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Customer Review

93 of 119 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic start to a promising career, July 4, 2006
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This review is from: The Lies of Locke Lamora (Hardcover)
Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch is the first book in the Gentlemen Bastards series. Not only is it the first in the Gentlemen Bastards series, but this novel happens to be the first novel published by Mr. Lynch as well. When I first heard that this was a debut novel I was slightly hesitant, but it came with a glowing recommendation so I took the chance. Let me say right off the bat that I am very thankful that I took the chance on this new author as this novel is absolutely fantastic.

There are several aspects of this novel that I think need to be reviewed.

The characters really allow this novel to stand out and shine. The characters are well developed and vivid. Each character is done in such a way that they all appear unique, anything from their look to their dialog. While Mr. Lynch has added many curse words, which at times, for me anyway, shocks the reader out of the dialog, it also seems to bring a grittiness to the characters. There are quite a few characters in this novel, but I didn't find any difficulty in keeping them separate and knowing what each was doing. The main character, who I would struggle to call a hero, is a rogue who is bent on stealing from the nobles of the cit. A Robin Hood type character if you will. Mr. Lynch goes to great detail to explain and develop Locke throughout the book, and he pulls this off very well. The other assortment of characters are developed at varying degrees. This just makes sense or else the book would be huge. In my opinion the supporting cast of characters are done perfectly, not too much and not to little. There are many truly memorable characters in this book.

The plot, on the surface anyway, seems rather simple in that the main character is a rogue set on fleecing the nobility out of their wealth. However, there are many things that Mr. Lynch tosses into the mix to make this a much more complicated story than just your typical steal from the rich story. This story follows Locke from when he was a very young boy all the way up to his involvement with the Gentlemen Bastards and the escapades that he routinely pulls on the noble class of the city. There are several twists and mysterious characters that are slowly added to add more depth to the story. Even though there are multiple elements added throughout the book they are not done so to cram things into this novel. It has a very steady pace and was obviously well mapped out. It's a well written plot and one that certainly leaves room for further development in later books.

This novel is set up in an interesting way, in fact I have not seen a novel like this to my memory. There are regular chapters, but interspaced between these chapters, or sections really, there are flashbacks or as Lynch calls them interludes. Were he harkens back to past events that helped shape the characters actions and choices. This is certainly a unique way of putting a novel together and at times it works beautifully, but there is at least one point where I read an interlude and was a little unsure why it was included in the story or at that point in the book. For the most part though, this idea works rather well and adds a certain depth to the book.

There are a few things that I wish would have been better developed, such the way magic works as well as a little more explanation of the `thirteen'. Since this is the first book in this series I expect that these things may be explained in greater detail later.

Overall, this is a fantastic book and one I am sure to recommend to many other people. It really is a gem and a surprising first release from a new author. I wonder just how good Mr. Lynch will become if this was the first release from him. I am eagerly looking forward to the second book in this series as I am sure many others will be once they give this novel a chance. Have no fear in picking this up, I think it will appease many a different fans. Certainly fantasy fans, but also others will probably like this as well.
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