31 Dec 2014

Promising premise: Lori M. Lee's Gates of Thread and Stone

Gates of Thread and Stone by Lori M. Lee

Release Date: 5th August 2014
Publisher: Skyscape
Pages: 333
Format: Paperback | Purchased

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Summary (from GoodReads):

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 disappear. When keeping silent and safe means losing him forever, Kai vows to do whatever it takes to find him. 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.  


My Thoughts:
You think I would've known better, but I've been on such a YA-streak lately that I thought I'd take my chances. The cover was GORGEOUS, the blurb was intriguing... I thought I had another winner in my hands. I don't regret the time I spent on this book, because I knew I was going to think about reading it until I actually picked it up and read the thing. Curiosity = satisfied.

Gates of Thread and Stone had a really promising start. We're introduced to Kai, who is fierce and headstrong and thinks for herself. After her adoptive (foster?) brother, Reev, goes missing, Kai goes searching for him. These are the scenes that Lee excelled at: the horror and terror Kai felt upon finding out that Reev had been taking by the Black Rider. I really felt with Kai in these scenes, especially because I had found earlier scenes with Kai and Reev so heartwarming.

Unfortunately, the story kind of deteriorated for me once Kai went searching for her brother. I think it's because, for me, Reev brought out the very best of Kai. Kai never really has the same connection with any other character, not even her love interest, Avan. Side note: I love that even though Kai has a crush on Avan, her focus is solely on finding her brother. She never let the fact that she was romantically interested in Avan distract her from her mission. Four for you Kai, you go Kai! Anyway - I think that the reason that Kai never managed to establish any lasting connections with any other character is because they are constantly coming and going; the locations are always shifting.

I gave this book two stars because it was one of the few YA books where I couldn't predict the ending. Every time I thought I had an idea of where the plot was heading, something proved me wrong - and in the end, I don't think I would've ever in a million years have been able to predict it. It just wasn't enough. In the end, there wasn't enough to make me care about what happened to Kai in the next two books (I'm assuming Gates of Thread and Stone will follow the YA trend and be a trilogy). I find it to be underwhelming, unimpressive, and overall disappointing read. Possibly because I'd hyped it up in my mind. That said, I might keep an eye out for the sequel at my local library.

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