Monday, 27 January 2020

Review: Into The Crooked Place

Into The Crooked Place 
Rating: 3/5 
Buy or Borrow: Borrow 
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher in exchange for an honest review! 

Magic rules the city of Creije Capital and Tavia Syn knows just how many tricks she needs up her sleeve to survive. Selling dark magic on the streets for her kingpin, she keeps clear of other crooks, counting the days until her debt is paid and she can flee her criminal life.

But then, one day, with her freedom in sight, Tavia uncovers a sinister plot that threatens to destroy the realm she calls home. Desperate to put an end to her kingpin's plan, Tavia forms an unlikely alliance with three crooks even more deadly than her: 

Wesley, the kingpin's prodigy and most renewed criminal in the realm

Karam, an underground fighter with a penchant for killing first and forgetting to ask questions

And Saxony, a Crafter in hiding who will stop at nothing to avenge her family 

With the reluctant saviours assembled, they embark on a quest to put an end to the dark magic before it's too late. But even if they can take down the kingpin and save the realm, the one thing they can't do is trust each other. 

I was very, very excited for this book. I read and loved Christo's To Kill a Kingdom, it's one of my favourite books and so I expected big things from this. A gang of misfits, a heist...but with Christo's storytelling and her originality from To Kill a Kingdom? Sign me up! However, as I was reading this, I just wasn't as grabbed and invested as I'd expected to be. If I'm being completely honest, as I was reading all I could think was 'this is essentially Six of Crows just with a different magic system'. 

The magic system we were presented with was intriguing, and I was curious about it, there was a nice  amount of initial world building that was enough to pique your interest but not overwhelm you and I always love morally grey characters like Tavia. I was also loving the whole magic black market, gangsters thing we had going on. Karam I particularly enjoyed out of all the characters, she was badass and I liked the humour and banter there was between not just she and Tavia but all of the characters in the book. The cast of characters was diverse, there's some intrigue and there's a lot of magic sprinkled with some action. 

However, there's not much else that I really have to say about this book. It was an okay book, it wasn't anything that really stands out to me among the multitude of other similar books. Wesley really reminded me of Kaz Brekker and I thought it more than once as I was reading. The characters are interesting, but I don't feel like they had enough depth to them. I wasn't overly attached to or invested in any of them, though they were likeable enough. I enjoyed the f/f romance, but after a certain point it became a little bit repetitive and as much as I liked the initial world building, I'd have liked to delve deeper because unless I missed something....I still have no idea why magic was outlawed. Much like the characters, there just wasn't enough depth to it for me. 

The writing was good, as was the world building and there were some great twists to it. I just struggled to make it to the end of the book and if it hadn't been an arc I probably would have DNF'd it. I never found it hard to put down, I found it hard to pick up because I wasn't that enthused with it although it did pick up towards the end, I'm still not sure I'll pick up the sequel. It's a lot of struggle to get to the really good stuff, and it was a little too predictable at points. 

My main problem with the book is that it felt quite bland to me. I found that it didn't stand out from Six of Crows and Gilded Wolves and so on, which is disappointing to me because I was expecting Christo to put her own brand of originality on this and take what's becoming a YA trope and make it something new and exciting and different to everything else. But the entire time I was reading I could just pick up echoes of other books and it felt very same-y to me as I was reading which was the biggest disappointment for me when it came to this book. 

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