The Good Thief by Hannah Tinti
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This really is good book. Definitely worthy of a read. The story is strong - it's unlike any book that I've read before which I found refreshing. Many books seem to be recycled in ways but this one felt very new and unique to me throughout. Perhaps its the fact that it was an adventure story with a lot more than just adventure. I'm not sure - all I know is that it felt like nothing that I've ready before!
I have read a lot of comparison's to this novel & the work of Dickens, Twain and others. Although I can see that, I think that Tinti takes the adventure story to a new place with her novel. Although perhaps reminiscent of the 19th century adventure story, it's really a unique take on the traditional adventure story.
The main character, Ren, is a very interesting character and I kept wondering what might come next for him. His experiences and how he reacts to them were fascinating to me! The mix of people (many of them 'villains') that he encounters make for a compelling narrative that keeps you wanting more. Ren's voice was original and memorable. His navigation through the world created by Tinti really made this book special. Although places here and there were slower than I'd have liked, the parts that picked up made up for the slower parts.
I think that Tinti could have done more with some of the plot lines and characters than she did, which may have eliminated some of the slowness that came through. For example, the character of Mrs. Sand's brother was fascinating and I would have loved for that part of the story to have been expanded upon. There were quite a few places that left me with questions, i.e. - memorable characters whose actions were not adequately explained, for example.
Although I liked the entire story, it was the end (last 1/4 of the book) that really knocked it out the park! Hannah Tinti really pulled all of the pieces of the plot together and created an outstanding ending! In the end, what sticks with me is the world created by Tinti and how compelling she made a world that is fairly dark and twisty. It could have fallen into the dark places and never come out. Tinti's skill at keeping the story moving, creating compelling characters and showing glimpses of light in the dark make this a very special book. She has a very unique viewpoint that was fascinating to visit. I'm looking forward to reading more of her work!
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