just take a moment to stress the fact that I love Wonder Woman and the Amazons with my entire heart?? What goddesses of fate conspired to make them so beautiful on every non physical level??

I am actually in love with two people: one is Diana Prince, the other one is also Diana but from an alternate timeline with dragons. Just  imagine it’s the end of the world and all that is left is you and Diana and your dog living off the land?? I n…eed to sit dow….n… this is too much…

I really do love her but mostly I love that she’s such power couple with herself and honestly, I wish I could retreat into this book and do cute things with her like crush the patriarchy, fight for gender equality and help destroy racism.

Moving on….

LISTEN. The last sixty pages of this book were WILD!! Everything suddenly careened downhill, faster than you could catch them back. So many things were HAPPENING and I was like, why can’t the happening stop for like 2 goddamn seconds!!! HOLY HELL!! It felt like my anchor has been cut away by pirates who want to steal my ship in the dead of the night and I had nothing to hold on to!!!!

The famous PLOT TWIST of course was so…leigh bardugo!! meaning: it was the spiritual equivalent of having a bucket of ice cold water thrown on your face. The foundations that my life was built on were shattered at that moment and I kinda just sat there, feeling like there’s this old granny living inside of me who just wants warm beverages and space from her family while spending her days tucked away in bed!!

“You can’t live in fear. You make things happen or they happen to you.”

This book was a retelling of Wonder Woman and it was definitely driven by its diverse cast of characters as they embark on a quest to save the world.

These kids are spending their late teen years fighting mythical creatures and genetically engineered armies, surviving plane crushes and psychopathical scientists while the rest of us are just here struggling to attempt the basic tasks of adult life!! (by the way, I really hope none of my loved ones get kidnapped because I am definitely not strong enough to drag my savaged body across a forest for revenge. no thank you.)

I loved how by the end of the book, they’ve all became new people because every experience they’ve undergone helped shape them into someone else… or as you call it Good Character Developement.

✨ Alia is a Warbringer, which translates to a very dangerous human magnet for conflict and bloodshed but she’s such beautiful radiant sunbeam you can’t even will yourself to hate her. Watching her make the conscious decision to stop hiding inside herself and embrace her full potential after she was constantly ripping herself into pieces to keep others whole was so inspiring. And I really just wanted to cradle her in my arms and offer her a smoothie or something!!

“I am done being careful. I am done being quiet. Let them see me angry. Let them hear me wail at the top of my lungs.”

✨ I adore Nim, a gay chubby Indian goddess who’s the kind of person who would listen to your story when no one else is paying attention and ask you to carry on if you start and get talked over!! Honestly she’s so genuine and kind and hilarious and makes everyone grateful just for being around her soul’s energy.

“It’s the people who never learn the word impossible who make history, because they’re the ones who keep trying.”

But what really made this book stand out is the emphasis on the value of lady friendships. I really loved seeing it appreciated for what it is because so often in books, female friendships are written off as shallow and bitchy and used as an exposition tool for the female protagonist to discuss her love interest and oftentimes romantic love is portrayed as the only fulfilling type of love.

This book was all about unconditional platonic love. It took the attention away from romance and showed how friendships tower over it by being a much more freeing and empowering type of loving.

Diana, Alia and Nim share such a strong, healthy, mutually rewarding friendship and most importantly, a fierce one because they aggressively believe in each other, defend each other and think the other deserves the world. and for that, no weapon forged against these ladies shall prosper and any evil wished upon them shall be reflected back tenfold… just saying.

Honestly, I hope when humanity dies, all we leave behind are those books with strong female characters who share healthy meaningful friendships where all parties feel cared for and listened to and who don’t need to be romantically validated to matter. Everything else can go.

“Sister in battle,” murmured Diana, “I am shield and blade to you.”
“And friend.”
“And always your friend.”

With all that being said, I realize that I can’t discount my feelings and I have to admit that I had a really hard time getting into this book because the pacing was a bit slow at the beginning and the plot felt kinda dry at times and I really just wanted to see more of the Amazons.

However, the last few chapters really made up for it. Like, you know when you finish a book and the ending is SO satisfying that you lie in bed in that space where your real storyline seems very abstract and you’re left with such a warm and happy feeling that you’re glowing just by being around that book’s energy?? Exactly how I felt right then.

All in all, this was a really good read and I would definitely recommend you guys read it!!

4 thoughts on “Book review: Wonder Woman by Leigh Bardugo”

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