I just realized today that I have read three thief-type books over the last few months, all of them excellent in their own way.
- THE THIEF, by Megan Whalen Turner. Absolutely awesome. Starts off a little slow–not slow as in pacing, but slow as in leisurely. Builds. And builds. And builds. To the point where your breath catches and you’re turning pages faster than you can believe, and then BAM. This is an awesome book, and you can read it online for free for a limited time from Harper Collins here. I can’t tell you much about this book, except that the main character is a thief who boasts that he can steal anything, and when he steals from the King, the King decides to make use of his skills. Even that description is horridly unsatisfying. All I can say is, read it! Read it!
- THE LIES OF LOCKE LAMORA, by Scott Lynch. Also absolutely awesome, but in a totally different way. As a method of warning, I should tell you that this is a five-Sherman-Tank book–in other words, it’s a boy’s book. There are fights. There are cons. There are swear words–lots of them. There is a hidden god. There are tricksy little flashbacks that make you laugh and then make you say “mmmph!” later. But 50 years ago, this sort of book would have had gurls in the background–as bits of fabric to be fought over and cosseted perhaps, with a few evil career-minded sluts making an appearance. But despite the fact that the main characters are male, this is not a book that treats men as superior to women. In fact, it’s a book that embraces strong women. There is an embarrassment of truly intelligent, capable women in both this book and its sequel. They aren’t part of the gang, no, but one doesn’t get the sense that they are there simply to be thrown away. I am eagerly awaiting the appearance of Sabetha.
- HEIST SOCIETY by Ally Carter. I’ve loved Ally’s spy series, but I truly believe that HEIST SOCIETY is the best book she’s written yet. There’s something about it–the pacing, the language, the depth of the emotional and moral dilemma that shades what would otherwise be black and white into a thousand splintering shades of gray. It’s a fantastic book that has already been optioned for a movie (rights were auctioned off for a considerable sum). It features a teenage girl trying to go straight, who discovers that her father, a thief has pissed off the wrong person. Now, to save his life, she has to steal paintings back. And the clock starts ticking, immediately.