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Thursday, April 9, 2015

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Review: Gates of Thread & Stone by Lori M. Lee

Gates of Thread and Stone by Lori M. Lee

Gates of Thread & Stone #1
Lori M. Lee
Publication Date: August 5, 2014
Publisher: Skyscape
Reviewer: Sophia

In the Labyrinth, we had a saying: keep silent, keep still, keep safe.

In a city of walls and secrets, where only one man is supposed to possess magic, seventeen-year-old Kai struggles to keep hidden her own secret—she can manipulate the threads of time. When Kai was eight, she was found by Reev on the riverbank, and her “brother” has taken care of her ever since. Kai doesn’t know where her ability comes from—or where she came from. All that matters is that she and Reev stay together, and maybe one day move out of the freight container they call home, away from the metal walls of the Labyrinth. Kai’s only friend is Avan, the shopkeeper’s son with the scandalous reputation that both frightens and intrigues her.

Then Reev disappears. When keeping silent and safe means losing him forever, Kai vows to do whatever it takes to find him. She will leave the only home she’s ever known and risk getting caught up in a revolution centuries in the making. But to save Reev, Kai must unravel the threads of her past and face shocking truths about her brother, her friendship with Avan, and her unique power.
Review Copy provided by Skyscape via Netgalley – thanks!

Much as I actually read the synopsis once when I first saw it months ago on Goodreads and then again before I clicked "Read Now" on Netgalley, I ended up forgetting the synopsis entirely by the time I started.

Except for one word: Labyrinth. Needless to say, I actually thought for awhile that Gates of Thread and Stone would be about a labyrinth. The Labyrinth of the Greek myths, per say, and when I actually read Gates of Thread of Stone, I checked the synopsis again to set myself on the right track (because when there's no one being sent as sacrifice, you know there's something wrong).

Gates of Thread and Stone is really about a girl named Kai living with her "brother," Reev, in a place called the Labyrinth, named so by its maze-like structure, and where the lowest of the lowest in Ninurta live out their daily lives. But one day, Reev disappears – just like many others – and Kai is determined to find her brother.

There's something about Gates of Thread and Stone that I really like. It's definitely not the world, even though I highly enjoyed Lee's world-building – each section (East Quarter, White Court, Void, Outlands, etc.) in Ninurta were set apart from one another and most even had their own nicknames (East Quarter = Labyrinth, North Quarter = Purgatory). It's most certainly not the amount of possible f-bombs in here as well, or what I'll assume as f-bombs, because "drek" by itself is certainly not sounding like crap or hell.

The characters were tolerable – Kai is a determined and persistent character who has an admirable strength and may sometimes be a little feisty. Irra is perhaps one of my favorite characters by far, being a dramatic yet eccentric advisor in assisting Kai and Avan finding Reev. In fact... he's a bit of an oddity compared to the other Infinites, who seem to be similar to gods and goddesses based on their description.

The plot was a little predictable and I was just waiting for a couple of parts to play out (I really should stop being Sherlock Holmes and just enjoy reading the book, but I can't help myself). While the end is similar to the end of Senshi and the beginning of Shinobi and doesn't seem to have a bigger plot that spans over to the sequel or more books.

Now that I actually took the time to write all that down, maybe it's the world-building that I liked the most. With the ending of Gates of Thread and Stone seeming to be a solid ending, I may read the sequel just to for the pure fun of seeing what Ninurta will be like.

4.5 Owls

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Sophia is the owner and founder of Bookwyrming Thoughts, but also found on various parts of the internet. She's a 19-year-old communications major who has weird humor and doesn't fit the Asian stereotype (maybe a little). Books, chocolate, technology, and music are among some of her favorite things. For more of her work, visit her personal website.