Apparently there is a book blurb that refers to this book as “Game of Thrones meets Ocean’s Eleven.” I get a little hesitant and skeptical when books are presented in contrast with other popular things, mostly I think because someone once told me I’d like Twilight because it was like “Harry Potter and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” NO. FALSE. HOW DARE YOU. So you can see where I’d be a little scarred by pop culture comparisons. That said, the Thrones meets Eleven analogy is much more apt. I’ve already explained this book to a few people because I like it so much, and I’ve been saying, “It’s a heist. But with kids. Kind of like if a kids heist movie was set in the world of the Robert Downey Jr Sherlock Holmes movie.” Also kids isn’t fair, they are teens, but I’m almost 40 so sadly they are more kids to me just be definition of me as “an old,” though their behavior and capabilities age them well beyond their years.
My personal spin on the GoT/Ocean’s Eleven comparison is that it’s moreso like if the Newsies had to get Danny Ocean to help them fight some X-Men. I get the Game of Thrones nod but that’s more a bit of a reach. GoT is waaaaaaaaaay more dark and twisted whereas Bardugo has set out to tell a more straightforward story of the kid from wrong side of the tracks trying to get what’s his, and stick it to the man. It’s got some Game of Thrones supernatural elements, but I’d say it’s moreso like a Marvel movie than anything you’d find on HBO. Kaz has cemented himself as a bad dude on the block, and he gets together the rag tagiest of his crew to break out the scientist who has developed a dangerous drug that makes Grisha’s (X-Men) go super duper powered and homicidal. This book jumps around in POV and each character gives you their impression of the others, so you learn about them through each other’s eyes which I think is fun. There are good female characters and though romantic angles are hinted at that’s not the forefront of their stories, so I’m on board for it.
In very brief, this was a fun and engaging book . In my last review I mentioned the stigma I feel for reading YA books, and I’m so glad I listened to the many (many) CBR peeps praising this book because I was delighted by it and am glad I finally got this review done because now I can move on to Shadow and Bone. Yippee!