Ahoy there me mateys! I received this young adult fantasy eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. So here be me honest musings . . .
the gilded wolves (Roshani Chokshi)
Title: the gilded wolves
Author: Roshani Chokshi
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Publication Date: TODAY! (hardback/e-book)
I really wanted to like this young adult fantasy novel. But this one just did not float me boat. Instead I had to abandon ship and watch it sink to the watery depths never to be seen again. I picked this one because of the following reasons:
- set in 1889 Paris;
- a heist story (Arrr!)
- has a diverse cast
- has magic
I read about 100 pages of these before calling it quits for the following reasons:
- The book did not feel like it was set in 1889 Paris. The world-building really felt like it could be in any time or place. In addition I couldn’t really figure out what was really going on in the beginning. It was just confusing. The politics, geography, and how the magic society functioned seemed vague.
- The first mini heist was lackluster and confusing. Ye are thrown into the very last part of the job. There is an artifact to be stolen and no idea of how the thieves even located it. How the thieves work around the magic guards of the artifact room is so poorly written that I read it three times and still didn’t understand exactly how they managed to escape the traps.
- I individually liked the core group of characters – particularly Zofia. But their banter felt too silly and childish for their ages. There was also some cheesy romantic angst going on. There was definitely a diverse group. But the dialogue was mostly painful and the dynamics between the characters were odd.
- The magic was just plain incomprehensible. There were some cool concepts. I liked how all things could be marked by the owners with a ring. I liked how one character could read an item’s past. I liked the idea of the mirrors. I have no idea how or why the babel items work the way they do or even where they came from. Magic rules were very unclear and seemed to change on a whim.
After that many pages, I should have been hanging on every word. Instead I was befuddled and tired of trying to make sense of what I was readin’. I felt like this is a bad version of six of crows or the lies of locke lamora.
Some of me crew members are highly enjoying this one but the little bit that I read was less than stellar. Check it out and see if ye be on the side of yer Captain or with the crew.
So lastly . . .
Thank you St. Martin’s Press!
Goodreads has this to say about the novel:
Set in a darkly glamorous world, The Gilded Wolves is full of mystery, decadence, and dangerous but thrilling adventure.
Paris, 1889: The world is on the cusp of industry and power, and the Exposition Universelle has breathed new life into the streets and dredged up ancient secrets. In this city, no one keeps tabs on secrets better than treasure-hunter and wealthy hotelier, Séverin Montagnet-Alarie. But when the all-powerful society, the Order of Babel, seeks him out for help, Séverin is offered a treasure that he never imagined: his true inheritance.
To find the ancient artifact the Order seeks, Séverin will need help from a band of experts: An engineer with a debt to pay. A historian who can’t yet go home. A dancer with a sinister past. And a brother in all but blood, who might care too much.
Together, they’ll have to use their wits and knowledge to hunt the artifact through the dark and glittering heart of Paris. What they find might change the world, but only if they can stay alive.
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