Book Review – Take the Key and Lock Her Up by Ally Carter

Take the Key and Lock Her Up (Embassy Row #3)

Author: Ally Carter

Publication: December 27th, 2016

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Format: Kindle Edtion, 336 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Thriller, Mental Health

Read: April 2017

Ally CarterGoodreads

 

Synopsis
The princess is dead. Long live the princess.
Centuries ago, the royal family of Adria was killed…or so everyone thought.
Now Grace Blakely knows the truth: There was one survivor, and that survivor’s blood runs through her veins. This simple fact could cause a revolution—which is why some people will stop at nothing to keep it from coming to light.
There is only one way for Grace to save herself, save her family, and save the boy she loves. She must outmaneuver her foes, cut through the web of lies that has surrounded her for years, and go back to the source of all her troubles, despite the risk.
If she wins, she will inherit a throne.
And if she loses, she will inherit the fate of all the dead princesses who came before her.

Critically

Plot – 3.5 out of 5 stars
Sadly, I’m still disappointed. The plot of this book is full of mystery and suspense. There’s action, it’s dramatic, full of death and violence. But it was still kind of boring. Honestly, I just think this series tries too hard to be intense and it doesn’t pull it off as well as it thinks it does. This book was not as entertaining as I wanted and the ending wasn’t that surprising.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
Part of me feels like I should complain more about the writing style considering that most of my issues with this series comes down to execution but I just can’t help flying through these books. The writing is set a medium place but it’s simple and easy to read. It’s a bit intense, kind of emotional but unfortunately, those things didn’t really translate well. It was confusing sometimes and it could get repetitive.

Characters – 3.5 out of 5 stars
This is definitely my least favorite part of this series which is so sad because I’ve really loved this author’s characters in the past. I just wasn’t feeling the main character and the side characters barely show up enough throughout the story to be considered a part of it.
Grace gets on my nerves. I tried, I swear I really tried to understand where she’s coming from but she’s just really dramatic and pessimistic to the point where reading from her point of view was draining for me. She’s reckless and angry and she gets pulled into crappy situations because she’s just not clearheaded at all. She’s depressed, worried and just totally and completely frustrating for me.
There’s not enough page time for the side characters. From the friendships, to the romance, even to the familial relationships portrayed in this book, they all just show up when they’re needed and there’s never any actual development to back up everything the dialogue is trying to say. I don’t know the side characters well at all and it’s another one of the things that made this series disappointing overall.

Emotionally

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Book Review – See How They Run by Ally Carter

See How They Run (Embassy Row #2)

Author: Ally Carter

Publication: December 22nd, 2015

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Format: Kindle Edtion, 336 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Thriller, Mental Health

Read: February 2017

Ally CarterGoodreads

 

Synopsis
Digging up lost secrets is always dangerous.
For the past three years, Grace Blakely has been desperate to find out the truth about her mother’s murder. She thought it would bring her peace. She thought it would lead her to answers. She thought she could put the past to rest.
But the truth has only made her a target.
And the past?
The only way to put the past to rest is for Grace to kill it once and for all.
On Embassy Row, power can make you a victor or a victim; love can turn you into a fool or a fugitive; and family can lead you forward or bury you deep. Trust is a luxury. Death is a very real threat. And a girl like Grace must be very careful about which secrets she brings to light.

Critically

Plot – 3.5 out of 5 stars
This book was very similar to the first one. It had mystery, suspense, drama and violence. There’s a lot of dark themes and twists and turns throughout the whole story. I loved learning more about the history of the world in this book and I think it was more entertaining than the first book. When I first finished this, I thought I’d liked it more but thinking on it, it was pretty much the same as the first book in regards to the plot.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
I really like this author’s writing style. It’s simple and easy to read. The medium pace feels kind of weird with everything that happens and some things can get confusing enough for me to need to re-read passages sometimes. It was descriptive and detailed, but still had a lot of repetitive elements within the narrative.

