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The Lies of Locke Lamora – book review

First of all, this review is for the audiobook version.

Pros:

Fantastic worldbuilding, witty dialog, fast paced, great characters.

I quickly fell in love with Locke & Co., particularly due to their colorful, salty language and camaraderie. The world of the book felt real; at times I could hear, see, and smell whatever Mr. Lynch described. I’m honestly dazzled by the scope of Mr. Lynch’s worldbuilding! I particularly loved the religion, including the Crooked Warden.

The narrator, Michael Page, dis a superlative job with this story, seamless transitioning from crass swears to nobleman’s haughtiness.

The chapters are broken up in short, almost “bite sized” pieces, making it easy to stay up waaaay too late reading/listening!

Cons:

Note: I am extremely squeamish when it comes to blood, guts and gore. Like…I cringe at “Itchy and Scratchy” from “The Simpsons.” (Don’t get me started on Game of Thrones! Suffice it to say there’s a ton of fingers in ears and eyes squeezed shut.)

So for me, this book was incredibly violent. Way, way too much so. (Again, my tolerance for such things is probably much lower than most adults’.) Too much torture. Too many blood spatters and groans of pain and dismemberment, not to mention the plethora of blades, fists, kicks, etc. I understand violence is a part of the narrative, and it fit the story, but holy hell…it was so hard for me to listen to. I had to skip ahead more than once just to make it through certain scenes.

Again, it’s probably just me. But still. There were whole sections I could not enjoy because of this.

Another, semi-related “con” is a pretty big spoiler, so I’ll tread lightly. Suffice it to say that I nearly stopped reading about 60% of the way through, after a huge event that caught me totally by surprise. It fit the story and was given proper attention, but man…it was a kick right to the guts. Without being too spoilery, let me say that this book is often touted as something like “Ocean’s 11” but a fantasy; it was – to that point, after which it turns into more of a revenge story. Again, the events fit the narrative, but it blindsided me and made me seriously consider not finishing the book, as I felt…wronged in some way. I guess? But perhaps that’s part of Mr. Lynch’s plan. If so, it worked. I was too invested to quit. 😉

Overall:

Save the excessive violence, The Lies of Locke Lamora was an engrossing, highly entertaining read. I plan to read the next book, and would definitely recommend it to anyone who loves snark, wit, action, and torture. 😉

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