What if Wonder Woman’s first foray into the mortal realm had nothing to do with Steve Trevor? What if she was an untested teenager, the weakest of the Amazons, struggling to prove herself? And what if you didn’t even miss good ol’ Steve because the focus on empowerment and positive female relationships enduring really big hardships was so lovely and refreshing? IT WOULD BE FREAKING AMAZING, THAT’S WHAT.
The story takes place in unspecified modern times (based on the level of technology). By chance or fate, Diana crosses paths with Alia, an unwitting walking apocalypse, and sets out to stop the war Alia’s mere existence is going to cause. There’s action aplenty, social issues, growing pains, poignant self-discovery, meddling gods, man-made monsters, the obligatory Diana-in-a-fancy-dress scene, a teensy bit of romance, and a whole lot of kickassery. All of that (and more!) added together = a really good time. I could blame insomnia for last night’s lack of sleep, but in reality I had a serious case of just-one-more-chapter-itis that persisted straight through the final chapter.
If you’re worried about jumping in with insufficient Wonder Woman/DC knowledge, don’t be. I had no idea what to expect from this novel going in. I’ve never picked up a Wonder Woman comic and my knowledge of the character is gleaned from the Linda Carter TV series, various animated productions, and the DC cinematic universe. But my quasi-ignorance wasn’t an issue, as this book seems largely independent from all past and current iterations of the character. Some of her backstory matches up with some of the comics, but you don’t have to have read every (or any) WW issue and crossover to get what’s going on.
If you are a fan of the comics, I have no idea if Bardugo’s take on the character will float your boat, but it floated mine all the way to Themyscira. (I was turned away at the boundary, though, on account of being a whiny, non-badass mortal who didn’t die in battle calling on the name of a goddess. Alas.)