Characters – 3 out of 5 stars
I’m still not the biggest fan of this cast of characters. The main character is still hard for me to connect to and while there’s more side character page time, I still don’t think they have enough interaction within the story overall.
Grace is kind of melodramatic to me. She’s an unreliable narrator and has had a lot of emotional and physical trauma before and during this series. I feel for her and all but sometimes it’s just a little bit too much. I don’t connect with her because she isolates herself from other people and the book is basically her internal paranoid monologue. I try to be conscious of her mental health and what that entails for her but it kind of took away from what I could’ve enjoyed of the story. She’s angry, confused, depressed and kind of rude to the people around her. Her character is still frustrating but getting better slowly.
Like I said above, there’s definitely much more interaction between the side characters and the main character but not enough for my liking. There’s also no character development for the side characters themselves. I feel like they’re just kind of there to help Grace out and I haven’t learned anything new about them from the first book to this one and that’s really disappointing.

Emotionally

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Book Review – All Fall Down by Ally Carter

All Fall Down (Embassy Row #1)

Author: Ally Carter

Publication: January 20th, 2015

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Format: Kindle Edtion, 325 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Thriller, Mental Health

Read: November 2016

Ally CarterGoodreads

 

Synopsis
Grace Blakely is absolutely certain of three things:
1. She is not crazy.
2. Her mother was murdered.
3. Someday she is going to find the killer and make him pay.
As certain as Grace is about these facts, nobody else believes her — so there’s no one she can completely trust. Not her grandfather, a powerful ambassador. Not her new friends, who all live on Embassy Row. Not Alexei, the Russian boy next door, who is keeping his eye on Grace for reasons she neither likes nor understands.
Everybody wants Grace to put on a pretty dress and a pretty smile, blocking out all her unpretty thoughts. But they can’t control Grace — no more than Grace can control what she knows or what she needs to do. Her past has come back to hunt her . . . and if she doesn’t stop it, Grace isn’t the only one who will get hurt. Because on Embassy Row, the countries of the world stand like dominoes, and one wrong move can make them all fall down.

Critically

Plot – 3.5 out of 5 stars
The plot of this book was really mysterious and intense. It was really slow and sometimes it was kind of boring to be honest. The setting was really unique and there were lots of twists and turns throughout the story. I feel like this whole book was just set up for something bigger to come. There were a lot of positives but I just didn’t end up enjoying it as much as this author’s other books.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
It’s very simple and easy to read. This particular book has a slow to medium pace but also really intense writing style. It got kind of confusing at times since it had the tendency to get repetitive a lot. Some of the narrative felt light and kind of young for YA, but at the same time, it was really emotional too.

Characters – 3 out of 5 stars
I think this is the part that I enjoyed the least in the book. I have a lot of issues with the main character and the side characters and their development and it’s really disappointing since the characters have always been my favorite part of these author’s series.
Grace is one of the most unreliable narrators that I’ve ever come across in YA. She’s very paranoid and angry. She’s dealt with a lot of trauma and mental health issues in the last three years. She’s suffering from a lot of emotional wounds and she pushes people away because of that. She can be kind of rude and she really frustrated me because I felt like she purposely dragged her feet through what could’ve been really great and supportive relationships around her.
I was really disappointed with the side characters. There was a really big cast involved in this book but I felt like they weren’t fleshed out enough. They were only there like 10% of the time and they wasn’t enough interaction between them and the side characters. They should’ve been instrumental for Grace, but they didn’t even spend that much time together on page.

Emotionally

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Book Review – Maid of Deception by Jennifer McGowan

Maid of Deception (Maids of Honor #2)

Author: Jennifer McGowan

Publication: August 26th, 2014

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Format: Kindle Edtion, 432 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Espionage

Read: April 2017

Jennifer McGowanGoodreads

 

