This is a story of gods and mortals, of life and death, of a world where fate has no master.
This is The Book of Lokk.
The city of Kartos is a dark, cruel place, and its winding streets lie within the Black Temple's great shadow. The Devout, the priests of the temple, rarely leave its towering walls, but when they do it is only to collect the dead or to lead the city's condemned back to the dungeons.
And those who enter do not return.
It is common knowledge among the Kartosi that the temple is to be avoided at all costs, and even the corrupt upper caste of the city bows to its will. Lokk, a young thief oblivious to the machinations of the temple and its puppets, is about to enter a world where evil knows no bounds.
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Didn't want to stop Listening (reading)
First I received a copy of the audio book for free when the author did a promotion on Reddit. I had previously purchased this book to read but had not made it through my extensive back log yet. (Audible is the main way I’m keeping my reading going this year.)
The story was enjoyable and moved along quickly. There were times when I found myself frustrated that I had to stop listening. I started using even short car trips to hear the story.
The book was a little shorter than I usually consider for an Audible purchase at 5 hours 10 minutes. There was one line read twice in chapter four that seemed like an editing error. I checked it a couple of times to be sure. I didn’t find any other errors, and I liked the job James Scofield MacKenzie did with the narration.
The three boys seem to have a deep friendship but I would have liked to see some more evidence as to how or why they were friends. There was lots of loyalty but no reason for these three boys to be so close.
The protagonist really did not feel solid. Even with a story told from Lokk’s limited prospective, we should have been able to get a feel for them. Some scenes seemed to have a sense of a cheesy horror film and did not further the story. There is a ceremony near the end of the book about a book that I’m not really sure why it was done or what the profit was.
There were no female characters at all.
The ethical dilemma that Lokk faces in the first half of the book is my favorite plot point of the book. Things are bad, but mostly for others, for me everything seems to be ok. There is food in my stomach, a safe place to sleep, just keep my mouth shut and go with the flow.
I like stories involving gods of the underworld and I don’t mind YA. So was pleasantly surprised to find that even though the Lokk and his friends are teenagers this book fits more into Grim Dark than YA. I am pretty hard on books when I rate them but would give this one a 3.4 out of 5 if I could. This series should be fun to read and I added the it to the ever growing ‘To Read List’.
Slow start. Strong finish.