February 23, 2015

Review: Gates of Thread and Stone (Gates of Thread and Stone #1) by Lori M Lee

Release Date: August 5th, 2014
Rating: 4.5 stars

I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

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.

*I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for my honest review* 

First Thoughts

Death lived in a glass tower in the center of the White Court. I could see the tower from anywhere in the city. It cut the skyline like a blade. Death--she probably had a real name--was Kahl Ninu's right hand and his personal executioner. Or, at least, that's what the rumors said. I didn't really care if they were true so long as it wasn't my head on the chopping block.
And with that opening paragraph, I was hooked! Gates of Thread and Stone is honestly one of my favorite reads (so far) this year! Lori M Lee is phenomenal with her world-building-- I could imagine the impoverished state of the Labyrinth, the lavishness of the White Court, and the vastness of the Void just as I'm sure Ms Lee wanted me to see it.

The characters, oh, how I enjoyed them! Kai was a determined heroine, only weak in her love for her brother. Although we only saw Reev in fleeting moments before his disappearance, there was a genuine likability about him. Avan was, by far, my favorite character! Mysterious, protective, and selfless-- hello, new book boyfriend!

What I Enjoyed

There was never a dull moment. Right after that first hook, Ms Lee immediately proceeds to build the world of Ninurta. Once you have a grasp of the city and its history, you catch a glimpse of Kai's time manipulation ability (as well as her good heart). The moment you begin to feel comfortable with the characters and befriend Kai and Reev, Reev disappears. I don't want to spoil the plot, so let's just say it was a thrilling journey that I'm delighted to have been a part of and I cannot wait for book 2!

The sweet romance between Kai and Avan. I felt butterflies in my stomach every time they'd look at each other longingly or lightly touch each other. I nearly died when they camped out in the Void, hesitating to get too close to each other, but eventually finding their way into each other's arms. Swoon.

The bait and switch villain (spoilers ahead). Forget everything you've heard about the rebel criminal, The Black Rider, and his killer gargoyles. As a matter of fact, he's a really nice guy trying to save people and the gargoyles are surprisingly friendly. The missing citizens of Ninurta are actually being kidnapped by Kahl Ninu, the magician that is supposed to be using his power for good!

Chapter 39. No. Why did this happen? When I read it, I could feel my heart shattering into a million pieces. I didn't want to believe it. There had to be some way around it. I kept thinking, "this book is full of magic. Fix it! Freakin' fix it now!(spoilers ahead) Why do my favorite characters always die???

Recommended For

Readers of the young adult>fantasy>magic genre or those who want to dip into the time manipulation world without being overwhelmed with confusion (like me!).

Happy Reading!

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