When I finished this, I felt kind of positive about it, but then I read some other reviews and thought about it more and kind of lost it? Like, it was fun as long as I didn’t think too much about it and let the quippy quirky banter carry me along, but a lot of the details are fading from my mind and I find I don’t really know what to say — which is not really a good sign. If it only works when I’m speeding through it, then that’s not great, and I’d already thought that I wasn’t planning to get the next book unless it’s at the library.
There are definitely fun characters here, particularly Hypnos, and I got rather a soft spot for poor, damaged Tristan. Other readers mentioned not following the world-building, which I found okay actually: nothing astonishing, but okay.
What is disappointing is the amateur nature of the heists, for me. That moment in a fictional heist where it looks like it’s all going wrong… but the mark has actually played into the gang’s hands. I kept waiting for it, because when that works out and feels clever (doesn’t have to be super believable, in my opinion; we can buy that a fantasy heist is super ridiculously clever) then it’s super, super satisfying. But instead, Séverin and his expert gang seem to bungle every single thing they touch. We know they have done successful heists, because we’re told so, but… we don’t get to see it. Why should I believe Séverin is a mastermind when we literally never see him succeed?
I also felt that we lacked a feeling of how the group functions together, why there’s such affection there. It’s not like the cracks started to show under pressure — they were always there. So what makes them an effective team in the first place? Séverin is not, in fact, a genius… so what keeps the group together?
So yeah, fun enough, but felt surprisingly shallow once I thought about it.