by Roshani Chokshi
A nicely written try to recreate Six of Crows with more diverse characters and riddles almost exactly copied from The Da Vinci Code. Thanks to that, it lacks originality and it can never do the things these books did as good as they did: it stays a pale copy of their brilliance, but is an entertaining read, right up to the botched, badly written ending.
Roux-Joubert knelt on the floor beside the man in the mask, rocking back and forth.
„Please, Doctor. Please, you promised me, and I have given all that I can…“ he said, revealing his torn arms.
This is a scene close to the ending of this book. If that doesn’t ring a bell with you, then you’ve never read Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, I guess. But I have. I’ve read Harry Potter, I’ve read Six of Crows, I’ve read all the Dan Brown novels, and so lots of this book where VERY familiar to me. Including the power of the babel fragments and that they have to be kept in secret, because I’ve read The Lord of the Rings. I guess if you haven’t read those books, this book works for you, but it didn’t for me, for these things gave me a very… strange feeling. I’m not doing she did it on purpose, these things happen to me when writing something too sometimes, but I notice them during editing. And I delete them. Because I want to be somewhat original. And this is not original.
Apart from being unoriginal, this is written quite well. Some of the dialogue felt off to me, but that may be cause I read the German version and so that could be due to the translation. In terms of plot: it’s okay for a YA book to do the things the way they were done here. It’s all sort of obvious, there were no plot twists I didn’t spot a mile ahead, but it’s okay. It’s a solid four-star YA Fantasy… but then, there is the ending.
And omg, what a badly written ending it is. Villains easily disappearing, villains appearing again out of nowhere… I don’t know what to call it, probably Devil ex machina (TM), but it’s bad. BAD! It makes me furious, because there was so much wasted potential during the final chapters of this…sighs loudly.
Well, if you’re okay with lots of this book being an unoriginal mixture of better-written masterpieces, I guess you’ll really enjoy it. It’s quite well-written, the storytelling is easy, the characters are interesting enough (though it sometimes feels like they have to be even more special, even more diverse to make them more unique) and it’s definitely a page-turner. But I guess it’s time to return to adult fantasy, or at least more adult fantasy: Mistborn, here I come. Please Brandon, don’t disappoint me again.