Synopsis
Beatrice Knowles is a Maid of Honor, one of Queen Elizabeth I’s secret protectors. Known for her uncanny ability to manipulate men’s hearts, Beatrice has proven herself to be a valuable asset in the Queen’s court—or so she thinks. It has been three weeks since the Maids thwarted a plot to overthrow the Queen, and Beatrice is preparing to wed her betrothed, Lord Cavanaugh. However, her plans come to a crashing halt as rumors of a brewing Scottish rebellion spread among the court.
Beatrice’s new assignment is to infiltrate the visiting Scottish delegation using her subtle arts in persuasion. The mission seems simple enough, until the Queen pairs Beatrice with the worst of the lot—Alasdair MacLeod. Beatrice cannot help but think that the Queen is purposefully setting her up for failure. But Alasdair could be the key to unlocking the truth about the rebellion…and her heart. Caught in a web of ever-more-twisting lies, Beatrice must rise up among the Maids of Honor and prove what she’s known all along: in a court filled with deception and danger, love may be the deadliest weapon of all.

Critically

Plot – 3 out of 5 stars
This story is full of historical court drama, mystery and espionage. The main character is the master of secrets and being able to use them to her advantage so there’s a lot of political and social action going on. However, it was a bit slow and sometimes it felt boring. It wasn’t as entertaining as the first book and that was disappointing.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
This book was really easy to read and the writing style was detailed and descriptive. It was quite simple but sometimes it felt too modern for the time period it was set in. The narrator was honestly kind of annoying. She spent a lot of time blind to things or in denial and her voice was really dry.

Characters – 3 out of 5 stars
I was a little disappointed with the characterization in this book. I was really looking forward to reading from another Maid of Honor’s point of view but I didn’t connect with her the same way. It just made the book less entertaining and lacked the charm of the first one.
Beatrice was really annoying. I don’t like saying that she was. She’s made her whole life on the fact that she can lie her ass off and lying is one of my deal breakers so I kind of knew we weren’t going to get along that well. She’s oblivious to a lot of things around here even though she’s supposed to be the most observant of them all. She’s really manipulative and has a haughty attitude so not that big of a fan.
On the other hand, I loved the side characters! I’m glad I got to have the other Maids of Honor around even though not as much as I was hoping to. And the new characters that were introduced as well as looked into more were amazing. I just felt like everyone around Beatrice outshined her and I almost wanted a different POV to be the center in this book.

Emotionally

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Book Review – Sinner by Maggie Stiefvater

Sinner (The Wolves of Mercy Falls #4)

Author: Maggie Stiefvater

Publication: July 1st, 2014

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Format: Hardcover, 357 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal

Read: April 2017

Maggie StiefvaterGoodreads

 

 

Synopsis
found.
Cole St. Clair has come to California for one reason: to get Isabel Culpeper back. She fled from his damaged, drained life, and damaged and drained it even more. He doesn’t just want her. He needs her.
lost.
Isabel is trying to build herself a life in Los Angeles. It’s not really working. She can play the game as well as all the other fakes…but what’s the point? What is there to win?
sinner.
Cole and Isabel share a past that never seemed to have a future. They have the power to save each other and the power to tear each other apart. The only thing for certain is that they cannot let go.

Critically

Plot – 3 out of 5 stars
The plot of this book is really slow and it’s really dramatic. It got really boring sometimes and the story felt like it stretched out too long. I liked the setting since it was a change of pace from the rest of the series but the narrative was full of angst and I’m not a big fan of that. Also, I feel like for how big the problem felt to the characters, the resolution went by too quickly.

Writing Style – 3 out of 5 stars
I’m feeling kind of meh towards the writing in this entire series. It’s descriptive and detailed which is good but it’s really slow paced. This book is told in dual point of view but both of the voices sound really similar to each other, something that’s not easy to see in the original trilogy. In general, the writing is poetic but super dramatic as well.

Characters – 3 out of 5 stars
I haven’t had the best connection with the characters in this series and now that half the original cast is gone and there’s new characters in this book that we don’t really have a lot of space to get to know, I’m even more like meh towards this cast of characters.
Cole is really intense and kind of depressed. His narration was really emotional. He’s confused about a lot of things but also determined to create the life he wants for himself. However, he’s still a bit lost and not sure how to deal with everything that’s going on around him.
Isabel is the other point of view in this book but honestly, her narrative wasn’t that much different than Cole’s. She’s very angry inside but also working hard to ignore the affects the world has on her. She’s kind of cold and stoic though all of that is just hiding her vulnerability and her emotional side. I don’t think their relationship is the most healthy honestly.
I feel like there were too many new side characters and none of them had enough page time to really get to know sufficiently. It just made the story like depth and realness.

