I'll admit that I picked up this book almost exclusively because of all the Social Media love that it's been getting recently. Once I had gotten it from the library it took me a while to read it for the same reason. Ya know how sometimes you just know that a book isn't really going to live up to the hype so you don't want to really jump in and be disappointed. But, then, if it does live up to expectations you're going to be irritated because you have to wait for the second book, anyway! There is no way to win...
Anyway, though. I loved this book and am, indeed, irritated to have to wait until the anticipated pub date of book 2 (September, 2016). I need this book and am willing to bargain to get it sooner. What business, Ms. Bardugo?
Kaz Brekker is a 17-year-old crime mini-boss, second in command in one of the biggest, most powerful gangs in Ketterdam. He's got a past, as does Inej, Kaz's own most- trusted side-kick, who is really the bad ass of the group. Nicknamed, The Wraith, Inej is an acrobatic silent killer type who always has Kaz's back, even when he probably deserved a knife to the spine. They are clearly in love with each other (not really a spoiler) but living a life of crime is not really the best context for romance. Kaz gets offered a job that will make everyone rich and be the spring board for his obsessive revenge plot. But he's going to need some help. Good thing he knows a bunch of other criminals hell-bent on revenge or with something to prove.
Why, yes. We've seen this sort of set-up before, but not always as well done. For each character we get a fleshed out glimpse into what led them to their current predicament and an understanding about why they have ended up in this hot mess of an escapade. It can't always be just about the money, right?
The story is told from the point of view of the six primary leads. This switch-up is handled well and there is little to no confusion problem. Each character has been traumatized in his or her own way and is fighting their inner demons on the road to, what? Redemption, love, revenge? All of the above. I'm hoping that there isn't some ridiculous resolution of everyone's dysfunction as the story moves along (like that crap that happened with Jaime in Outlander), but you can't have everything.
If you're into YA, adventure, speculative fiction, unbelievable odds and shipping characters with a past, this is your one-stop shop. Get to it.
This was a MustRead for 2015.
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