Book Review of Wonder Woman: Warbringer

Hey everyone. I’m gonna take a step back from mental health to talk about this book I just finished reading called Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo. I promise I will not spoil it.

When I first realized there was a Wonder Woman book being published, I was so excited. I found a copy from Amazon, and I read it over the past weekend. Upon picking it up, my assumption was the book would work within the Wonder Woman universe we were introduced to in Patty Jenkin’s Wonder Woman movie starring Gal Gadot. As someone who is entirely uninformed on the DC universe, I was oblivious to Wonder Woman’s history in the comics. My only thing to work with was the movie and novelization of the movie. If you’re like me, remember what you watched/read, but don’t expect this book to come straight from that universe. However, don’t let it stop you from reading this book OR assuming it’s going to be bad. You will absolutely enjoy it.

First off, there are minor differences in the characters when compared to the movie. We are introduced to Diana when she is 17 years old. She has a best friend, Mauve, who suffers from one of Diana’s mistakes. Antiope, who in the movie trained Diana and was Hippolyta’s sister, doesn’t appear in the book. Instead, Diana’s teased and tormented (in a way) by her mother’s general, Tek, who believes Diana was a mistake and will bring misery to Themyscira. Personally, I was disappointed with this change. The book presented Diana as being relatively lonely in that only Mauve seemed to have supported her. The others teased her and isolated her for being the only person born on the island and a princess. In the movie, Diana may have been isolated, but Antiope supported her and trained her. Despite these differences, the characters in the book help push Diana into becoming the hero she eventually becomes. Their teasing pushes her so she understands her limits, pushes through those limits, and proves herself as being a true Amazon.

Another difference is the how the island itself was created. In the movie, Zeus creates the island. In the book, the goddesses created the island. In the movie, the Amazons live on the island since its birth. In the book, Amazons continually join the island by dying bravely in battle. They are reborn onto the island to live peaceful lives. I wasn’t sure how I felt about this difference. However, I am intrigued with the author’s take on it. It allowed Amazons to arrive on the island from various points in time and from various backgrounds, not just from classical Greece. One Amazon appeared on the island during one of the Crusades in Medieval Europe!

I could go on and on comparing the movie to the book. Due to my lack of knowledge of the DC universe, that is all I have to go on. Regardless of Diana having blue eyes or brown, nothing stopped me from picturing Gal Gadot as Diana in the book.

As an adult reading this book, you have to keep in mind that this is a young adult book. Therefore, it follows certain conventions often seen in young adult books. I once took an adolescent literature course in college, and I couldn’t help making a mental list of how everything I learned applied to the book. Let’s take a look at the plot…what we have is a quest or epic. We have the hero, Diana, on a quest to save Alia from destroying the war as the warbringer. They are accompanied by Alia’s friends and brother. What’s their goal? Let Alia bathe in Helen’s spring in Greece to be purified, therefore stopping the line of warbringers and a war. What happens when the heroes try to save the world? The bad guys try to stop them, almost always. This leads to death. Are the main characters safe? That is something I won’t spoil.

Kids that pick up this book are introduced to a lot of Greek mythology as well. There are gods, goddesses, oracles, and Greek history presented to the reader as the characters discuss the legend behind the warbringers. It’s a great and simple way to get someone excited about Greek mythology. The author uses her background of Greek mythology and history to take creative license on some things, such as Helen’s spring. Just to make sure her readers understand some things she made up, she had a short author’s note in the back of the book explaining what wasn’t real and what she created. Kudos to the author!

For those of you who love a good love scene, Diana doesn’t fall for Steve this time. No. She falls for a bad boy who ends up nearly killing them all. I guess Diana, in whatever universe, sure likes men who like to blow things up.

All in all, the book is a quick read. I finished it in a day and half. It’s got great humor as well. Wait until you meet Nim. She’s got an incredibly funny personality. The plot keeps you constantly on your toes. When you think you have all of the pieces, something else comes up. When you think everything’s done and the bad guys have won, don’t forget there is Greek magic involved. Gods and goddesses may be vengeful and treat humans as pawns, but sometimes they can be gracious.

Now, go buy this book or rent it.

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