Emotionally

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Book Review – Dawn Study by Maria V. Snyder

Dawn Study (Soulfinders #3, Study #6, The Chronicles of Ixia #9)

Author: Maria V. Snyder

Publication: January 31st, 2017

Publisher: Mira Books

Format: Kindle Edition, 478 pages

Genre: Young Adult, High Fantasy, Paranormal

Read: February 2017

Maria V. SnyderGoodreads

 

Synopsis
New York Times bestselling author Maria V. Snyder brings her Poison Study series to its exhilarating conclusion.
Despite the odds, Yelena and Valek have forged an irrevocable bond and a family that transcends borders. Now, when their two homelands stand on the brink of war, they must fight with magic and cunning to thwart an Ixian plot to invade Sitia.
Yelena seeks to break the hold of the insidious Theobroma that destroys a person’s resistance to magical persuasion. But the Cartel is determined to keep influential citizens and Sitian diplomats in thrall and Yelena at bay. With every bounty hunter after her, Yelena is forced to make a dangerous deal.
With might and magic, Valek peels back the layers of betrayal surrounding the Commander. At its rotten core lies a powerful magician and his latest discovery. The fate of all rests upon two unlikely weapons. One may turn the tide. The other could spell the end of everything.

Critically

Plot – 4.5 out of 5 stars
I am running out of things to say about these books because you all know that I absolutely love this entire series. This book is just as action packed and full of suspense and drama and mystery. All the pieces that have been floating around since the beginning finally begin to fit together and spread. There’s danger and intrigue. The climax itself was kind of disappointing but the ending was really sweet and it gave me all the feels.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
Again, not really sure what more to say. The writing style for these books is always really engaging and addicting, it’s very easy and fast to read through. There are several points of views throughout the book and they all feel very distinct and unique to each person. The story is fast paced, intricate and full of description and detailed.

Characters – 5 out of 5 stars
I love and adore every single freaking character that is in this single book. This is the ninth book in the general series and this book has almost every character that has ever been on page with dialogue in the rest of the series in this book and it was amazing to be able to have them all together.
Yelena is one of my favorite characters of all time and it was great to have a whole new adventure with her. She’s smart and determined. She’s really protective and I love her devotion to the safety of her loved ones. She’s in a very special state throughout this whole book and it was quite terrifying because it was dangerous for her, more than it’s ever been. But I also love getting to see more of these characters and their lives and how they’ve grown as people. They feel real because I’ve seen them since their very humble beginnings.
Valek is one of my favorites of this particular series. I’ve always loved him but as a partner to Yelena and in this series and in this book as well, I got to see more of his personality. He’s much more emotional and accepting. His personal growth was astounding. Janco is great because he’s the most lighthearted of all the points of views and I really liked seeing his perspective on the things that were going on. Leif’s narrative tends to be focused on his wife and family and his feelings on protectiveness of them. There’s a new small point of view in this book and that’s Heli, who was an important side character in the Glass trilogy. She’s really smart, kind and sweet and I liked seeing the little bit of her perspective that we got.

Emotionally

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Book Review – Night Study by Maria V. Snyder

Night Study (Soulfinders #2, Study #5, The Chronicles of Ixia #8)

Author: Maria V. Snyder

Publication: January 26th, 2016

Publisher: Mira Books

Format: Kindle Edition, 400 pages

Genre: Young Adult, High Fantasy, Paranormal

Read: February 2017

Maria V. SnyderGoodreads

 

Synopsis
Ever since being kidnapped from the Illiais Jungle as a child, Yelena Zaltana’s has been fraught with peril. But the recent loss of her Soulfinding abilities has endangered her more than ever before. As she desperately searches for a way to reclaim her magic, her enemies are closing in, and neither Ixia nor Sitia are safe for her anymore. Especially since the growing discord between the two countries and the possibility of a war threatens everything Yelena holds dear.
Valek is determined to protect Yelena, but he’s quickly running out of options. The Commander suspects that his loyalties are divided, and he’s been keeping secrets from Valek… secrets that put him, Yelena and all their friends in terrible danger. As they uncover the various layers of the Commander’s mysterious plans, they realize it’s far more sinister that they could have ever imagined.

