In the Labyrinth, we had a saying: keep silent, keep still, keep safe.
Lori M. Lee's debut YA fantasy novel, Gates of Thread and Stone, is about a teenage girl who must carefully stay under the radar and keep her ability - to manipulate the threads of time - a secret, until her brother goes missing and she must risk getting caught up in a revolution in order to save him. Kai learns that nothing is as it seems - including her brother’s past, her father’s identity, and her friendship with dark, troubled Avan.
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A different kind of Time Travel...
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.