Thursday, July 31, 2014

Review: Midnight Thief

Midnight Thief (Midnight Thief, #1)Author: Livia Blackburne
Series: Midnight Thief, #1
Released: July 8th 2014
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Format: Hardcover, 368 pgs
Source: Publisher for review
Buy: Amazon

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.
Completely unexpectedly, Midnight Thief was an excellent read for me. It came at a time when I had a hard time focusing on any book and I really needed something different and well done to pull me in. In many ways, The Midnight Thief was both those things.

This book is told from two perspectives, that of Kyra, a skilled thief, and a young knight named Tristam. Tristam’s point of view came as a surprise somewhat late in the story, just when I was starting to get comfortable with Kyra’s voice. Aside from the poor timing, his POV was a welcome addition – in the end, he was my favorite character, the one that showed consistent integrity, intelligence and strength.

Throughout the novel, Kyra makes many mistakes. She is a flawed character with good intentions. She tends to take the path of least resistance, and it’s very hard to blame her for it after the childhood she had. She always comes to her senses, no matter how long it takes, and she does whatever is needed to correct her mistakes. I loved that she was always ready to take responsibility for her actions, it made me respect her all the more.

Midnight Thief is full of exciting twists and turns, with betrayals and surprises around every corner. Aside from the two POV characters, it’s very hard to know who to trust when even those closest to them have some kind of hidden agenda.

After listing all the advantages, I should mention what I thought was Midnight Thief’s biggest flaw. As much as I liked the characters, I thought the worldbuilding was sadly lacking. The world wasn’t nearly detailed enough, which made me feel disconnected at times. Perhaps more details were given in the prequel, but I shouldn’t be obligated to read it in order to enjoy the full length novel. I wanted to know more about absolutely everything, and yet details on this world were few and far between.

All things considered, though, Midnight Thief is a very strong debut and Livia Blackburne an author to watch. I can’t wait for more of this story, there is so much more to learn.

A copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher for review purposes. No considerations, monetary or otherwise, have influenced the opinions expressed in this review.


  1. I've heard good and bad about this and have been really back and forth about whether I NEED it or not. I might get it from the library but I really like the sound of it, even if the world building is a bit lacking.

  2. Yay! Happy you liked this one Maja, it was a really interesting read. I believe the prequel (all about James) is still pretty on Amazon.

  3. I also haven't read the sequel, so I can't tell you if this would have helped. I really liked the story but just like you found the world building a little weak!

  4. I must say I'm not particularly impressed by fantasy novels who do not have much world-building but I am so glad it brought you out and pulled you in with its story. I think that's really promising, plus I'm really liking Kyra's character already even just by reading about her in your review. Lovely review, Maja! :D

  5. Yay, you enjoyed this one too! I so agree with what you said about Kyra, I just love how flawed she was. I also thought James was an interesting character, what did you make of him? Have you read the prequel novella told from his POV?

  6. Definitely agree with your assessment, Maja! This one was so lovely to read and I enjoyed every minute and second reading it. Tristam is my favorite character in the novel, too! You can really tell the internal conflict happening inside him as he becomes torn between following his duty and his gut every time we get his POV. I do agree that the world-building was lacking here, but for me, the biggest flaw of this book for me was the Demon Riders. That part totally felt random and out-of-place, and only served pretty much to solidify Kyra's "awesomeness" and justify her skillz. I wish there were more to them than just that!

    Faye at The Social Potato

  7. I'm glad you liked this one despite the lack of world-building, and I completely agree with you on that front. I had so many questions, especially about the leadership. But we can hope some of those questions get answered in the next installment ;) Great review!

  8. Kyra sounds interesting to discover. I saw this book a lot around. At first I thought it wouldn't be for me but after all the reviews I'm sure that I would really like it as well so I'm happy you enjoyed it.

  9. Yay i'm so happy about the fact that you loved this one! It may not have been so strong in the world building but heres hoping book 2 is? LOL. I have my eye on this one and hopefully i get to read it when I come back from vacation! Lovely review :)

  10. I'm so excited that you loved this one, Maja. I have it on my e-reader, ready to be read and I was already looking forward to it, but I'm definitely even more excited for it now. I love the sound of Tristan, especially since he seems so smart. I think I would have some minor issues with Kyra, but it looks like her behavior is understandable. Twists and turns you say?
    It's a shame about the world building, but perhaps the author will build more on that in the next book!
    Lovely review, Maja!

  11. I've heard a lot of mixed reviews for this one, which just makes me want to read it more so I can see! I do appreciate a flawed character with good intentions though I usually need stronger worldbuilding. We'll have to see! Lovely review, as always.

  12. I'm so glad to see a positive review of this one Maja! Most of the ones I've seen have been largely negative concerning Kyra and her distaste for killing despite joining a group of assassins. It makes me happy to see that you enjoyed this one overall even with the lack of world-building. Maybe that will develop more in the next book:)

  13. This book has sat toward the top of my To be read list for a while now. Slowly getting passed up by other books. Looks like i'll have to put a stop to that. Enjoyed the review. Thank you Matt @ JC's Book Haven.

  14. This one fell off the rails for me. I picked it up while I was in a reading slump expecting to be impressed and I loved the first half but after the big reveal it just felt like it didn't jive with the first half and I agree the world building was sorely lacking. I don't think I will continue this series :(

  15. I wonder if I have this in my ARC cabinet because it looks like something I would really like. Great review!

    Kate @ Ex Libris

  16. Good? *reads* yay, I am intrigued

  17. Just as Jenny mentioned, I'm glad to see a positive review on Midnight Thief. I read the prequel and really enjoyed it. I had high hopes for the novel and I'm excited once again to pick this one up. Let's hope the world-building gets expanded in the next one. Thanks for the thoughtful review, Maja! :)

  18. This has gone on and off my wishlist so much my head spins. You and I rarely disagree so it is back on!

  19. I'm happy to hear you liked it, now I can't wait to start it myself! I would take flawed characters over perfect ones any day, so I think I will like Kyra. I hope the worldbuilding won't bother me, although I find it a very important element.
    Great review!

  20. I am so happy to find your positive review after reading so many so-so reviews for this one. I did read the prequel novella and enjoyed it well enough that I'm excited to read this one.
    That is too bad about the worldbuilding. In general, though, I try to give first books in a series (especially debut novels) a bit of slack, and hope that the authors become more competent, their worlds better defined, as the series continues.
    Thanks for your thoughtful review, Maja!

  21. I didn't really like the book and I'm quite skeptical in getting the Daughter of Dusk. Nice to hear you enjoyed it though :)



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