Sunday, September 29, 2019

Review - Into The Crooked Place (Into The Crooked Place, #1) by Alexandra Christo

Title: Into The Crooked Place (Into The Crooked Place, #1)
Author: Alexandra Christo
Pages: 496
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Release Date: 8th October 2019

Blurb from Goodreads: 

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.

My Review:

*I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to Hot Key Books*

Tavia lives in Creije selling magical charms on the streets to pay off her debt to the Kingpin.
One day, she unearths a dark plot that may lead to the destruction of the place Tavia calls home. Determined to stop the Kingpin, Tavia joins forces with three other crooks: Wesley (the Kingpin's prodigy), Karam (who uses her fists first and asks questions later), and Saxony (a Crafter hiding her abilities and hell-bent on avenging her family).
The group must work together to stop this strange, dark magic before it's too late, but can they work together when they can't trust each other?

As a big fan of the author's debut novel, To Kill A Kingdom, I was so excited to read Into The Crooked Place. It sounded like such an intriguing read and was one of my most anticipated reads of 2019. Unfortunately, I ended up being possibly the most disappointed I've ever been by a book.
I struggled to connect with the characters and wasn't invested in what happened to them.
Tavia was probably my favourite character, but she reminded me a too much of two other characters, so I couldn't help but imagine her as them. I would have liked to have seen more of Tavia working as a busker - there wasn't as much of that as I expected.
Wesley was another character that reminded me way too much of someone else, and again, I pictured him as that character. He was meant to be this big, bad underboss, but I didn't feel that he actually did that many bad things for someone meant to be so terrible.
The only thing that I think to say about Saxony was that I liked that she was tall.
I liked that Karam was a female bouncer, but she felt a bit bland.
The Kingpin was creepy, but I never felt that he was actually going to kill or seriously injure any of the main characters.
I wasn't a big fan of the romance in this book.
I did start off enjoying this, but the more I read, the more I lost interest, and towards the end I debating not finishing it. However, I was still a bit intrigued to see what happened so I continued to read.
I guessed a plot twist and nothing that happened surprised me like it should have.
I felt that there could have been more world building, and I would have liked more description about Creije, as it was meant to be this special city worth fighting for, but it could have been anywhere.
The writing was a bit jumpy at times, and the characters seemed to suddenly be in a different place without me realising they'd moved.
I liked the idea of messenger bats and floating railways. The charms were intriguing as well.
The premise was interesting, but this ended up feeling like a cross between Six of Crows and Ace of Shades, but too similar to them for my liking. It was almost like a Six of Crows fan-fiction in a way (which I feel bad for saying).
I am extremely disappointed that I didn't enjoy this more.
I'm not sure if I will read the sequel or not.

Overall, this was an okay but disappointing read.

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