Review Thief of Lies by Brenda Drake

10:30 AM

Okay Addicts! I'm here today with a review of THIEF OF LIES by Brenda Drake.
Read on Addicts to see where this one fell on on the addiction scale.

Title: Thief of Lies (Library Jumpers, #1)
Release date:  1/5/16
Author: Brenda Drake

About the book:
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.

When I first saw THIEF OF LIES pop up for review I was immediately caught by this gorgeous cover! As many of us book Addicts know, covers can sometimes lead you into a trap............This one happily didn't, at least not totally.
Overall, yeah, I like this book and I think it's a decent start to a promising series. Can you feel the big BUT coming? 
But t took more than half of the book for me to actually get to the point where I was really starting to get drawn into Gia's world. I debated with myself all night after reading this and for me this is a solid 3 star. It was for a while a high 2 star but there were definitely redeeming qualities that saved THIEF OF LIES for me and have me interested to read the next book of the series.
Let me give you the lists.
The Good:
1- Gia. She's our star of this series and like all YA heroines she's special. She's a Sentinel, a race of half human half .....well Sentinel, who guard the world from the Mystik creatures and magics that live in hidden worlds and threaten innocent humans. Of course she's a doomsday child because her parents made a big no no and fell in love, something two Sentinels aren't supposed to do because of a prophecy of the end of the world, and wham......we have a female Harry Potter, hidden away from the Mystik world for her own safety. Very Mortal Instruments but it worked for me. As a whole she was the best character, as a heroine should be--even if I do wish for more from her in the next book.
2- Book jumping. Yup, you heard me. Sentinels, Wizards, Fae and many other Mystiks can jump through books in libraries and end up in other libraries in any part of the world! If only I had that power................SO freaking cool!!
3- The Havens. Okay, here's where things started to get interesting because it was where we finally started getting some real detail about, well anything at all, from Brenda Drake (I'll elaborate more on that in a second) The havens are cities in the Mystik world where Sentinels live among Wizards and other creatures and train to become badass warriors who defend the Libraries of the world and innocents. It's very cool and I liked it, it's what helped keep me from setting THIEF OF LIES down.

The Okay:
1- The Sentinels. I loved the description of the detail of the battle armor and the fight scenes that played out through out the book, and I give a lot of credit for having such an ethnically diverse cast.........but really, it felt like Brenda did that more to fall into the trend of having a diversified cast because it's a hot topic in the book world right now. It just didn't feel right to me, and honestly with exception of the Japanese Sentinel Lei, all the others blurred together because their personalities were standard and the same. If you're going to diversify you need to do it through more than race/nationality/appearances.
2- The Diversity. Or rather the speech patterns used for these diverse characters. Pulling characters from around the world is great but for some reason, the editors of this book allowed the author to write the characters words as they would sound to an american. IE: "All Sentinels 'ave been sent on do you say? A mission, zat's it, no?" Can you say distracting? It's hard to really get into something when you have to try and read through that, especially when it's a thing with all the dialogue: French, Italian, Russian, Irish, English, Indian and several other speech patterns. Not to mention it came off a bit like stereo typing at several points.
3- The Romance/the Love Triangle. Normally I have no issues with insta love but this one didn't work for me. And I don't really know if this could be called a love triangle yet, but I know it'll get there. Arik and Bastien are Gia's boy's. Arik is the Sentinel who found her by accident and Bastien is the Wizard Gia's supposedly betrothed to. Arik is a good YA Hero, but I don't know, something just keeps me from loving him. Also Arik and Gia's feelings felt forced at many times. And of course, as mentioned above about Gia's parents, two Sentinels being together is outlawed and severely punished. It was fun to read about but I don't buy them as a couple, yet. As for Bastien, I actually like him better than Arik because he was given more depth and characterization than Arik was, yet he too still fell on the typical YA hero side of things. As a whole I'm on Bastien's side for who will win Gia. For this book at least, her two big objections to Bastien is that she'd betrothed to him and seh naturally wants to rebel, and that she's fallen for Arik. (PS there's also a insta connection between Gia and Bastien)

The Not So Good:
1- Overall Believe-ability. This was a big problem for me. It wasn't the jumping through books that didn't work, that totally worked--even though we never got to find out how or why this very cool thing came into being. It was the Characters themselves. Straight off Gia was shown to be timid, scared of crossing the street and kinda a pushover. Yet as soon as her and her friends accidentally fell through a book, were attacked by a freaky monster and saved by warriors in badass armor she's calm, rational and totally unafraid. Sure there were lines written in that she was scared, but I didn't get that impression, the writing felt very contradictory. It made Gia hard to relate to and honestly almost had me putting down the book all together. It was the fact I wanted to learn more about Sentinels that kept me going.
2- The Pacing. Quite frankly it sucked up until more than half way through the book. There were weird time jumps, scene breaks and a big lack of detailed description to show us readers Gia's world, both magic and real life.  
3- The large cast of Characters. This kinda falls into all my issues above but I need to address it. If you have such a large cast of characters there has to be good character development to make them stand out among each other. We got almost no back story on any character outside Gia, not even Arik or even Bastien who are the heroes! The physical descriptions weren't very helpful because they only get told once then you're expected to remember through out the rest of the book. I can't even tell you all the Sentinel's names, much less what they looked like. Even Gia's best friends--and Gia herself-- didn't get any real physical description! 

So now you know my thoughts, overall the good things helped me get past the things that were not so good and only okay. The last third of the book is totally what saved this and made it a solid 3 star and has me interested to see what comes next. I just really hope the next book is better paced, more detailed and the cast of characters, even Gia herself, actually develop as characters because there wasn't a whole lot of that happening in THIEF OF LIES.
I would recommend this book to fans of the YA fantasy world, but just be prepared to have to go back and reread several things, several times because events and big details happen in one sentence you can easily miss.
Thanks to Entangled for gifting me a copy of THIEF OF LIES in exchange for my honest review.

Author Bio

Brenda Drake, the youngest of three children, grew up an Air Force brat and the continual new kid at school. Her fondest memories growing up is of her eccentric, Irish grandmother’s animated tales, which gave her a strong love for storytelling. So it was only fitting that she would choose to write stories with a bend toward the fantastical. When Brenda’s not writing or doing the social media thing, she’s haunting libraries, bookstores, and coffee shops or reading someplace quiet and not at all exotic (much to her disappointment).

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  1. I wanted to read this one for the cover alone :) The description sounds good too, but I understand what you mean with the bad and not so good. Maybe I'll try it anyway, though.

    Majanka @ I Heart Reading

    1. It's totally worth a read! Just be prepared to be like **huh?** in the first half or so :)
      Enjoy it Majanka!


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