Thursday, June 26, 2014

Review: Midnight Thief by Livia Blackburne

From Goodreads: Growing up on Forge’s streets has taught Kyra how to stretch a coin. And when that’s not enough, her uncanny ability to scale walls and bypass guards helps her take what she needs. But when the leader of the Assassins Guild offers Kyra a lucrative job, she hesitates. She knows how to get by on her own, and she’s not sure she wants to play by his rules. But he’s persistent - and darkly attractive - and Kyra can’t quite resist his pull. Tristam of Brancel is a young Palace knight on a mission. After his best friend is brutally murdered by Demon Riders, a clan of vicious warriors who ride bloodthirsty wildcats, Tristam vows to take them down. But as his investigation deepens, he finds his efforts thwarted by a talented thief, one who sneaks past Palace defenses with uncanny ease. When a fateful raid throws Kyra and Tristam together, the two enemies realize that their best chance at survival - and vengeance - might be to join forces. And as their loyalties are tested to the breaking point, they learn a startling secret about Kyra’s past that threatens to reshape both their lives. 

My Rating: 2.5 hearts 

Thoughts on the Novel: With its promise of thieves and assassins and the author mentioning on Goodreads that one of her inspirations is Tamora Pierce’s The Song of the Lioness quartet, Midnight Thief by Livia Blackburne was a novel that I couldn’t wait to get my hands on. Sadly, the writing was simplistic and the characters left little impression.

To me, it felt like there was a lot of telling rather than showing going on in Midnight Thief. As well, more description would definitely have helped to make the setting and characters more vivid. That being said, Midnight Thief was a breezy read, and I can easily see it appeal to older MG readers.

Like the setting, the characters were also pretty flat. The story is narrated through both Kyra and Tristam’s points of view, but I never found the switches in narration to be seamless. In fact, Tristam’s narration was very unexpected and abrupt at the beginning because for the first five chapters, everything was told from Kyra’s perspective. However, I liked Tristam better than Kyra, who joins the Assassins Guild yet objects to killing (uh, so why join the Assassins Guild at all?!), but only by a slight margin because both characters were similar in that they didn’t think too much about the possible consequences of their actions. Since I couldn’t have cared less about the fate of the characters, I also ended up not caring if they would get together or not.

Midnight Thief will be released on July 8, 2014 by Disney-Hyperion. 

Comments About the Cover: I love it! The cat looks fierce, and is just daring you to find out what it’s hiding! 

In exchange for an honest review, this book was received from the publisher (Disney Book Group) for free via NetGalley.


  1. I am officially confused, haha. There's been so many mixed reviews of this one, that I've gone from wanting to read to not wanting it. I guess it's just the kind of book you have to try for your self.

  2. I'm a bit baffled by Kyra I have to admit - I've read in several reviews that she's against killing, so I can't help but question WHY she would join an assassin's guild. O.o Still, I did enjoy the prequel (which granted Kyra wasn't in), so I'm still a little curious about this one. Thanks for the heads up on a few issues to watch out for though Z!

  3. Bummer. I was really looking forward to this one. I guess I'll have to lower my expectations when I read it.

  4. I have the e-book prequel novella to this one but haven't yet read it. Disappointing to hear that Midnight Thief fails to stand out both in worldbuilding and characterization! (Also, yeah, like Jenny I too am wondering WHY someone would join an assassin's guild if they have a problem with killing. It doesn't explain this??)

  5. Could not agree more! I was so disappointed because I really liked the novella. I wish I had read this book about 15 years ago.

  6. yea i also didn't love this.. the characters did fall flat and i would have loved more background info on the world. I also didn't really like the supernatural elements that popped up halfway through the book. It is a breezy book though. Great review!

    - Juhina @ Maji Bookshelf

  7. Aww, I'm sorry to see this didn't work out for you! I don't think I'll be having much luck with it either, to be frank, which is a shame as its synopsis seemed to have so much potential. Thanks for such an honest and helpful review, though!

  8. Yup, definitely a lot of telling in this one. That, combined with the flat, stereotypical characters that make questionable decisions, and the very generalized and lacking any originality setting made this one more of a meh read for me, as well. I think a lot of it was disappointment because it was set up to be so great and I thought for sure I would like it, but the overall execution wasn't great either. Anyways, I liked reading your thoughts here and completely concur with all of them!!

  9. This is the second not so great review I have seen of this book. I am not sure that I'll like it. I find that I get incredibly annoyed at info dumps and telling rather than showing. Nope, this book is not for me.

    Thanks, for the review.


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