From Publishers Weekly
Like its roguish protagonists, Lynch's colorful sequel to 2006's The Lies of Locke Lamora
is charming, unpredictable and fast on its feet and stands surprisingly well on its own given its convoluted plot. Initially poised to rob the Sinspire, the notoriously thief-proof casino where the penalty for cheating is death, Locke and his partner, Jean, are unwillingly sidetracked into joining and then leading a pirate crew, swindling their way across the sea as they had previously done on land. The cinematic influences on Lynch's fantasy setting are evident, the borrowing is mostly ingenious and the prose frequently enthralls, but tone and pacing suffer from odd inconsistencies. A handful of dark moments clash uncomfortably with the overall devil-may-care atmosphere. Most frustrating of all is the handling of key secondary character Ezri Delmastro, who shines too briefly as an energetic romantic interest for Jean. The ending promises at least one more installment, but fans may be unhappy if the saga strays too far from its amiable roots. (Aug.)
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*Starred Review* The science-fiction caper novel constitutes a small genre to begin with (Keith Laumer and Harry Harrison may be its best-known names), but Lynch added something entirely new to it with his debut, The Lies of Locke Lamora (2006). That novel, which told the story of a young boy taken under the wing of a master thief, was set on a distant planet but at a stage in the planet's history roughly equivalent to our own pirate age. Now Locke, the talented boy who became a world-class thief, returns with a caper so big it defies all reasonto penetrate the vault of the Sinspire, the most protected casino on the planet, and take its contents. If the first novel had undercurrents of Oliver Twist, this one is more in the vein of Ocean's Eleven or The Sting: fast paced, colorful, funny, with a fiendishly intricate plot containing plenty of right-angle turns. Locke and his partner, Jean, trade banter like Redford and Newman and work their light-fingered magic with charm and panache. Lynch hasn't merely imagined a far-off world, he's created it, put it all down on paperthe smells, the sounds, the people, the feel of the place. The novel is a virtuoso performance, and sf/fantasy fans will gobble it up, though they'll have to fight with caper novel aficionados for every crumb. Pitt, David