Sen's Reviews > The Thief of Always

The Thief of Always by Clive Barker
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's review
May 29, 2012

it was amazing
Recommended to Sen by: Laurel
Read from May 26 to 29, 2012


I've just finished this book five minutes ago; now typing out my thoughts of admiration!

If you are reading this review and not know what The Thief of Always is about, please read the synopsis here. I'm afraid I'd spoil when I summarize. Besides, I want to write down my thoughts, RIGHT. NOW.

But wait!!! Allow me to rewind to
/Why I picked up this book:
I was bored, like Harvey. I was tired of all the recent, sucky not-so-good YA's that I read. So, I needed to read something good; good as in something that will meet up to my high expectations. Ghirardelli, who is one of my favorite and most respected reviewers (nope, I am not kissing up. I am being honest here), had The Thief of Always shelved as 'favorites' and 'my-ultimate-perfection' (& ofc many more)... I was "stalking" her shelves (yup, you can say that). Therefore with my boredom and the need to read something worthy, I placed a hold at my nearest Brooklyn Public Library. Hehe, in a few days, it arrived for pick-up, and so I proceeded to reading it.

And here I am, reviewing.

The Thief of Always is categorized as horror for children. I tilted my head at first, thinking: really? Simply because I did not know what to expect. In order to be hooked to a children novel, I had let my ten-year-old side take over (right now, I am 14, a teenager. I thought that placing my mind in a younger age will help me be interested more).... but guess what?! After a few chapters into the book, I didn't need to pretend I was 10-year-old, b/c I was so interested!~ meaning, The Thief of Always can be seriously entertaining to teenagers (perhaps even adults too!).

Honestly, this book is too underrated (as in popularity). It deserves more readers! The whole world should read it , taking it to the extreme. But I mean it. I am so ashamed that I didn't read this book when I was younger. Because if I did, my childhood will surely be so bad-ass. Perhaps, I'll even learn to like books earlier (I didn't start liking books till 6th grade, where my ELA teacher forced us to read every single day). Anyway, this book exceeds the children standard for sure.

Okay, let's see, most reviewers have commented on how fabulous the opening line is. Let me say this: I couldn't agree more. And so is the last line! Altogether, wonderful.

Clive Barker's prose is so remarkable. Great descriptions and do not go overload. Perfect for story-telling. The only thing that bothers me is the amount of "however"s he used. Allow me to exaggerate a bit, but as the book advanced towards the end (excluding the last chapter), it feels that there is always a "however" within each paragraph. It can feel very redundant. It's Barker's style, I guess.

Moving on, the characters~ I am very satisfied.

Harvey. Oh, Harvey. Y U SO AWESOME? b/c Barker has the mind to make him so Okay so Harvey's 10. Mr Barker, I want to say: thank you ! Thank you for not making Harvey an idiot. I read quite a number of books where the author assumes that every ten-year-old kiddo is a naive idiot, and I am tired of it. (I've been a ten-year-old before, and I think I have the skill to think back then & am not an idiot). I am so relieved that Harvey's an intelligent one. A courageous, likable boy that drives the plot forward incredibly.

Wendell... you weren't much of a help, were you? Oh well, at least you still know that Harvey's dah boss.

Lulu: (view spoiler)

Mr. Hood: I pitied you at first, but then I disliked you, which is good. It means that you are a real antagonist.

Mrs. Griffin: I just want to give you a hug. Hugs for your cats too. They're awesome.

Rictus: Good character development! :D Cheers for that!

Carna, Marr, & Jive: Tough luck, buddies.

Overall, the development for all the characters is nicely done.

/The plot.
SMOOCHES! Really meaningful; it has a purpose, where it truly shows the preciousness of time! (view spoiler)

The creativity... oh goodness, Barker has all my respect.

Having seen the movie Caroline (and not read the book), The Thief of Always reminds me of Caroline a lot. Hold a sec there... The Thief of Always comes before Caroline ! Anyway, I haven't read Caroline yet, so I won't judge further. Ghirardelli, I see what you mean.

The ending, I LOVE IT. It is so so so so, oh so, SWEET !

And I've read reviews where people say how predictable the plot can be... how not chilling it is... how lacking it is... etc. Well this is me: Chill it. Bear in mind that this is written for children. Don't get yo expectations too high.

In the meantime,

Imma shove recommend The Thief of Always to the faces of my sister, cousin, friends, parents (no wait, they don't read novels darn ), future boyfriend/husband, & future daughter/son! That's my mission & I will fulfill it.
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Reading Progress

05/26/2012 page 44
15.0% "Do not be fooled, Harvey!! x"
05/27/2012 page 138
48.0% "huzzah! they got out!!!! ^o^)/ *looks at the remaining pages* . . . *gulps* not over yet..(?)."
05/29/2012 page 232
87.0% "I knew the phone calls are fake!!!! I was right from start... anyway, go get him, Harvey!... I actually feel pity for Hood :["
05/29/2012 page 267
100.0% "2 hours later, I decide to finish this book today!!! maaaaaaaaaahgooodness, the ending... the prose.! review to come!"

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Laurel (last edited May 29, 2012 05:39PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Laurel OH MY GOODNEEEEEESSS. I'm so glad this book is catching on in my network of followers and friends! (view spoiler)

And I totally get what you mean with the number of "however"s. They were around a lot, but I also saw them in his YA series, Abarat. AND I'm glad to see someone catch the stark similarities with Thief and Coraline!! Way too close.

Oh my gosh my heart's all aflutter I'm so glad you enjoyed Thief of Always. x3

message 2: by Sen (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sen @Ghirardelli: Oh, I forgot to say: THANK YOU. Your review was convincing enough (as always) xDDD oooh, lemme add a spoiler tab too, to say this: (view spoiler)

oh so the "however"s are part of his writing style after all XD hmmm, I should read Abarat soon. & lawl, honestly..the thing with the souls, illusions and etc are too similar to be missed.

& awww, thank you for actually taking a look at this review of mine and commenting/liking ;w;. appreciate it deeply! oh goodness, think i'm typing way too much. i'm hyper at night as always.. gotta return to my studies now, signing off!

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