Friday, September 3, 2010
STORM THIEF Review
Orokos is a city of chaos, lashed by probability storms that re-order the world wherever they strike. It covers every inch of the rocky island that it dominates. It has stood for so long that history has forgotten it, and its citizens no longer question what exists beyond its walls. Then three of its denizens discover a map that holds the key to the secret at the heart of Orokos. But there are others, such as the Chief of the Protectorate Secret Police who would do anything to get their hands on that power...anything at all...
To be honest, that summary up there tells nothing about what the book is actually about. It doesn't tell you about Rail and Moa, two thieves, who come across and odd artifact from long ago science that allows them to pass through walls without a problem. It doesn't tell you that Rail and Moa, despite being told to give everything they have to the thief mistress, steal this item in hopes that no one will notice it. It doesn't tell you that the item is quickly missed and it sends Rail and Moa on a journey of a lifetime, fighting against the probability storms that literally shift anything in Orokos.
To be brief, I don't know what made me pick up this book. The cover is interesting enough. The summary is alright. The author has written other praised books. But something drew to me this book. More likely than not, it was the idea of a terrible society, a common theme I come back to again and again.
The story begins instantly, and kept me reading. Despite the lack of explanation, everything seemed to make enough sense so that I wasn't scrambling to understand. Some scenes were a bit confusing, especially ones describing the horrors that exist in Orokos because of the probability storms, but, in the end, everything formed together well and I was able to understand.
One thing that I constantly mention in my reviews is character and character development. When it comes to Chris Wooding's Storm Thief, these are done beautifully. Despite characters in many YA novels who have no flaws and live perfect lives, both Rail and Moa are conflicted in one way or the other and have struggled for years to make it by. To me, reading about a character who has faced troubles in their life is a lot more interesting than one who has had everything handed to them on a silver spoon.
Speaking of the rich, the rich, surprisingly, also play a role in this face-paced novel, a roll that I rather enjoyed because of how out of place these people seemed in a city that could take your breath away as easily as it could give breath to something inanimate. The rich were not exempt from this worry which made them all the more realistic in comparison to novels in which the rich have perfect lifestyles.
Another thing I love in books is when the book consists of multiple main characters, all of whom have an interesting role to play and ultimately come together in the resolution. Wooding did an excellent job at crafting these different personalities that all managed to work together without disrupting the flow of the book.
Overall, Storm Thief was a quick-paced novel that will appeal to both male and female readers because both male and female characters create the main roles. Wooding is an author I would love to read more from.