Welcome to Day 1 of #AugustIsAwesome! Today I’ll be reviewing Gates of Thread and Stone by Lori M. Lee which releases on August 5th. Coinciding my review is a new feature on the blog called Storyboards. This is the product of my fondness for Pinterest and its many pretty inspiration boards. Though mine will include lesser pictures, and more expositions.
Publication: August 5th 2014 by Skyspace
Source/Format: ARC for review/received from publisher
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
In the Labyrinth, we had a saying: keep silent, keep still, keep safe.
In a city of walls and secrets, where only one man is supposed to possess magic, seventeen-year-old Kai struggles to keep hidden her own secret—she can manipulate the threads of time. When Kai was eight, she was found by Reev on the riverbank, and her “brother” has taken care of her ever since. Kai doesn’t know where her ability comes from—or where shecame from. All that matters is that she and Reev stay together, and maybe one day move out of the freight container they call home, away from the metal walls of the Labyrinth. Kai’s only friend is Avan, the shopkeeper’s son with the scandalous reputation that both frightens and intrigues her.
Then Reev disappears. When keeping silent and safe means losing him forever, Kai vows to do whatever it takes to find him. She will leave the only home she’s ever known and risk getting caught up in a revolution centuries in the making. But to save Reev, Kai must unravel the threads of her past and face shocking truths about her brother, her friendship with Avan, and her unique power.
Immediately after reading the synopsis, I knew I was going to love this book. It had that air of awesomeness around it, for lack of a better term. And I was right, I did enjoy this read even if it took a piece of my heart with it.
Gates of Thread and Stone is very reminiscent of the Grisha series by Leigh Bardugo. From the female heroine gifted with an otherworldly ability to the rich and intricate culture of this fantasy realm, no wonder I devoured this book! I’m a sucker for those kinds of stories.
Kai is a purpose-driven character, and her determination to save her brother Reev exemplifies that. I like that she doesn’t get easily fazed by the outside forces threatening to push her off-balance. I have not read many characters who displays the same level of drive such as her. Since this is the first book, there is so much room for improvement for her character although she did show some development towards the end.
I was also fascinated with her ability to control the threads of time. The way Lori described made them feel tangible and accessible. Here’s a short **excerpt:
“I imagined my fingers dragging through the fibers, making them catch and slow. Time never truly stopped.”
Doesn’t that sound so freaking cool? However, I wished she utilised her powers more because that’d really make for some awesome action sequences. Who knows maybe we’ll get more of it in the sequel.
The romance was a slow burn, and I appreciated it. It didn’t get in the way of the conflict although there were instances where it was threatening to do so. Avan actually reminds me of Mal from the Grisha – no surprise there. They both have that protective and rugged best friend quality going on. Also, there’s another character that I think might have potential to be a love interest. Agh, spare me the love triangle drama.
Mythology also plays a significant role in this book. It was something entirely original for a change, and although I appreciate its being innovative, I thought it needed more polishing especially at the end. I got lost in the history of the gods there.
Overall, Gates of Thread and Stone blew my socks off. It was even better than I had hoped for and I can’t wait for the sequel! The ending tore me apart and left me to tatters. Look out world, this author has quite the story to tell.
It is storyboard time. This is where I let out my inner quirk so beware of possible grammatical errors, incorrect punctuations, and over-the-top randomness. A bit of warning though, the last section might contain minor spoilers.
So by now you must know that I love fan casting so much. Whenever I read a book I need to have an actor/actress to play a particular character in mind or else I’ll go desperate and search through Goggle just to find the ideal face.
I’m sure you’ve seen her name on the blog many times before. She’s practically my go-to-cast-girl, but who could blame me, right? She’s a fantastic actress and there’s just something about those eyes that are magnetic. Like it could see through your soul and all the dirty secrets you’ve been stashing away (like stealing chocolate from your friends). I think I went too far.
Anyway, I think she’d make a great Kai. She already has the vulnerability and the fierceness that comes with Kai’s character.
He certainly looks like an Avan to me. But can he pull off the many shades of his character? Hmmm, probably. I’ve only seen one movie of his – which was Maleficent where he was a useless Prince Charming – but I believe in his acting skills. He’s what, starring in five movies this year? Yep, that’s definitely hardworking Avan.
Have you ever heard of that Korean sci-fi, Snowpiercer? There was this one still where Jamie was in rag clothing and his overall stance reminded me so much of Reev’s character who is soldier-like. And have you watched the 2011 adaptation of Jane Eyre? The one where Jamie stars as Jane’s foster brother? He can definitely pull off the big bro role.
The world of Gates of Thread and Stone is unequivocally fascinating. As I was reading the descriptions of the Labyrinth, it got me thinking of the many possible stone architectures here especially the streets.
The streets of Tuscany, Italy or Venice is were on my mind as I was reading. Since they were in a Labyrinth, I imagined the houses were lined differently. They twist and turn as if they were part of the streets.
i am absolutely unhinged by parallels between gates of thread and stone + the grisha series. in the best way possible though.
i love how the language was part of the world-building. i really admire those books who go the extra mile just to add a seemingly small detail but in reality, does a lot for the reader’s imagination.
the mythology of gates was also really interesting. the gods/goddesses’ personalities were a lot like those of the ones in the percy jackson series. i love them to Death. i might’ve made a vague pun there.
THE ROMANCE GUYS. i have to be honest, i was engrossed with it. i was impatiently waiting for the tension between kai and avan to heat up, like now. and when it did, it was freaking heartbreaking.
the ending was totally unexpected. i’m not entirely sure if i’m a fan of it. let’s just say it’s one of those the banana was gone, but it has come back situations. and it was freaking heartbreaking.
and then there’s mason. is he the other part of the triangle?? is he? tell me lori. right now.
i also can’t get the title. and i’ve looked for the gates everywhere. i’ll just reread it.
*An ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review. This has no way affected my overall thoughts.
**Quote is subject to change in the final version.