Critically

Plot – 4.5 out of 5 stars
This series always manages to be action packed and full of drama. There’s a lot of mystery and suspense in this one as the characters don’t really know what they’re up against. There’s danger and intrigue and you’re never really sure if things are going to be okay in the end. In this book, there’s several plot lines that are coming together in an explosive way that foretells an amazing finale to come.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
The writing style is fast paced and engaging. It’s addicting and intricate and each of the characters has a distinct voice. It’s detailed and descriptive though it shares a lot of different plot lines and complications. There’s a lot going on and you fly though the book so it might be hard to grasp some of the smaller details.

Characters – 5 out of 5 stars
I’ve spent a lot of time talking about how much I love the entire cast of characters that is a part of this series and the cast just keeps growing and growing. There are several new characters that shake up things a bit for a main character and I just loved seeing that.
Yelena is in a precarious situation. Again haha. She’s out of magic and has a lot of problems that are plaguing both Ixia and Sitia and as liaison between the two countries, she feels like she has to save the day. I love how fierce and determined she is. She’s always looking for a way to keep people safe, not only those she loves, but to help keep the peace between the countries that she’s a part of because she comes from both. She’s practical and cunning. She’s very protective and loving and I just really enjoy reading from her point of view. I’m gonna miss her after the next book.
Valek, surprisingly, has a lot of emotional growth in this book and I wasn’t really expecting that. We learn a lot about his past and see some flashbacks about his life before being with the Commander and how he became the assassin he is. I loved seeing him more emotional and vulnerable. It was a different side to him. Janco is a great point of view to have in this particular trilogy. I love his humor but we also get to see how smart he is. He takes risks and sometimes they pat off haha. Then we also have Leif’s point of view which was an addition in this book. He’s really worried but determined to keep the peace and to have his loved ones safe.

Emotionally

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Book Review – Shadow Study by Maria V. Snyder

Shadow Study (Soulfinders #1, Study #4, The Chronicles of Ixia #7)

Author: Maria V. Snyder

Publication: February 24th, 2015

Publisher: Mira Books

Format: Kindle Edition, 384 pages

Genre: Young Adult, High Fantasy, Paranormal

Read: January 2017

Maria V. SnyderGoodreads

 

Synopsis
New York Times bestselling author Maria V. Snyder wowed readers with Poison Study, the unforgettable story of poison taster Yelena. Now she’s back with a new tale of intrigue.
Once, only her own life hung in the balance…
Oddly enough, when Yelena was a poison taster, her life was simpler. But she’d survived to become a vital part of the balance of power between rival countries Ixia and Sitia. Now she uses her magic to keep the peace in both lands—and protect her relationship with Valek.
Suddenly, though, they are beset on all sides by those vying for power through politics and intrigue. Valek’s job and his life are in danger. As Yelena tries to uncover the scope of these plots, she faces a new challenge: her magic is blocked. She must keep that a secret—or her enemies will discover just how vulnerable she really is—while searching for who or what is responsible for neutralizing her powers.
Yes, the days of tasting poisons were much simpler. And certainly not as dangerous…

Critically

Plot – 4 out of 5 stars
It’s no surprise how much I love this series so obviously, I have an amazing time when reading. These books tend to be filled with non-stop action and drama and this book is no exception. There’s suspense and mystery and intrigue. This book is filled with dangerous situations and the characters are bombarded with problems the entire time I have to say that while this series is marketed as YA, the grand majority of the characters are adults which definitely affects the themes explored here.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
Unlike the previous trilogies I’ve read from this author, this book has a lot more POV’s. It was really awesome to see inside the minds of some of my favorite side characters and I love how distinct each voice felt. The writing is really fast paced, engaging and addicting. It’s detailed and descriptive and super easy to read through. The magic system is complicated and tends to have continuous holes but it’s also so freaking entertaining that I can’t complain haha.

