Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch (4/5 stars)

I received this book as a gift last Christmas from some friends. The writer, Scott Lynch, is their cousin and had given them a number of signed books to distribute as they saw fit. Historically speaking my experience with books that have been gifted to me by friends or family (excluding my direct family of course) have not been all that great. So I put off reading this book for quit some while.

Once I did start reading the book I was pleasantly surprised. This is a good book! The writing is tight, the descriptions are crisp and really take you to the scene. It is a clever book overall and I really enjoyed it.

The book details, as the title suggests, the Lies of the main character Locke Lamora. Locke ends up an orphan after a plague kills his parents. He ends up being sold to an old priest known as Chains. Chains isn't exactly a priest though; he is more of a con artist. Chains teaches his initiates the finer aspects of conning people. The book jumps between the training the Gentlemen Bastards (Chains' gang) go through and Locke's latest scheme to usurp large amounts of money from the nobility of the city.

This book is fun and clever. Initially I found the chapters alternating between present and past to be a bit irritating. It felt like as soon as you got back involved with the main story you were switching back to the past story and visa versa. Then I realized that the interludes to the past were usually revealing something about the characters that was vital to the next part of the current story. Then these interludes became pretty clever.

The book is non-stop action and is a fun read. It is not a quick read; there is a lot of description in these books and a lot going on. You definitely have to keep your wits about you when you read this book. I am definitely interested to see what the next book in the series, Red Skies under Red Seas, brings.

Here is a link to the book on amazon:

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