My rating: 3 of 5 stars
(Possible spoilers) There seem to be a quite a lot of popular books that other people love that I just…don’t. I don’t know why, because I’m not purposely trying to be contrary. Six of Crows is one of them. I wasn’t even sure what this was about before I picked it up, and when I finally read the description I was like, okay, heist, cool, not my typical but okay. I should add that when I start any book, they automatically begin with 5 stars. It’s up to the book (or, er, my reaction to it) to keep it at five stars. I loved certain things about this one, but ultimately it lost some stars because of the negatives. First, what I didn’t like:
-Too many points-of-view kept me from really connecting to anyone for a long time. I didn’t personally feel the voices were distinctive enough, and Jesper and Waylen ended up lacking to me. Their voices were underdeveloped, their backstories, even their relationship. I think it would have been stronger if she’d focused on even just 4 points-of-view. I wasn’t invested in the story until a good 40% into the book, and I kept putting it down without being excited to pick it back up. Whether that was due to the general feeling of disconnect or something else, it just wasn’t that interesting to me for awhile.
-Kaz. I just cannot with him. I get why people think he’s so hot and brooding…kind of? But no. The eyeball thing killed any chance I had to love him. I get that he was tortured, and once I read his backstory I did feel bad for him, but he was too sadistic, cold, and his only motivation for *most* of the book seemed to be getting loads of money? So, like, I can’t. Honestly he reminded me of Heathcliff a bit, and I just can’t with him either.
-The violence overall, the killing, the fighting, just not my cup of tea, but of course, that’s going to vary for everyone.
-The sexual tension with NO reward. Three separate couples, all with either slow-burn or enemies to lovers tropes and NOT ONE COUPLE HOOKS UP AT THE END? Like, was there even any kissing? I honestly don’t recall any.
-Also I did not buy that this was a YA book. Sure, no kissing or sex, or swearing (but extreme violence is a yes?) but the characters were not teenagers to me. Many reviewers agree, stating they saw Kaz at least in his late 20s/early 30s. Agree with that entirely.
Now, critical party over. What I loved and liked:
-Nina and Matthias. Just swoon a million times over. Their backstory, their witty banter, the tension between them, the conflict, the resolution, all of it. They were the clearest characters to me, and perhaps that’s why I connected so hard, but I also just think their storylines were the best. Honestly, if the whole book had been from their pov only with their relationship taking center stage (and the heist backstage) it would have easily been a 5 star read. I get what other people are saying, that this isn’t a romance novel and romance doesn’t always have to be the main course, but I can’t help my poor, romantic heart. Love is what makes the story for me. I’m totally going to go off and try to find some Nina/Matthias fanfic to gush over now.
-The strategy and planning, while heavy in some parts, was well thought-out, exciting and action-packed.
-The dialogue was snappy and funny. I think the characters related so well to each other.
-The author can paint a scene well, and it wasn’t a badly-written story (though I caught a lot of filtering), and I will read more of her work. I’m actually really excited to read The Language of Thorns!
So, overall it was a solid 3 star read for me. Lovers of action, adventure, and danger will love it. Lovers of well, lovers, may be a bit let-down at times.