Book Review: Thief of Lies by Brenda Drake

by - 8:10:00 PM

Title: Thief of Lies
Author: Brenda Drake
Pages: 400
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: 05 January 2016

From Goodreads: "Gia Kearns would rather fight with boys than kiss them. That is, until Arik, a leather clad hottie in the Boston Athenaeum, suddenly disappears. While examining the book of world libraries he abandoned, Gia unwittingly speaks the key that sucks her and her friends into a photograph and transports them into a Paris library, where Arik and his Sentinels—magical knights charged with protecting humans from the creatures traveling across the gateway books—rescue them from a demonic hound. Jumping into some of the world's most beautiful libraries would be a dream come true for Gia, if she weren’t busy resisting her heart or dodging an exiled wizard seeking revenge on both the Mystik and human worlds. Add a French flirt obsessed with Arik and a fling with a young wizard, and Gia must choose between her heart and her head, between Arik's world and her own, before both are destroyed."

Thank you to Entangled Teen for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for review!

The first thing that drew me to this book was the beautiful purple cover, and I was sold when the synopsis talked about jumping to different libraries. As a reader, the thought of being able to visit all of the different libraries around the world fascinated me, and I wanted to read more about Gia and her library jumping world immediately!

The last thing Gia Kearns wants to do is kiss a boy- she'd rather fight one. That is, until she bumps into the mysterious, leather-clad Arik in the Boston Atheneaeum. When she flips through a book of libraries of the world that he left behind, Gia accidentally speaks the key that transports her and her two friends, Nick and Afton, to a library in Paris. Turns out that Arik is a Sentinel, a protector of humans from the creatures that travel between gateway books. Now, Gia is caught up in a battle that will decide the fate of both the human world and the Mystik world, and a battle between following her heart or her destiny.

This was a book that I was on the fence about while I was reading but finally decided that it was alright by the end. I had trouble really getting into this world for a large portion of my reading experience. I found myself simply reading, but not understanding and enjoying it as much as I had hoped I would. There were parts that I enjoyed, such as the fight scenes and learning more about the Mystik world and their magic system, but I spent a while trying to really dive into Gia's world and understand what all was happening. On some level, I got the gist of the plot and what was going on, but I didn't really feel as if I was as immersed as I wanted to be. I definitely enjoyed the ending much more than everything before it and I'm actually quite eager to see what happens in the sequel! The book itself was written very well, so my inability to get into a large majority of the book is certainly through no fault of the author, I just don't think I was in the right mindset while I was reading. Just as a side note, I actually adore Brenda Drake and her writing and I did enjoy this book, I just preferred the ending to the beginning and middle!

As far as characters go, I really liked Gia, and surprisingly I liked Arik as well. Gia was very independent and strong and definitely not afraid to show it. Arik was the typical bad boy character that attracts the main character, but his sass was just so great and really made the book a lot of fun to read. With Gia's stubbornness and Arik's sass, the two of them made a great duo. I did find their romance a bit hard to believe, though, and even more so when a third party was introduced about 75% into the book. When it came to the other characters like Nick, Afton, Nana, and even Faith, I thought they were pretty well-written for side characters. There were a lot of other characters that showed up as the book went on, and there were numerous times when I would forget who was who, simply because there were just so many characters. The ones most important to the story stood out very well, so I think that's really what matters. By the end, I found myself liking Nick and being very interested in where his story was going to go in the next book, and I'm also very curious as to what is going to happen with Gia, Arik, and Bastien.

The writing of this book was enjoyable and it really picked up for me towards the end, however I found myself slightly lost through much of the beginning. There were several times where Gia would reference something from her past and I had absolutely no clue what she was talking about, which lead me to be frustrated because I didn't understand anything. At one point, she references her experience with magic seemingly out of the blue, and something about running away from the "bad people"despite her never having seen this thing before, but she just somehow knew he was part of the "bad people." While I understood that things were being set up and would hopefully be explained later on in the book, I just really felt like it was thrown at the reader with no context at all and I found myself feeling very lost. Things were definitely explained later on in the book, I just didn't enjoy having those things kind of just thrown at me. Once everything was explained and Gia learned about her past, the things that felt thrown at me made a lot more sense, and I even found myself more interested in learning about Gia and her world. I do feel like there were a lot of different ideas being introduced as I continued to read, and it felt somewhat cluttered for a large portion of the book. There are way too many things that get brought in the further you get in this book, so many that I'm having trouble really remembering everything, and I did find myself confused and lost for quite a while, unfortunately. I think that the idea of library jumping was a very cool concept, but it wasn't really executed in the way that I had hoped it would be. Despite that, Brenda Drake's writing is descriptive and beautiful, and really paints a picture of the Mystik world and its inhabitants, of which there are a ton. As I stated before, I really enjoyed the ending of this book and it has me interested for what happens in the sequel!

If you're looking for a new and exciting fantasy book that has magic,  a bit of complicated and rule-breaking romance, and an ending that will leave you eager for the sequel, then Thief of Lies is one book you don't want to miss out on!

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