Goodreads review • The Lies of Locke Lamora

The Lies of Locke Lamora (Gentleman Bastard, #1)The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This one has been on the list for quite some time. Mostly because of its Final Fantasy VI reference in the main character. The thing that sticks with me most after reading it, is how the spotlight keeps dancing all over. Locke is the main character alright, but compatriots, antagonists and assorted others swap places almost constantly. It’s not a single story, it’s more a myriad of stories somehow getting caught up together.

That’s not a negative aspect, but its feel is very similar to a TV-series with a slow-burning overarching plot, occasionally attempting these high-concept episodes just to deepen the characters’ aspects. Likewise, every flashback offers up a new skill, tool or experience to be of use in the present.

If there is a negative, it’s that this all becomes very straightforward. I’m no stranger to set-ups like these, but I guess my Sanderson conditioning expects the story to then tie the characters and the setting into one coherent epiphany of action and logic. The Lies of Locke Lamora instead just connects the dots. It’s simplistic, satisfying and leaves a lot of the setting uncovered (which is certainly not a bad thing). It just felt a bit disconnected as the connection of Locke to the final setup was thin. The first part of the finale lacks a bit of punch; the stakes are high, but for Locke himself it feels very forced. Only in the second half do things come together a bit.

Regardless, I enjoyed it immensely. Looking forward to reading the sequels!

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