About the Book

Title: Wonder Woman: Warbringer (DC Icons #1)
Published: 2017
Series: DC Icons
Swoonworthy Scale: 4

Cover Story: This Book is About Wonder Woman
BFF Charm: Heck Yes
Talky Talk: Alternative Origin
Bonus Factors: Wonder Woman, Diversity, Feminism
Relationship Status: Need a Squire?

Cover Story: This Book is About Wonder Woman

If it wasn’t clear from the title, the double-W logo, or the shadowed figure of the dark haired woman with the star on her brow and bracers on her wrists doing one of Diana Prince’s most famous poses … this book is about Wonder Woman.

The Deal:

At seventeen, Diana, Princess of Themyscira, struggles with feeling like she doesn’t belong among her Amazon sisters. She’s the only one of them who hasn’t proven herself in battle, and her position as Queen Hippolyta’s daughter means that she might never get the chance. Diana strives to make a name for herself, and make her sisters see that just because her origins are different, she’s no less of an Amazon.

When Diana sees a shipwreck off the shores of the island, and saves a young woman from drowning, she knows that she’s not helping her cause. And when her best friend grows ill—unheard of on Themyscira—and earthquakes threaten buildings that have stood for thousands of years, Diana learns that the consequences of her split-second decision will resonate much farther than she ever could have imagined.

BFF Charm: Heck Yes 

BFF Charm Heck Yes - sparklier and shinier than the original BFF Charm

Diana Prince is both immortal and nearly indestructible, and looks like a supermodel. She’s confident, kind, and loyal. She’s intelligent, passionate, and can speak more languages than are remembered by the modern world. It would be intimidating as hell to be her friend, and I could see myself becoming totally awed in her presence, to the point of shrinking into myself. But then she’d do something like get confused by an idiom or not understand a piece of technology, and I’d want to protect the perfect cinnamon roll from the dangers of the World of Men as best I could. It would be a weird friendship, but an epic one.

Swoonworthy Scale: 4

When Diana saves Alia from drowning, she has no idea that doing so will lead her into the modern world, and bring her face to face with Alia’s older, overprotective, semi-bully of a brother who just so happens to be stupidly handsome and has a dimple in his cheek when he smiles.

Talky Talk: Alternative Origin

When I started Wonder Woman: Warbringer, I wasn’t sure where it fit with the movie and/or the comics. I was a little confused for the first few chapters, too, trying to figure out when Alia was from. Now that I’ve finished the book, I realize that it’s a standalone novel, and though it pulls aspects of Diana’s life from the comics, it’s an origin story all its own. It also doesn’t have any tie in to the movie, other than the initial rescue of Alia being oddly similar to the rescue of Steve Trevor. (I have to assume this similarity was done on purpose, considering when the movie came out and when this book was likely written, but it’s a little strange for the events to be as close as they are.)

After the initial confusion, however, it was easy to get sucked into Diana and Alia’s story. Leigh Bardugo weaves superheroes and mythology together nicely, and I really enjoyed getting to know Diana as a teen, and seeing her become friends with teens who felt like everyday people. Bardugo captured Diana’s mix of old world refinement and naivety so well, and although I missed Bardugo’s traditional snark, it’s obvious that she set out to do justice to an icon that means a lot to her—and succeeded. Out of the handful of YA superhero books I’ve read to date, Wonder Woman: Warbringer is the strongest, most entertaining and most accurate portrayal of the titular character.

Bonus Factor: Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman is an essential pop culture icon, and one of the most famous superheroes in history. She’s such a brilliant character, and I’m so glad to see her getting the love she deserves.

Bonus Factor: Diversity 

Faces of all different races, ethnicities and genders.

In addition to Diana, who’s Greek, the other main characters of the book are Alia and Jason, who are half-black, half-Greek; Nim, who’s Indian; and Theo, who’s black. It’s delightful to read a book with a diverse crew like this. It’s also great that Bardugo didn’t shy away from discussing some of the unfairness and inequality they’ve experienced because of being non-white, clueing Diana into some of the unfortunate gaps in her knowledge of the modern world.

Bonus Factor: Feminism 

Raised fists in different skin tones wearing nail polish

It wouldn’t be a proper Wonder Woman story without knocking the patriarchy down a few pegs, now would it.

Relationship Status: Need a Squire?

I don’t have much in the way of physical talents to offer you, Book, but I’m stronger than I look. I’ll gladly haul your gear if you’d let me join you on your adventures.

FTC Full Disclosure: I received my free review copy from Random House. This review was originally posted on Kirkus Reviews in exchange for monetary compensation, which did not affect or influence my opinions. Wonder Woman: Warbringer is available now.

Mandy (she/her) is a manager at a tech company who lives in Austin, TX, with her husband, son, and dogs. She loves superheroes and pretty much any show or movie with “Star” in the name.