Thursday, August 28, 2014

Review: Gates of Thread and Stone by Lori M. Lee

From Goodreads: 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 she came 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.

My Rating: 3.5 hearts for the first 1/4 of the book; 2.5 hearts for the final 3/4 

Thoughts on the Novel: Gates of Thread and Stone by Lori M. Lee was a book that began promisingly. But, by the middle, the plot no longer seemed well thought out, and the ending just contained revelations that were unveiled in a haphazard manner. 

Initially, I liked the worldbuilding because Lee slowly immerses readers into her world. I thought she did a really great job of depicting the economically stratified city of Ninurta where most people barely have enough credits to survive, and was intrigued by the fact that people were mysteriously disappearing from the city. However, once Kai left the city to search for Reev, the worldbuilding became pretty much nonexistent. For example, within less than a half a day’s journey east of Ninurta, there’s both a forest and a desert.

Likewise, I liked Kai at the beginning of the book. I loved her relationship with her adopted brother, Reev, and completely supported her decision to find out what happened to her brother. Over time however, I kind of became indifferent to her, particularly because she hardly ever used her power to manipulate time (which although sounds awesome, was really just that she could slow time for a couple of seconds). Instead, Lee chose to have her protagonist become physically stronger, which is apparently doable in two weeks according to Gates of Thread and Stone.

The weakest aspect of Gates of Thread and Stone for me was the romance. I just couldn’t get invested into it because I didn’t really care about Avan. I also kept waiting for a love triangle to occur, but thankfully at least there wasn’t one in this book. 

Gates of Thread and Stone was released on August 5, 2014 by Skyscape. 

Comments About the Cover: It’s eye-catching.


  1. It did drag a bit around the middle, but the final part was explosive and surprising and I really liked it. That said, the romance was a bit odd and didn't quite work for me. But overall, this was a great read. I'm glad you liked it too.

  2. The romance seems to be the main complaint for a lot of people Z, so that bums me out a bit. I'm a romance girl at heart, so if there's one included in the story, I like it to be one of the strongest aspects, even if it's subtle. Glad there were a number of things you liked though, even if those things got a touch weaker over time.

  3. Aww, I've been meaning to read this one. I even featured it as one of my WoWs. I'm so disappointed that this one didn't work out for you. Although I'm worried about the pacing and the romance, I'd still give this one a try just to see it for myself. Thanks for the honest review! :)

  4. The romance being the weakest part of a novel is almost a no go for me. I really need to be invested in the characters and their relationships to fall in love with a book in the end. Also sad to hear that the last part of the book appeared to be so weak. Maybe the author had a good idea to start the book and got on the wrong path towards the end of writing. I really liked the cover when it was revealed, but am glad to read your review. So I won't be reading this too soon. Thank you :)

  5. This is the second review I've seen for this book today that mentioned the disappointing romance. Disappointing! the GoodReads description sounded so compelling!


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