Zaneta @ I'm Fully Booked's Reviews > The Smoke Thieves

The Smoke Thieves by Sally Green
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** spoiler alert ** Oh, where to start with this one?

If you were intrigued by the title of this book, and the vague synopsis, beware, because it is not exactly what it seems. I mean, I didn't know much about the story when I started reading it, only that it had to do with demons and thieves and kingdoms and I guess it sort of is about that at times, but what I imagined it to be was NOT AT ALL what it was. Which, I guess, is my fault.

It is hard to explain what The Smoke Thieves is actually about. We follow 5 different points of view, which are for most of the book unrelated. So, we have:
- Princess Catherine - who's about to enter an arranged marriage, to bring together 2 kingdoms.
- Ambrose - her bodyguard of some sort, who's sister was convicted of treason.
- March - a servant to a prince of a different kingdom, who wants revenge.
- Edyon - a kleptomaniac of some sort, who gets into a lot of trouble because he can't stop stealing.
- Tash - a 13 year old demon hunter, the star of the book, in my opinion.
Those characters do meet eventually (at the end of the book basically), but for most of it, they're only slightly related.

(This part may contain spoilers)
I've a few problems with this book. First of all, the characters didn't mesh with me. I could do without Ambrose and his point of view. I mean, he's relevant to the plot, so I would probably keep him, just wouldn't give him a POV. He was quite bland, he lacked personality, he was just a good soldier in love with Catherine. That was genuinely all.

I understand why Catherine is the way she is, but I still didn't like reading about her. And although she does develop thoughout the story, I don't much care for the character she becomes. If she develops further in the next book(s) I'm sure I could grow to like her, though. She has an interesting story arc.

March is so one dimensional for most of the story, it's painful. Once again, I understand that he's driven by revenge, but there is absolutely nothing else to him. I wanted more from him. I wanted less of a "I'm a sheep who's gonna follow other people blindly, because they seem to want what I want", and more of a "this revenge is burning my insides and I will do WHATEVER it takes to get it". Maybe I'm just being picky.

Another thing I disliked is how long it was. The book had no action until the last 100 pages. 400 pages of slow barely existing plot to then rush the ending. The pacing could've been improved. The chapters were mostly very short, so the story kept jumping between different POVs but really not much was happening.

I feel like The Smoke Thieves reads like a debut novel. It tries to give a lot of world building and detail, but does it in a weird way, where you don't know if you're enjoying the story or if you're bored. It definitely has a potential to be better and develop throughout the series, which I'm hoping for, as the ending really picked up the pace and got interesting.

Tash was a fantastic character. She was real, she had her strengths and weaknesses, she had her quirks. I would definitely love to read about her and Gravell hunting demons more than about Catherine and Ambrose and March and Edyon. That's just my personal preference, though, and what I thought initially the book was about.

3/5 stars. I'm curious to see what happens next, and if it'll improve.
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Reading Progress

January 2, 2018 – Shelved
January 2, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read
February 23, 2019 – Started Reading
February 23, 2019 –
page 100
25.0% "I'm not sure how I feel about it yet. So far, I could definitely do without Catherine and her point of view..."
March 4, 2019 – Finished Reading

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