Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo

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Rate: 3.5/5

Medium: Book


Overview (No Spoilers):

Up until a few years ago, the extent of my Wonder Woman knowledge entailed a vaguel notion of a lasso wielding comic book/TV show superhero.  In early 2014, I’d heard rumors of Gal Gadot being cast as Wonder Woman in the upcoming Batman vs. Superman movie but put little thought into the matter. That all changed in October 2014 when the movie was filming in East Lansing and I was a cast as a  ‘Party Guest’ extra during the glamorous party at Lex Luthor’s mansion in the Batman vs. Superman movie. It was a very surreal experience as the first night of filming with Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot and Jesse Eisenberg intermingled throughout the room and I had Ben Affleck stationed right in front of me. While I had been too star struck to even think about talking to Affleck, I was determined to at least say hi to Gadot when she was next to me for day two of filming. During a break while the crew finished setting up, I worked up the nerve and told her how beautiful her dress was. Imagine my excitement when she kindly responded by telling me I was beautiful. We then chatted in brief about the upcoming movie and how exciting it was for girls to finally have their own super hero movie. While the conversation was short, I still left impressed with how kind and personable Gadot was and an instant Wonder Woman fan. If I end up hitting 4000 followers I’m debating on doing a full post about my awesome/exhausting experience as extra.

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Needless to say, I was full of anticipation when the movie came out after the luck I’d had being in close proximity to the filming. Alas, my big screen debut consisted of a silhouette and my prominent forehead over Ben’s shoulder. Still exciting regardless. The following Wonder Woman movie cemented my fandom even more as I found myself wishing I’d had a similar female character to look up to when I was in my formative years. With regard to the Wonder Woman book, I’d somehow missed the memo that DC had partnered with successful Random House YA novelists to create a series of ‘coming of age’ modern takes on superheroes, i.e., Wonder Woman, Catwoman, Batman, and Superman. As a huge Throne of Glass fan, I’m personally very excited for Sarah J. Maas’ take on Catwoman. While Bardugo has been on my TBR list for quite a long time, e.g., The Grisha Trilogy, I had yet to actually read any of her works. Undeterred, I looked up her tour schedule to see if she would be venturing to my backyard and instead discovered she would b


e in Seattle that very night! As coincidence happens, that’s where my brother Samuel (Birthday Post) lives! He and Kara spoiled me by making the last minute decision to go listen to Bardugo speak and get a signed copy of Wonder Woman for me!

21270968_10101540742671650_403237664943988305_nUpon finally getting my hands on my copy of Wonder Woman, I quickly devoured this easy to read novel within a few days. While I would have personally preferred a higher level of detail and word building, Bardugo kept true to the YA theme. Keeping that aforementioned target in mind, Diana’s modern adventures were a delightful read that contained aspects that were quite predictable, however the overall outcome and plot twists kept the reader on their toes. We are given two point of views from the perspectives of Diana and Alia, whose characters are further enhanced by a supporting cast, that are individually two dimensional, although as a whole create highly entertaining interactions. Moreover, Diana’s first trip outside the confines of her secluded island yields additional amusing scenes interspersed throughout the text. Specifically, this novel seemed tailored to my specific interests as it merges various aspects of Greek mythology and science, perhaps skewing my enjoyment in a bias direction. Overall, Wonder Woman will be a fun read for most book lovers, as long as they keep expectations regarding detail, world building, and interactions on a level appropriate for a YA novel.

