Thursday, 4 July 2019

Review: The Thief

The Thief The Thief by Rama Nugraha
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Rama Nugraha’s The Thief is a book I’m conflicted about. There were points when I was really enjoying this one, and points where I wasn’t invested in the way I’d hoped to be. It certainly kept me turning the pages, but, in the end, I opted to round my rating down. For a long time, I thought I would be giving this a three-star rating, but it wasn’t quite there to be rounded up. This, however, I believe to be a reflection of my personal preferences with books, as I’m finding it difficult with fantasy books as of late.

You see, as much as I love a good fantasy book, I feel both fantasy and science fiction are starting to read like movies. There is nothing wrong with this, but I’m not crazy about the witty one-liners and attempts at humour that are occurring during big scenes. The odd comment here and there is fine, but I feel a lot of fantasy is starting to read like a Marvel movie. I love a good Marvel movie, but it’s not what I’m looking for in books.

However, this is a really popular thing right now and I’m seeing it a lot. The characters are interjecting levity at the most unexpected of scenes, and people seem to be crazy about this kind of storytelling. Hence, my rating of this book is a reflection of my current feelings towards the trend in fantasy. The Thief does not take this to the extreme that a lot of books do, but we erred a bit too close and it had me rounding my rating down.

For people that enjoy such storytelling, The Thief has a lot of what fans love in fantasy. There are plenty of things throughout this book for fans to follow, plenty of storylines for them to enjoy. I did not understand the world as well as I would have liked, but what I did understand was interesting. Moreover, my lack of understanding on certain points didn’t lessen my ability to follow the story. It was a desire for a better understanding, not a hinderance. Plus, with so many interesting points to follow my desire for a better understanding fell into the background.

That being said, whilst there were plenty of interesting points to follow, there were times when I thought things moved a bit slowly. I’m a big fan of endless action, and there were times when we had information dumps rather than the story moving forward. Again, however, this is down to personal preference. There is no doubt there is a lot in this story, with plenty of answers needed in the future books, which I’m sure many will enjoy.

I can certainly see fans of fantasy enjoying this one, but for me it didn’t quite match with my tastes.

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