I received a copy of Ready for Battle from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Diana Prince has been living quietly among mortals in the era of excess: the 1980s.
Though she’s come into her full powers, she maintains a low profile, curating ancient artifacts at the Smithsonian and performing heroic acts incognito. But now Diana will have to step directly into the spotlight and muster all her wisdom, strength, and courage to battle villains Max Lord and The Cheetah and save humankind from a world of its own making, proving she is a hero for our time, for all time, for everyone.
I am a huge comic-book movie fan, and over the last few years it has been an absolute delight to see so many strong, female heroines brought to life on the screen, and the original Wonder Woman film did a whole lot to pave the way for subsequent storylines.
Presented with the opportunity to read Ready for Battle ahead of Wonder Woman 84’s release, I jumped at the chance (mostly because who knows when/how I’ll get to see the film with the world being what it is at present) and it was nice to revisit Diana Prince’s world. I will say, right from the beginning, that this read like the first part of the larger film story, with something of a cliff-hanger ending, so be aware of that going into the book – I definitely did have some questions still floating around my head after reading – but it does stand well enough on its own, too.
The year is 1984 and Diana Prince is continuing her life as a curator for the Smithsonian. She’s taken on, and honed, for true capabilities, and spends her nights playing the hero on the streets of D.C. while still trying to remain incognito. But all that may have to change when a new enemy – the Cheetah, a woman with the same strengths as Diana – appears.
Being a middle-grade novelisation, the plot is relatively straight forward, and there’s very few hard-to-understand concepts. The pacing is fairly consistent and it’s very clear where the problem begins and how all of the characters develop.
The heart of the story is (as it should be) Diana, and her journey. She’s quite an isolated character – she’s afraid to let anyone get too close for fear that they’ll discover her secrets, and she’s also still holding on to the love she has for Steve, despite the many years since his sacrifice. The book opens with a flashback – much like in the film – to her years as a child on Themyscira, which is a really great way to position this part of Diana’s personality. She is an infinitely determined character who wants to be the best in order to protect the people and the things that she loves.
This book really centers around Diana’s budding friendship with new Smithsonian employee, Barbara, who’s a little clumsy and a little strange, but desperately wants to be friends with Diana who comes across as the picture of elegance and poise. Diana begins to open up and to invest in this friendship, which later has consequences neither she, nor, Barbara, could have predicted.
There’s a little bit of magic, a lot of adventure and action, and this is a book that will surely delight younger fans of the film.