I came across Gates of Thread and Stone by Lori M. Lee via email from Amazon. In this email it was promised that I could read this book for free. A few clicks later the book arrived in my Kindle. I’m not sure what I owe Amazon for this, maybe a kneecap or my first born? Or can I simply pay them in gratitude?
So, let’s start from the cover. Can I just say, holy hell, have you seen anything so beautiful as this? Whoever did the cover work has talent and I would consider doing certain things to get a cover like that for one of my books.
Before reading Gates of Thread and Stone, I perused a few reviews and saw some people liken this book to the Clockwork Princess series by Cassandra Claire. Well folks, you can’t judge this book on its cover, this is not your mother’s Cassandra Claire. Actually if Cassandra Claire’s books were an apple and you picked up Gates of Thread and Stone, you’d be holding a carrot in your hand. Ergo, they are on opposite sides of the spectrum.
It took me until about 12% before I started really getting into this book. At first there seemed to be a lot of information that wasn’t necessary or that I felt should have been reworked to fit into the story better. And I got a little uncomfortable with all the mackin’ Kai was doing on her brother. I mean, I have four brothers and not once did I gaze at them as they slept. Anywho, we find out why later in the book why this is acceptable. At 37%, the book really picked up, the story got really interesting and things started to come together a tiny bit, although there was still plenty of mystery.
I see in my reading progress I noted that at 67%, this book got really good. And then I couldn’t put it down. Still, while reading I felt like there was something missing. It seemed to be plagued by vagueness and gloss and a bit dreamlike. But I kept thinking to myself, this is fantasy, let’s just go with it. So I’m still on the fence with some aspects of this book. I had a hard time connecting with Kai, I feel like her character needed more development. And I guess I’m a selfish reader because I yearned for more uses of Kai’s ability to dapple with the threads of time. I really enjoyed Avan and Reev’s characters, and truly, those two are what kept me reading.
Overall, the setup is a Young Adult Dystopia with magical/fantasy elements. When I step back, I see elements of Hunger Games, Divergent, and Red Rising, with the cadets and the training, etc. The author did a great job of mixing the dystopia with the mythology but I wanted more. There was so much more that could have been said or delved into with relationships and events instead of glossing over them. So while I enjoyed the last half of this book very much, I still have that nagging feeling that something was missing. Also, this is the only book I’ve ever read and kept asking myself, where is the rest of the world? Are we on a flat plane where there is only Ninurta, a forest, the void, and Etu Gahl. Humans are mentioned, a Rebirth, the one week of sun but… where is the rest of the world?
After all is said and done, I find that Amazon knows me a little too well. It's creepy really.
Bonuses: the ending brought everything together; when I was done I was satisfied and even consider reading this again.
I recommend this, 3/5 stars.