Characters – 5 out of 5 stars
All of these characters are basically my babies and I don’t think I could think critically about them even if I tried. So forgive me while the rest of this review is basically me gushing about these guys with a few exceptions.
Yelena is my favorite character of all time and I am so incredibly happy to be back in her head in this book! She’s much more vulnerable and scared than I’ve ever seen her before, this book definitely takes her out of her comfort zone and makes her confront the way she’s lived for so long. She’s worried, protective but definitely just as reckless as she’s always been which yes, is still as frustrating as it’s always been haha. I’m looking forward to seeing how she grows throughout the rest of the series because she’s in a completely new situation now and it’s going to be challenging for her.
There’s various side characters that are becoming more prominent in this book, from hearing from their points of views for the first time or to being introduced to them for the first time. Valek is my favorite, I honestly can’t quite grasp how old he is in this book, it’s insanity. But I loved seeing inside his head and his growth though! I don’t think I’ve ever seen his explore his emotions as much before, it was great. Janco is one of my favorites in this series because he’s just so hilarious with a side of annoying. He’s that character that brings comic relief and he does it well. Finally, I’ll mention Onora who’s a brand new character who throws a wrench in the entire dynamic of the team and that was really interesting. She’s defensive and guarded so I hope to learn more about her in the next few books.

Emotionally

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Book Review – Seven Ways We Lie by Riley Redgate

Seven Ways We Lie

Author: Riley Redgate

Publication: March 8th, 2016

Publisher: Amulet Books

Format: Kindle Edition, 352 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, LGBTQ+

Read: February 2017

Riley RedgateGoodreads

 

Synopsis
In Seven Ways We Lie, a chance encounter tangles the lives of seven high school students, each resisting the allure of one of the seven deadly sins, and each telling their story from their seven distinct points of view.
The juniors at Paloma High School all have their secrets, whether it’s the thespian who hides her trust issues onstage, the closeted pansexual who only cares about his drug-dealing profits, or the neurotic genius who’s planted the seed of a school scandal. But it’s Juniper Kipling who has the furthest to fall. No one would argue that Juniper—obedient daughter, salutatorian, natural beauty, and loyal friend—is anything but perfect. Everyone knows she’s a saint, not a sinner; but when love is involved, who is Juniper to resist temptation? When she begins to crave more and more of the one person she can’t have, her charmed life starts to unravel.
Then rumors of a student–teacher affair hit the fan. After Juniper accidentally exposes her secret at a party, her fate falls into the hands of the other six sinners, bringing them into one another’s orbits. All seven are guilty of something. Together, they could save one another from their temptations—or be ruined by them.
Riley Redgate’s twisty YA debut effortlessly weaves humor, heartbreak, and redemption into a drama that fans of Jenny Han and Stephanie Perkins will adore.

Critically

Plot – 3 out of 5 stars
The first half of this book was painfully slow, it took me so long to get interested in it. I didn’t really want to pick it up but as I continued, the second half improved and was much more entertaining. Some things were kind of boring and it wasn’t as engaging as I was hoping it would be. It’s a coming of age story with important themes throughout but it just didn’t capture my attention.

Writing Style – 3 out of 5 stars
It was really confusing and complicated, it was really hard for me to understand what was happening. I understand what the author was trying to do but there were way too many POVs. However, they were each distinct to each character which was good, I just couldn’t keep up with them, even though the writing style was very simple and easy to read.

