Audiobook Review: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

February 9, 2016
Audiobook Review: Six of Crows by Leigh BardugoSix of Crows (Six of Crows, #1) by Leigh Bardugo
Series: Six of Crows #1
on September 29th 2015
Pages: 465
Length: 15 hours 25 minutes

Thanks to for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can't pull it off alone...
A convict with a thirst for revenge.
A sharpshooter who can't walk away from a wager.
A runaway with a privileged past.
A spy known as the Wraith.
A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.
A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Kaz's crew are the only ones who might stand between the world and destruction—if they don't kill each other first.

So here it is. A review that I am disappointed to be writing because I just couldnt bring myself to love this book that so many others have loved. I will forewarn you, I may sound like a jerk in spots. But, my reaction is what it is, so I will share it with you anyway. There’s bound to be readers out there that will have a similar experience as I did, though many will have the same reaction as the reviewers that have written glowing reviews for this one.

In case you haven’t gathered already, I went into Six of Crows with high hopes. A number of reviewers that tend to have similar taste as me really enjoyed this one (and rightfully on their part!). However, I think I had a different experience with it. I can’t say the book is without its merits, but I can say that it might not have been the best choice for me. Ultimately what failed to work for me was the characters and their relationships (especially the romantic relationships, oh my holy ANGST. Serious amounts of ANGST. And I can do angst, but evidently I can’t do ANGST). In a book like this, that is critical. The story overall is somewhat familiar and the world building is not terribly complex. That’s the case with lots of great books, but that also means (for me), my enjoyment is going to ride on my reaction to the characters.

Also, I have also made it abundantly clear in other reviews that I am very picky about humor in books. The humor in this one fell flat for me more often than not as well. Sometimes instead of just ignoring it and moving on instead I can find it irksome when I read passages I know are supposed to amuse but they really don’t. It’s like hearing canned laughter on a sitcom that’s so generously dispersed it seems to play for every line. “Hi” *canned laughter* “I lost my pencil” *canned laughter* “My favorite cat died” *canned laughter*. Obviously the book contains no canned laughter in either print or audiobook format. But it does contain jokes that are blatantly obvious that just didn’t amuse me. It’s like a textual canned laughter equivalent. So what I was left with was a book where I knew I supposed to be laughing when I would be rolling my eyes and characters that I didn’t care about nearly as much as I should have and romances that just made me want to throw up a tiny bit. Yeah, I guess I’m not being as nice as I could, but that is how I felt.

So, plot wise, this book has a ton of potential. A group of six very different people come together to try and pull of an impossible heist. Nothing terribly original, but quite often fun. Kaz, the leader of this group is approached to break in to an un-penetrable prison to free someone. He gathers his team, suspense, mayhem and canned laughter ensue. Honestly, I was a bit bored. OK. To be fair, I am probably overplaying the humor. It wasn’t so prevalent as I am making it sound, but I just so didn’t like it when it did rear its ugly little canned laughter head, I seem to be dwelling on it.

This is a really hard one for me to rate, because most of my complaints (rants) I think are legitimate traits of the type of book it is. So, despite my above rants, I do believe this is not a bad book, I can appreciate the enjoyment other people have taken from it. But to be honest, I had to find reasons to motivate myself to keep reading/listening. I am just not the correct audience for this one at all. There are Young Adult books that I have really truly enjoyed, I refuse to dismiss the category, but this book was the quintessential example of what I don’t enjoy in books often marked as Young Adult. So, if you do frequently enjoy Young Adult books, you can probably just dismiss my complaints as a crabby ranting blogger. If you are like me and find that there are more misses than hits in the category, then I would recommend a bit of caution, at least know what you are heading in for. I was very tempted to set the book aside in favor for something else, and while I did finish it, I have to say the odds of me reading the next one are quite low.

Audiobook Notes: Over all the narration was good. It had a full cast, which is often nice. My only issue with the audio was often the humor that didnt work for me was stressed a bit too much by the narrators. Now, this is probably more a factor of the jokes would make me roll my eyes in the first place, but hearing a character deliver the lines with extra emphasis on the points that make me roll my eyes didn’t help.

And to see more positive reactions to this book (offset my rant), here are reviews that will do a much better job highlighting the strengths of the book:



  • Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum February 9, 2016 at 8:03 pm

    While I gave this book 4 stars, I agree with a lot of the issues you pointed out in this review. The problem – well, it’s not so much a problem, as it is a matter of taste, as you pointed out – is that there is little to no crossover appeal to this one at all. Six of Crows is “very YA”. I almost had to put myself in a completely different mindset while I read this, otherwise yes, you can drown in the angst and YA tropes. I can definitely see this not working for readers who don’t prefer the style.
    Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum recently posted…Book Review: The Damned by Andrew PyperMy Profile

  • Stephanie February 9, 2016 at 9:46 pm

    You are good! You not have to like the book everyone else liked. You are awesome to give people the opportunity to see other reviews, but you are completely entitled to not like it. I hated Cinder -many people love it. You didn’t hate this – it just wasn’t wonderful -it fell short
    Stephanie recently posted…Boneshaker – Cherie Priest (Clockwork Century#1)My Profile

  • Maddalena@spaceandsorcery February 11, 2016 at 11:34 am

    It’s never easy to find oneself going against the main current when reviewing a book (I know, I’ve been down that road…) but it’s true that not every book is for everyone: there will always be that little – or not so little – detail that grates against our sensibilities and ruins the overall effect.
    Maddalena@spaceandsorcery recently posted…Review: THE AMBER ISLE, by Ashley Capes (Book of Never #1)My Profile

  • Joel P February 11, 2016 at 6:06 pm

    Well damn. This isn’t really ‘my thing’ but I was going to read it anyway, simply due to the response it’s received. However, I trust your reviews, and this has made me consider otherwise.

  • Lynn February 13, 2016 at 7:02 pm

    I have to say that I loved this book and it just really appealed to me – it could be because I was on holiday when I read, it could be that it wasn’t audio (which I wonder if it is more difficult in respect of some of the humour), but I can say that I loved your review. It does feel difficult to go against the flow and I felt a little like that with the Ancillary/Lecke books – but I think your review is really good and incredibly fair.
    Lynn 😀
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