Completely unexpectedly, Midnight Thief was a very pleasant surprise. It came at a time when I had a hard time focusing on any read and I really neede...moreCompletely unexpectedly, Midnight Thief was a very pleasant surprise. It came at a time when I had a hard time focusing on any read and I really needed something different and well done to pull me in. In many ways, The Midnight Thief was both those things.
This book is told from two perspectives, that of Kyra, a skilled thief, and a young knight named Tristam. Tristam’s point of view came as a surprise somewhat late in the story, just when I was starting to get comfortable with Kyra’s voice. Aside from the poor timing, his POV was a welcome addition – in the end, he was my favorite character, the one that showed consistent integrity, intelligence and strength.
Throughout the novel, Kyra makes many mistakes. She is a flawed character with good intentions. She tends to take the path of least resistance, and it’s very hard to blame her for it after the childhood she had. She always comes to her senses, no matter how long it takes, and she does whatever is needed to correct her mistakes. I loved that she was always ready to take responsibility for her actions, it made me respect her all the more.
Midnight Thief is full of exciting twists and turns, with betrayals and surprises around every corner. Aside from the two POV characters, it’s very hard to know who to trust when even those closest to them have some kind of hidden agenda.
After listing all the advantages, I should mention what I thought was Midnight Thief’s biggest flaw. As much as I liked the characters, I thought the worldbuilding was sadly lacking. The world wasn’t nearly detailed enough, which made me feel disconnected at times. Perhaps more details were given in the prequel, but I shouldn’t be obligated to read it in order to enjoy the full length novel. I wanted to know more about absolutely everything, and yet details on this world were few and far between.
All things considered, though, Midnight Thief is a very strong debut and Livia Blackburne an author to watch. I can’t wait for more of this story, there is so much more to learn.
I’ve been successfully cured of my addiction to mysteries and thrillers year ago, but when Audible dangled this lovely carrot right in front of my nos...moreI’ve been successfully cured of my addiction to mysteries and thrillers year ago, but when Audible dangled this lovely carrot right in front of my nose in the form of their Audible daily deal, I simply couldn’t resist. John Verdon has been receiving a lot of praise from those far more familiar with the genre so of course I wanted to see what all the fuss was about.
Think of a Number starts off very strongly, with a seemingly unsolvable puzzle in front of our retired detective. Dave Gurney has been retired not too long ago, but he’s having a hard time adjusting to his new country life, feeling disconnected from his day to day obligations and his lovely, brilliant wife.
Dave and Madeleine don’t have an easy marriage and we can’t help feeling that it’s entirely his fault. He is a puzzle solver, a famous detective whose job defines him, but in his personal life he is prone to hiding from his problems and not facing things that are painful for him to deal with. Dave feels responsible for the loss of their 4-year-old son 15 years ago, and as hard as Madeleine tries, she can’t force him to deal with his pain and say goodbye.
The mystery is very well thought through, especially in the first half. The tiny inexplicable details make us doubt even the possibility of solving it. But as the story progresses and things start coming to light, Gurney is sometimes painfully slow on the uptake, which is a big source of frustration for the reader.
George Newbern is a fantastic narrator, his voice well suited for the calm and collected detective. His voice characterization is excellent and his sense of pacing practically flawless. I’m sorry to say that he doesn’t narrate other books in this series, which stopped me from buying Shut Your Eyes Tight in audio format.
Overall, though, this is a series worth continuing, despite the risk of falling back into my mystery addiction. The quiet emotionality of it, the complex and flawed characters and very impressive murder cases are all too alluring to pass up.
2.5 stars For a fast-paced, action-packed book, Scan was unusually difficult to get through, at least for me. The endless string of action scenes that...more2.5 stars For a fast-paced, action-packed book, Scan was unusually difficult to get through, at least for me. The endless string of action scenes that was supposed to be captivating and entertaining was actually pretty tiresome and emotionally flat. In the end, I had to give myself a very stern talking to just to finish reading it.
In many ways, Scan was a pretty big disappointment. It lacked any real emotional depth, especially of the level I’ve come to expect from Sarah Fine. Fine usually uses her background in psychology to give us great characterization and believable emotional moments. To be fair, the tempo of this story didn’t allow for strong character development since things constantly progressed at a rapid pace. The focus was on the action and Tate was the only character that got any attention, and even that wasn’t enough. I’d say Walter Jury’s background in film industry unfortunately prevailed in this one.
The most interesting part of this story – Tate’s overly complicated relationship with his father – wasn’t explored nearly enough. There was so much potential there and I kept hoping it would lead somewhere, but unfortunately, a rarely mentioned sense of regret is all I got from Tate.
I recently read a pretty good article about female characters that are portrayed as strong, but that are essentially pointless. They are there, they are fierce, but they don’t actually do anything. The article itself was mostly about Hiccup’s mother in How to Train Your Dragon 2, but the same applies to our Christina. One can’t find any real fault with her character, but I felt that she was mostly there as a prop, to make the story look better and satisfy readers that are more femnistically inclined.
Despite an interesting (if a bit overused premise), this story didn’t resonate with me at all. When you add to that a rather vicious cliffhanger, I think it’s safe to say I won’t be continuing this series. However, those of you who appreciate non-stop action that is reasonably well done might enjoy this one much more than I did. Perhaps read a sample first and go from there.