Characters – 3.5 out of 5 stars
Usually this is the section where I talk about the main characters and a little bit in general about side characters, but this book in particular has seven main characters so I’m just gonna share my thoughts in general. First off, seven is way too many main characters for me. I thought the concept was a really interesting one, each character is meant to represent a deadly sin (you can hypothesize who is who which was great discussion in my book club). However, because there were so many, I didn’t connect with the majority of them. I enjoyed some of their points of views, I hate others, but in general, I just had a meh feeling towards them, specially added with the fact that the first part of the book was slow. Olivia is spunky, Matt is kind and quiet, Valentine is pretty peculiar, Juniper was okay, I hated Claire with a passion and I felt like Kat wasn’t really needed. I just realized that I didn’t mention Julian in my notes at all. I liked him but that just further proves that I was overwhelmed with the amount of characters.

Emotionally

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Book Review – The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

book-review-the-lies-of-locke-lamora

the-lies-of-lock-lamora-cover

The Lies of Locke Lamora (The Gentlemen Bastard #1)

Author: Scott Lynch

Publication: September 18th, 2008

Publisher: Orion

Format: Kindle Edition, 573 pages

Genre: Adult, High Fantasy, Science Fiction

Read: January 2016

Scott LynchGoodreads

 

4.5-stars1

Synopsis
They say that the Thorn of Camorr can beat anyone in a fight. They say he steals from the rich and gives to the poor. They say he’s part man, part myth, and mostly street-corner rumor. And they are wrong on every count.
Only averagely tall, slender, and god-awful with a sword, Locke Lamora is the fabled Thorn, and the greatest weapons at his disposal are his wit and cunning. He steals from the rich – they’re the only ones worth stealing from – but the poor can go steal for themselves. What Locke cons, wheedles and tricks into his possession is strictly for him and his band of fellow con-artists and thieves: the Gentleman Bastards.
Together their domain is the city of Camorr. Built of Elderglass by a race no-one remembers, it’s a city of shifting revels, filthy canals, baroque palaces and crowded cemeteries. Home to Dons, merchants, soldiers, beggars, cripples, and feral children. And to Capa Barsavi, the criminal mastermind who runs the city.
But there are whispers of a challenge to the Capa’s power. A challenge from a man no one has ever seen, a man no blade can touch. The Grey King is coming.
A man would be well advised not to be caught between Capa Barsavi and The Grey King. Even such a master of the sword as the Thorn of Camorr. As for Locke Lamora . . .

Trigger warning for graphic violence.

Critically

Plot – 4 out of 5 stars
The plot  is really intricate and super intense. It was so much more complicated than I was expecting it to be but it was exciting all the same. There’s violence, blood and stealing but also friendship, love and intelligence and personal growth. Honestly, there were like various different plot lines going on that managed to intertwined in the coolest of ways and I was really impressed.

Writing Style – 3.5 out of 5 stars
This is my biggest issue in this book because of one thing: the world building. I was so confused the entire time I was reading and it was a huge bummer. There wasn’t enough explanation though it still managed to be detailed, descriptive, intricate and thorough. The story moves between the past and the present and it’s really intense and also really graphic, so watch out if you’re squeamish.

Characters – 4.5 out of 5 stars
Never in my life did I think I would get so incredibly attached to the characters in this book but here we are. They are so precious to me in their little deceitful and crass way. Locke is such a shit but in the best way possible. We get to know him as an adult and as a kid and we see how he grows up. He’s street smart, cunning and kind of cocky. He’s really good at what he does and he’s kind of the brains of the operation. But he’s also a really sucky fighter and he gets caught in this worst situations ever. He’s kind of desperate towards the end of the books and really hurt and torn over what to do. I liked seeing his progression as a person and also how he interacted with the rest of the crew. They are amazing as well! Honestly, one of my favorite parts of this series is seeing the dynamic of these gentlemen bastards. Their friendship is so honest and real and they care about each other, but in that dude way where you like give each other shit for stupid stuff that you do, it’s so awesome. They’re hilarious and loyal and one of them is the most adorable thing to live on the page and it just made my reading experience so much better. Jean is Locke’s closest, maybe even best friend, and their bromance was amazing. They look out for each other, they care for each other and they just want to steal and live life to the fullest together and gosh, I love them.

Emotionally

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