Hannah's Reviews > Giant Thief

Giant Thief by David Tallerman
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Aug 24, 12

bookshelves: fantasy
Read from August 23 to 24, 2012

I really wanted to enjoy Giant Thief, but unfortunately it was a very mediocre, instantly forgettable "okay" book. I was actually glad when I finished it - not because it was terrible, but because I could move onto a more exciting book. That always makes me sad, because in a way I'd prefer it if it was so-bad-it's-good or even hurl-across-the-room!bad. At least then I'd have taken something away from the experience other than a heavy sense of apathy.

My main problem with Giant Thief was that neither the plot nor characters gripped me. It actually starts off quite well - Easie Damasco, thief and anti-hero, is in serious hot water and about to be hanged for stealing. Moaradrid the warlord steps in and "recruits" Easie into his army as an extra body and we're quickly told that this is the army who's trying to take over Easie's country. That premise holds so much promise; how will Easie get himself out of this predicament? Will he do anything to sabotage Moaradrid's army or end up fighting alongside them? When Easie slips away, stealing Moaradrid's money (and in the process, a stone that gave Moaradrid control over the giants) and running off with one of the giants in tow, I figured we were in for quite an adventure - thrilling chases, close calls, meeting new friends and escaping (maybe even overthrowing) a tyrant.

...Unfortunately, what we do get is an extended chase that lasts for the rest of the book. For all that Easie is supposed to be a smart, slippery thief, he just comes across as desperate and rather useless. His desperation and lack of skill takes him from captor to captor - he gets away from Moaradrid, only to fall in with Estrada and Mounteban, the Prince, back to Estrada, etc. His numerous plans to get away from them fail spectacularly until he eventually has an about-face and decides that he'll just stop trying to escape altogether. THAT'S IT.

That leads to my other problem - the characters and particularly our sort-of hero. Easie's an incorrigible, selfish and unapologetic little thief. A better writer could have turned this into an interesting reversal, but Easie was just irritating. What makes it worse is that he is selfish and has no qualms about betraying his "allies," but his allies aren't particularly likeable or upstanding themselves, so it's hard to know whether I'm supposed to disagree with what Easie's doing or sympathize with his plight. Estrada preaches about leading a rebellion but is consistently shown to have NO IDEA what she is doing and the only other character of note is the giant, Saltlick, who is sweet and generally unremarkable. Easie at least remains consistent, but then about 3/4 of the way through the book, he does a 180 degree turn, suddenly realizes that "OMG my actions have gotten people killed!" and spends the rest of the book being Easie v2.0, Loyal, Repentant and Bleeding Heart Edition. What in the world?!

In the end, I'm really not sure I would recommend Giant Thief. The idea is good and the opening was actually interesting, but the rest wasn't executed very well and resulted in what is generally a mediocre book overall.
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