Series: DC Icons #1
Published by Penguin Australia on August 31st 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
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She will become a legend but first she is Diana, Princess of the Amazons. And her fight is just beginning...
Diana is desperate to prove herself to her warrior sisters. But when the opportunity comes, she throws away her chance at glory and breaks Amazon law to save a mere mortal, Alia Keralis. With this single heroic act, Diana may have just doomed the world.
Alia is a Warbringer - a descendant of the infamous Helen of Troy, fated to bring about an age of bloodshed and misery. Diana and Alia will face an army of enemies, mortal and divine, determined to destroy or possess the Warbringer.
To save the world, they must stand side by side against the tide of war.
After watching and loving DC’s Wonder Woman in cinemas earlier this year, I was excited to find out that one of my favourite authors would be retelling her origin story.
The only difference? Instead of Diana’s love interest landing on Themyscira, where she’s tempted into the “world of man”, it’s a young woman who appears instead. It turns out Alia is a Warbringer, who is doomed to bring war to them all. With Diana’s altrustic nature and also secretly wanting to prove her worth to the other Amazons, she decides to save Alia from the curse of her bloodline, by taking her to Greece to purify her bloodline.
I loved what Alia brought to the story – she’s slightly awkward, introverted and a science nerd and also Greek-African American. Despite her scary fate, she manages to keep her wits about her and takes the female goddess under the wing, guiding her through the streets of New York. Together, they make an unstoppable duo, and their friendship really shines in the book. It was hilarious seeing Diana’s disbelief at the “corrupted World of Man” especially in contrast with Alia’s reaction upon seeing Themyscira.
We soon learn about Alia’s family history and her domineering brother Jason. This is where things took a turn for me – Jason is arrogant, cocky and so very alpha. He often dictates to Alia how she should behave and what she should be doing, as a daughter of the Keralis bloodline. While him and Diana shared much antagonistic banter, I definitely didn’t expect a romance to bloom between them and wasn’t a fan of it at all. Thankfully it doesn’t really form a big part of the book.
Going into the book, we already know that Diana is strong, kind, brave, selfless and the embodiment of all is good, and there wasn’t really anything else that was added here. Instead, the side characters are what made this book shine – Alia’s strength and defiance, Nim’s fabulous flair, Theo’s nerdy self and unfortunately, Jason’s arrogance. And of course, I loved the strong dose of feminism and the focus on female friendships, above all else.
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.
The book also has a rather slow pace, as Diana gets accustomed to the modern world and we slowly get introduced to the secondary characters (who are also fabulously diverse). There were some hilarious scenes and dialogue, but the action doesn’t really kick off until halfway through.
While there were certainly parts of the book that I enjoyed, Woman: Warbringer lacked a bit of spark for me. The plot was good – but also slow and predictable with barely any build up. The characters were great – but I wasn’t a fan of the romance. The banter was entertaining – but it all felt very surface level.
Wonder Woman: Warbringer would be a great introduction to the iconic female warrior – if you’re not already a fan.
Rating: 3 out of 5
Thanks to Penguin Random House for sending me this book for review.
Wonder Woman: Warbringer is available from Australian bookstores for RRP$18.99.
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