Thursday, 6 November 2014

Lies of Locke Lamora - Scott Lynch

Lies of Locke Lamora
By Scott Lynch
Reviewed by Jeff
Published: July 2006
Publisher: Bantam Spectra
Pages: 499
ISBN: 0553804677

In this stunning debut, author Scott Lynch delivers the wonderfully thrilling tale of an audacious criminal and his band of confidence tricksters. Set in a fantastic city pulsing with the lives of decadent nobles and daring thieves, here is a story of adventure, loyalty, and survival that is one part "Robin Hood", one part Ocean's Eleven, and entirely enthralling... 

An orphan's life is harsh — and often short — in the island city of Camorr, built on the ruins of a mysterious alien race. But born with a quick wit and a gift for thieving, Locke Lamora has dodged both death and slavery, only to fall into the hands of an eyeless priest known as Chains — a man who is neither blind nor a priest.

A con artist of extraordinary talent, Chains passes his skills on to his carefully selected "family" of orphans — a group known as the Gentlemen Bastards. Under his tutelage, Locke grows to lead the Bastards, delightedly pulling off one outrageous confidence game after another. Soon he is infamous as the Thorn of Camorr, and no wealthy noble is safe from his sting.

Passing themselves off as petty thieves, the brilliant Locke and his tightly knit band of light-fingered brothers have fooled even the criminal underworld's most feared ruler, Capa Barsavi. But there is someone in the shadows more powerful — and more ambitious — than Locke has yet imagined. 

Known as the Gray King, he is slowly killing Capa Barsavi's most trusted men — and using Locke as a pawn in his plot to take control of Camorr's underworld. With a bloody coup under way threatening to destroy everyone and everything that holds meaning in his mercenary life, Locke vows to beat the Gray King at his own brutal game — or die trying... (Goodreads)
 I don't really know what to say about this book. I heard so much hype, so many recommendations and I got really excited to read it. But I did not like it all that much. It actually caused me to not want to read for a long period of time (look at how long it took to complete it). Granted there were elements of this story I enjoyed. I adored the characters, and I truly thought the character development was well done, but the book as a whole? Not for me. I found it was 500 pages of semi-interesting plot development, adequate character development but it really dragged on. Then you get hit with 200 pages where it seemed like everything was being jammed in, in order to complete the plot. The last 200 pages were significantly better then the previous 500 but it wasn't enough for me, I didn't feel immersed in the story, and I think that comes down to a fundamental lack of a world build. It seemed as though things were being thrown into the plot without much explanation. The interludes were used to develop locke's story, but I didn't feel as though much time was given to other major themes/ characters and certainly not enough to the world build. The ending was action packed but it was too compact. Everything seemed to happen in the last 100 pages, and in a book of over 600 pages it really made the first 75 percent of the book a grind. Maybe it wasn't for me, as a lot of people seem to love this book. Like the characters, didn't love the story. Definitely worth a read though! 

3/5 Carls

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