Into the Crooked Place by Alexandra Christo
Series: Into the Crooked Place #1
Format: ARC provided by Fierce Reads
Top 3 Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult, Fiction
My rating: Set it on fire/ If you have nothing else to read/ you need to read it/Run and buy it.
To buy the book: CA • US • FR• Bookdep
Add to: Goodreads
Hey guys! Today, let’s be serious (well not too much!) and talk about a book that really caused me trouble: it took me FOREVER to read it. It was a struggle and I almost DNFed it a few times, before deciding I owned it to Fierce reads to keep reading. I honestly can’t call it a bad book, and it did get a bit better in the second part… but I just didn’t click with it AT ALL…and yes, I’m talking about one of these books a lot of you was waiting for: Into the Crooked Place!
The streets of Creije are for the deadly and the dreamers, and four crooks in particular know just how much magic they need up their sleeve to survive.
Tavia, a busker ready to pack up her dark-magic wares and turn her back on Creije for good. She’ll do anything to put her crimes behind her.
Wesley, the closest thing Creije has to a gangster. After growing up on streets hungry enough to swallow the weak whole, he won’t stop until he has brought the entire realm to kneel before him.
Karam, a warrior who spends her days watching over the city’s worst criminals and her nights in the fighting rings, making a deadly name for herself.
And Saxony, a resistance fighter hiding from the very people who destroyed her family, and willing to do whatever it takes to get her revenge.
Everything in their lives is going to plan, until Tavia makes a crucial mistake: she delivers a vial of dark magic—a weapon she didn’t know she had—to someone she cares about, sparking the greatest conflict in decades. Now these four magical outsiders must come together to save their home and the world, before it’s too late. But with enemies at all sides, they can trust nobody. Least of all each other.
The Elephant in the room
Let’s address one of my issues with this book first: the resemblance with Six of Crows. I have read books with a band of misfits trying to save the world/steal something/kill someone/you name it. Before and after Six of Crows (because yeah, Bardugo didn’t invent the thing either). Mistborn or The Gilded wolves to name a few. And I LOVED both of them. Just as I enjoyed Six of Crows. Because despite having the same core idea of a band of misfits working together, they all had a lot of differences. Worldbuilding, characters, plot or even writing-wise. They all had their own identity.
And that’s what my problem with Into the Crooked Place was… it didn’t live as its own creation. The kind of city Creije is reminded me of Ketterdam by the way it is corrupted and ruled. Then we have the connections between the characters, joined together against their wish, and not really friends for the most part. Simply the way they interact. And I’m thinking of Tavia and Wesley there, imitating in their way Kaz and Inej. And the worst: Wesley. He was Kaz reborn. Like he has gloves and scars and clothes related OCDs like putting his cuff links in place again and again. And this mannerism screamed KAZZZ to me. And I have read SoC over two years ago you know, so it really had to be flagrant! That’s simply upsetting, to be honest. There are billions of ways you could have built this character Alexandra, why purposely make it so close to one already as popular as Kaz and risk comparison like that?
Tavia had a lot of Inej too, in her skills and way to see good despite all the wrong happened to her
As you can see, that bothered me a tiny little bit haha!
The other big aspect I struggled with in this book was… the writing. Or more, how I could not connect with it, really get into the world, and so really care for anything happening. It was…I want to say foggy as it’s how I felt it as a reader as if it was making me perplex more than anything else. Too many descriptions of feelings and inside monologues that just felt forced too. When I compare it to To Kill a Kingdom… I just don’t understand what happened in between!! When I read a book, there is this moment when the connection is made between me and the story, the »click » happen as I call it… well with Into the Crooked Place, I’m still waiting for it to happen!
BUT! There is a beautiful part in this book: the magic system!
If there is one thing I enjoyed in this book (told you, it is not terrible), it is the magic system. It was a bit complicated to understand at first, but then, I was really interested in how it all works. With the Crafters creating magic (and being super powerful) and yet enslaved. With magic being sold as any good, under the form of trinkets, vials of potions and more. How Tavia used magic tricks to fly, stop time, become invisible or anything else! Mixing a tiny bit of old magic with a lot of brains… that was really the (only) part I enjoyed!
In a few words
I wish I could say I loved this book, I truly do, but it just wasn’t the right one for me, and I do not think I’ll be taking a trip back to Creije any time soon!
See you for a cup,