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. (Summary and pic from goodreads.com).
My Review: If you’ve read my previous reviews, you know I’m totally one of those [shallow?/normal?/smart?] people who judge a book by its cover. It matters, people. And let me tell you—this book looks really cool. The cover pic is cool. The inside drawings in the chapters are cool and—get this—the edges of the pages are black. It’s super cool. It looks gritty and sooty and really sets the mood. So many times I would pick it up and I would think how great the vibe was just from the look of this book. It really helps create the atmosphere for the story and the world.
One of the strengths of this book was the characters. They made the story. They were the story, actually. There was a fun heist that I will talk about later, but it was really about the characters. They were flawed, some were more likeable than others, of course (as is in real life, right?) but they were awesome, too. I have read the first book in the Grisha series, and although this takes place in the same world, it involves different people with different powers. Still, because it focused so much on the characters, it felt more real than other fantasies I’ve read. Sure, most of the powers these people had weren’t realistic, but because of the way they were handled, they teetered on that delicious edge where maybe someone really talented could do the things some of these characters could do. The characters had a lot of style. They were unique and individual and I liked that. Too often I find that characters in books are very similar and flat. I can vividly imagine these characters and what they are like and what they can do.
Now for the story—I thought this was really cool. It was fun, it was exciting, and it moved really quickly. It reminded me of the movie “The Italian Job.” In fact, I would say that if you like that movie, you should totally check out this book. Just like in “The Italian Job” there are some deeper things going on, but I wouldn’t necessarily read this book if you’re looking for depth and life-affirmations. You should read this book because it’s a fun heist story with super-talented [read: super powered] people in a fantastical world. It’s awesome.
The one downside is that there is a steep learning curve. It took me a few chapters before I knew who the characters were and what the different place names for things meant. It was super confusing. However, the author does a good job of painting a vivid picture that within a short period of time makes a rich tapestry of a very cool world. It is also possible that if I had read the first Grisha book more recently, I would have been more up to speed. I am definitely looking forward to the next in the series.
My Review: 4 Stars
For the sensitive reader: There is some language and some violence in this book. I would say it is pretty standard for others in this genre.