I went into reading this book totally blind. It was the book of the month for Polandbanans20 and the group she does book of the month with and I like to read while I’m on the bike at the gym so I needed something to read because for once I was actually trying to be athletic. So I just picked it up, totally unaware it was a spinoff story from the Grisha Triology. I loved this. It’s a heist book and if you’ve even watched the show “Leverage” you will love this. I highly recommend, 5 stars on Goodreads so go read it and then read the rest of this once you have.
Ok so like I said I did not read the Grisha trilogy before I read this so that first chapter with the guard and the grisha I was really confused. But that turned out to be somewhat irrelevant to the actual story. That opening scene with the meeting with the Black Tips was so intense. We are reading from Inej’s POV and watching Kaz. He is so ruthless from the get go but we also see how brilliant he is. I immediately shipped Kaz and Inej and as the story went on and we learned about Kaz’s past it’s easy to be understanding of how he turned out like he did. I mean poor Kaz had to float on his dead brothers body so I feel sorry for him but he is also scary brilliant and I loved the way his plans would come together and it would always seem like everything was going to shambles when he actually had it all under control. I love how the whole thing with his gloves is a big deal the entire story and that we find out he really just hates touching human skin and when he has to take them off everyone is staring at his hands because they think he has claws, or something and he just says “what were you expecting” and the answer is “Claws at least”.
The characters that made up the heist team were amazing, the writing was witty and funny, and it reads like the show Leverage is to watch. I love that show, which is about a group of criminals pulling jobs to help people. And it’s always the kind of thing where it seems like everything is going wrong but then you realize they meant to get caught or seen or followed all along because it’s all part of the plan. And that happens time after time in this book, and every time it got me. We see it when the ship blows up, when Kaz gets his lock picks taken in the prison, when Inej gets stopped from entering with Nina, when Matthias locks Nina up. I just loved the way you could never predict what was going to happen next. They kept pointing out that only Kaz knew all the parts of the plan, and it was true for the reader too. We could guess what was going to happen but we never saw all the pieces until they were already halfway across the board.
Inej was my favorite character to read. I was amazed at the fact she was 16 but she was just so amazing in everything she did. The fact that they call her the Wraith because she is that impressive. But I loved the way she and Kaz fed off each other and always seemed to know what the other wanted. And I thought it was great when she got hurt and he freaked out but then after he would show no sign of having cared. Hearing about her past and working as the lynx was so heart breaking but I was glad to see how she faced up to it and conquered her fear at the end and even stole stupid Tante Heleen’s diamond. That woman has to die or at least the Menagerie has to burn down. Her and Pekka Rollins. Another thing I loved about Inej was how she saw things that the other’s seemed oblivious too. I loved how she though Matthias’ feeling for Nina were so obvious even though both of them seemed oblivious.
Nina and Matthias were an interesting story. Like I said this book was full of twists. In the beginning all we know about Nina is that she is a Grisha and she wants to get Matthias out of jail but then when we finally get there he tries to strangle her. Hearing their story of how she was captured, but then saved him was funny. Nina was my other favorite character to read because she could always make you laugh. I love the way she teased Matthias and in their flashback of how they met the scenes of them sleeping together at night and then bickering all day were so funny. It was cute how they always seemed to be trying to resist each other but never could, however at the end when Nina was locked up by Brum with Matthias’s help that was another twist. I really wasn’t sure if he was faking it or not. I was freaking out because I am on that ship so I was so glad he was faking it. Same with Inej being brought back to the prison and the boat exploding. It was like in leverage where it seems like everything has gone wrong but in reality it was all part of the plan. I love when Matthias pulls Kaz from the river and he’s sort of doing CPR but in reality he’s just pounding on his chest going “I. Should. Let. You. Die.” Kaz and Matthias had a lot of good banter. I loved when they were in the ice court and Kaz kept making fun of all the rituals
Jesper and Wylan were more side characters. The whole time Wylan kept eluding to the fact that Jesper was good with guns and that it would be not help but it was just another one of those twists that turns out Jesper is a grisha so he could break them out of prison. Personally I think there’s something there between Wayland and Jesper. It especially comes to light when at the end Nina makes Wayland look like Kuwei and Jesper seems so distraught. Again that was another one of those twists that I just could not have seen coming with it actually being Wylan not Kuwei and I feel like a broken record, but the fact that you could never predict what was going to happen next. I loved Jesper for his banter. One of the best quotes for humor was when Jesper was talking about ghosts and Jesper said “I’m going to get Wayland’s ghost to teach my ghost how to play the flute just so I can annoy the hell out of your ghost” and Kaz went on to say “I’ll just hire Matthias’ ghost to kick your ghost’s ass” and Matthais says “my ghost won’t associate with your ghost”. Literally falling out of my chair laughing.
Some other favorites were the banter between Nina and Matthias:
“It’s not natural for women to fight.”
“It’s not natural for someone to be as stupid as he is tall, and yet there you stand.”
and just little things like when the other’s noticed the wheels in Kaz’s head spinning.
“Scheming face,” Inej murmured.
Jesper nodded. “Definitely.”
All in all this book was super exciting and a good fast paced read. All the characters were great and I was really impressed with this book. I’m so excited for the sequel especially since we need to get Inej back so that Kaz can prove his love to her. We also need to find a cure for poor Nina. I hope Nina isn’t too sidelined in the next book because I really loved her bossy in your face attitude and of course I need Inej back because this group is so helpless without her skill.
Absolutely 5 out of 5 Stars
-Thanks for Reading