Additional Insight (Spoilers Abound):

  • Theo used his hacker skills to destroy any of the lab work that Jason had regarding the super soldiers and creatures. What about any physical lab notes? Or the other scientists that must have been working on the studies?
  • What happened to the super soldiers? What happened to any other creatures Jason had created?
  • What will the fall out be for Keralis Labs especially after so many of the donors and board members were likely killed in the museum attack?
  • Was the Pinon made from an actual human?
  • What will happen to Jason? Will he go mad?
  • I liked the incorporation of the mythological gods, e.g., Athena, Hera, Aphrodite, etc. As I discussed in my American Gods post, this topic will always be near and dear to my heart.
  • I felt as though Diana was very knowledgeable about certain aspects of the modern world and clueless about others. I’m guessing what she does know comes from the random expeditions sent out from her island, however there seemed (to me anyway) no rhyme or reason as to what she would know or wouldn’t.
  • Was the Amazon woman named Sabaa a nod to An Ember in the Ashes author Sabaa Tahir?

Vocabulary Builder:

When reading it is common that I encounter words that I’m not privy to the exact definition, however it is easy to infer the meaning of the aforementioned word based on the context of the sentence and story. As such, relatively new to the Critiquing Chemist, you’ll find an additional section that includes vocabulary words that I encountered upon reading the book being reviewed and either had to look up the definition or it is a word in which I would like to add to my repertoire. This endeavor is easier when in the Kindle format, and potentially impossible with audiobooks, however I’m going to attempt to continue this section for all future book reviews. I’ll be using the definitions from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

Loge: a small partitioned area

Mizzenmast: the mast aft or next aft of the mainmast in a ship

Divot: a loose piece of turf

Pili: a hair or a structure (as on the surface of a bacterial cell) resembling a hair

Kylix: a drinking cup that has two looped handles on a shallow bowl set upon a slender center foot

Balustrade: a low parapet or barrier

Subverted: to pervert or corrupt by an undermining of morals, allegiance, or faith

Celadon: a grayish-yellow green

Supplicant: to make a humble entreaty;

Cloying: excessively sweet or sentimental

Bracketed: joined to the stroke by a curved line

Fractal: any of various extremely irregular curves or shapes for which any suitably chosen part is similar in shape to a given larger or smaller part when magnified or reduced to the same size

Phalanx: a massed arrangement of persons, animals, or things

Ouzo: a colorless anise-flavored unsweetened Greek liqueur

Banquettea long upholstered bench



  1. What an engaging take on a fascinating book — find myself reading more and more YA for the highlights and reasons you discuss. Can’t wait for you to hit the ideal follower’s goal for the in-depth summary of being a lovely, beautifully-foreheaded extra….

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Louise! I always need to space out my YA reads because I tend to be too hard of them if I read a bunch in a row. I really like being overwhelmed with details and world building. I hope so too! It was such a fun experience! I was exhausted after two nights of being up all night filming but totally worth it!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. First and foremost, I am incredibly jealous that you had the opportunity to meet Gal Gadot. Forget the hunky men…she would have been my goal too! She’s amazing! Also, your review is fantastic. I just started this book because of my deep abiding love for Wonder Woman, so I skipped over the spoilers, but I thoroughly enjoyed reading the rest!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Um, you should DEFINITELY put up a post about your experience as an extra. HOW COOL!

    I’m glad you enjoyed the book — I found it to be an incredibly fun twist on the hero’s adventure story. And the mythology/science stuff was awesome. Some of the plot holes bothered me more than lack of worldbuilding, but I still enjoyed it a lot. Great review!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Wow and WOW. Being an extra in the movie sounds awesome, as well as meeting Gal Gadot.

    I am super excited to read this book, but am number 50 in the library line. They only have 7 copies for some silly reason!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Loved hearing about the movie extra experience! I really love this author so I was really looking forward to this book. I loved the first part, but then it seemed to get a little too much like the Scooby Do cartoon series.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I absolutely loved the movie and have been anticipating reading this book! I didn’t know about Catwoman. That is amazing. I can’t wait. Congrats on your extra status! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Susan for the kind words! I can only hope my posts are helping other people! I really am enjoying compiling the vocabulary builder. We will see if it actually expands my own vocabulary. 😀


    • Thank you so much for the nomination Siobhan! Please don’t hate me because I’m far to busy to participate.

      I hope you enjoy the WW book! You’ll have to let me know what you think!


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