Imaginative But Lacking Character | Review of ‘A Book of Spirits and Thieves’ (Spirits and Thieves, #1)

By: Cynthia Ayala

A Book of Spirits and Thieves by
Morgan Rhodes

Worlds collide when Crystal Hatcher watches her sister enter into a comma when a light from a mysterious book in a mysterious language envelops her. And when she gains the attention of Farrell Grayson, the mysteries of the book throws her into a dangerous game with the Hawkspear Society. Moreover, while she balances the secrets that revolve around her, her sister Becca must contend with being a spirit in the land of Mythica that only young Maddox Corso, can see and help. Published June 23, 2015 by Razorbill, A Book of Spirits and Thieves brings together very different worlds with ancient and dark magic.

From the writer of the Fallen Kingdom series comes The Book of Spirits and Thieves. This novel branches the real world with the realm of the Fallen Kingdom with a new and fantastical tale by Morgan Rhodes.

The novel shifts between three perspectives, Crystal, Maddox and Farrell. Crystal and Farrell live in Modern Day Canada while Moddox’s story line takes place within the realm of the Fallen Kingdoms series. Both stories are connected by the fact that Becca has fallen unconscious in the real world in only to have a spirit form of herself sucked into Mythica where only Maddox can see and hear her. However, more is holding the two plot lines together than that alone. The mysterious book that sent Becca into a comma has the mysterious Hawkspear Society coming after her, and they have sent the charming Farrell Grayson after her. The book is the key and it has put all of their lives in danger with the secrets that it holds.

While the concept is interesting and gives the story its life and while the personalities’ of the characters are all very distinct, their narrations all blend. The worlds and those around them are all so very distinct, very unique to the story, making it interesting making their lack of unique personalities the only hindrance of the novel. These characters just sound so very alike and when the reader reaches the end, they are left with a sense of disappointment because there is no way to attach to any of the characters. They

The two world don’t really converge other than the fact that Beth is in both worlds. Well, her and this very powerful book that everyone in both worlds wants to get their hands on. This is a very tense filled story that will, at the very least, push the reader to the edge of their seats as Crystal fights the bad guys who want to ruin her and her family and Maddox fights against the will of a beautiful yet dangerous queen.

It’s the nonstop action and events that keep the story interesting, intertwining the events without actually intertwining the events. It’s a very interesting way to write and build a story, in a way to combine two very distinct worlds without really intertwining them.

Nevertheless, the fact that the characters all sound the same takes away from the otherwise good writing. Rhodes has a talent for scene specifics and holding a somewhat complex story together, allowing the pieces to fit, but her characterization needs work because it’s not enough to tell a story well, what grabs the reader are their ability to attach and relate to the characters. That is what really gives any story its captivating life. (★★ ½ [out of 4 ‘s] | C+)

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