The Thief - Megan Whalen Turner I have very mixed feelings about The Thief, which was recommended to me years ago by another fan of Tamora Pierce. It wasn't a bad read, but it wasn't amazing either. The strongest aspects were the writing and characterization. Gen's voice came across clearly through the text because he takes the same arrogant attitude with the reader that he does with the other characters. Turner also manages to keep the reader at arms length despite writing in first person, which is a testament to her skill as a writer. I also appreciated the ambiguity and nuances of Gen's companions, and the relationships between them.

But strong characterization and writing were not enough to make me love this book when the plot was so slow moving, even during action sequences. There were times that reading this book felt like a chore because the story seemed to lack the necessary tension and suspense to keep me engaged. If it weren't for my inability to quit a novel in the middle and my desire to know if I was correct about the twist (I was), I probably wouldn't have finished it.

Knowing that there was a twist at the end was a double edged sword. While it would have made the ending more enjoyable had I not figured out the twist beforehand, it was one of the reasons I kept on reading. It was the dangling carrot that kept me trudging on through the slow parts and I had fun trying to guess what it was. Although I figured it out pretty early on, I did have some fun guesses during the first couple chapters that turned out to be completely incorrect.

I probably wouldn't read on in the series except that most reviewers tend to agree that the subsequent novels are much better and worth the read, so I'm planning on checking them out.