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Would you try another book from Lori M. Lee and/or Jessica Almasy?
A spiraling rewind through time, in a twisted world where magic thrives and danger rules, the GATES OF THREAD AND STONE had a fascinating plot, though did not live up to all my exceptions, but was still engaging enough to keep me reading until the end.
The GATES OF THREAD AND STONE was a totally different book then I thought it to be, and not as good as I hoped either. First, the plot was different then I anticipated, and confusing as hell at some parts. Their were a lot of parts where they were discussing their background and the roll of each person/being, and it was just too much to take in. The Infinite, the time god, the hollows, the mahjos, the sentinels, the cadets, the humans, and so on... It got to be too much for the plot and too much to remember after a while. And I finally just gave up caring and just rolled with it. And that was a let down in itself.
But nevertheless, it still had enough intriguing aspects to keep me enticed. Which is why I gave it the 3 and not the 2 star rating I was debating on. Even with it's many flaws, I sill found myself enjoying the world of the GATES OF THREAD AND STONE. Some of the characters not so much. But I was curious to what lies at the end of the story, and all the hidden secrets revealed along the way. I guess that was the main force that kept me reading until the end.
I LOVED Avan—the love interest to our main character Kai. He was so sweet and patient with her. But also was ready to strike at a minutes notice, and willing to endure the unthinkable to help Kai get through whatever situation she got herself in. He was just so lovable, and soooo HOT, I loved his overall personality.
Now Kai was another issue altogether. I really had a love/hate relationship with her. From the very beginning I didn't really care for her. It was something about her that just drove me crazy and rubbed me the wrong way. She was bossy, demanding, unthoughtful at times, yelling at Avan when she should be redirecting that anger inward instead of at him. And the whole dynamics of her personally was just a turn off. And it made it really hard to enjoy the book since I had so many ups and downs with the main character. Which was one of the issues I had. But their were still some parts where I admired what she was doing for her brother, and the love she had for Avan, even if she had a shitty way of showing it sometimes.
Since Kai was eight, all she's ever known was her adopted brother Reev. He found her on the riverbank and took her in as his own. So when her brother goes missing, with rumors of the mysterious Red Rider as the culprit—kidnapping people and turning them into mindless hollows, using them as slaves any way he sees fit, Kai knows it's time to act. She cannot and will not sit by like the others while her brother is turned. She will find him, and she will save him, even if she has to leave the safety of the city walls to do it. And she will stop at nothing until he is back to her once and for all...
Following the trail of the Red Rider takes Kai and her best friend and secret crush Avan beyond the city walls and into the dangerous outlands, where gargoyles hunt their prey, and one wrong turn can have them going in circles for days—if they even make it that long. But as Kai explores the world beyond the walls of Ninurta, she realizes everything is not as she thought, and the people she thought are not who—or what they claimed.
Before all is said and done, Kai will have the chance of self discovery, something she's always wanted, but never could grasp. But as Kai untangles the secrets of her past, and the ones of Ninurta, they become the explosive that could ignite and shake the foundation of their world to the very core. And Kai will be forced to make choices—choices she never imagined she'd ever have to make, choices that could very well change the fate of Ninurta, forever...
Overall, the GATES OF THREAD AND STONE was a little confusing, and not as good as I hoped, but still good enough to hold my attention and keep me reading until the very end. I will definitely be reading the sequel, because that cliffhanger was enough to have me instantly request the next book through Netgalley. I think if you enjoy fantasy books with a little bit of mystery, and a lot of adventure, and a tad bit of time twisting, with a slow romance, then you may find the GATES OF THREAD AND STONE an enjoyable read.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Gates of Thread and Stone felt like a book of greatly missed opportunities: flashes of originality and brilliance quickly buried by mediocre writing and a soppy romance. There just wasn't enough meat on these bones to distinguish it beyond every other YA distopian that's come out in the past few years.
Story: Kai has been raised by a 'brother' as orphans on the streets of Ninurta - one of the few cities to rise up after magic and technology wars destroyed most of the world. When her brother disappears, Kai must travel out of the City and into the dangers of the wild to find him. Accompanied by sexy neighbor Avan, who has looked out for her since she was young, Kai will brave the Gargoyles and the rebels in order to find her brother, Reev.
Readers of the genre will recognize these plot tropes from many YA dystopian novels:
- obsessing over sexy boy who watches over her mysteriously - and neither figuring out despite clues bigger than a mac truck that they like each other.
- Big misunderstandings to keep them apart.
- Dystopian city with eeeeevil leader.
- unique snowflake girl with special ability.
- leaving dystopian city to find out that it was all a lie (!)
- Meeting up with rebels only to find out they may be as bad.
- Someone is going to be secretly related to 'royalty' (most likely the heroine).
- lack of parents/orphan/mysterious past.
- heroine has special ability but doesn't know how to use it.
- heroine gets unrealistically 'leveled up' in fighting techniques in a few days.
- arena battles!
- desolated dystopian landscape with deadly twisted creatures outside that somehow never manage to kill our heroine or her boy toy love interest.
Honestly, I felt like I had read this book before and was kind of bored as a result. The whole misunderstanding/misinterpretation thing between Kai and Avan began to get old fast and I got tired of her admiring his various sexy body parts (can't she admire his intelligence?). I had to wonder if the book would have been better had they started a tentative romance instead. Then at least the plot could have progressed further.
Kai's background and powers were very underwhelming. They could have been interesting and the author done some nifty things with the power. Instead, the applications of that power were mundane. It felt like a writer problem - that only the romance was the consideration and so not enough thought really went into the actual mechanics of the world or plot. The whole reason for her being abandoned/found by her 'brother' Reeve was especially unbelievable and wince-worthy. Let's not get into the 'twist' about why Reeve was taken, which really made me want to roll my eyes.
As a Twinkie-type entertainment (sweet but empty) I'm sure this is fine as a Sunday read. But i can't help but feel there are so many better books or ways to spend my time. Note: I listened to the Audible version of this book and the narrator did a decent job.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful