Title: Gates of Thread and Stone
Author: Lori M. Lee
Series: Gates of Thread and Stone
Book #: 1
Reading Level: YA
Goodreads Rating: 3.84
Published: August 5th, 2014
In the Labyrinth, we had a saying: keep silent, keep still, keep safe.
In a city of walls and secrets, where only one man is supposed to possess magic, seventeen-year-old Kai struggles to keep hidden her own secret—she can manipulate the threads of time. When Kai was eight, she was found by Reev on the riverbank, and her “brother” has taken care of her ever since. Kai doesn’t know where her ability comes from—or where she came from. All that matters is that she and Reev stay together, and maybe one day move out of the freight container they call home, away from the metal walls of the Labyrinth. Kai’s only friend is Avan, the shopkeeper’s son with the scandalous reputation that both frightens and intrigues her.
Then Reev disappears. When keeping silent and safe means losing him forever, Kai vows to do whatever it takes to find him. She will leave the only home she’s ever known and risk getting caught up in a revolution centuries in the making. But to save Reev, Kai must unravel the threads of her past and face shocking truths about her brother, her friendship with Avan, and her unique power.
The first thing to note about Gates of Thread and Stone was the writing. It captured my attention instantly
"But what if she has someone waiting for her? A brother. A sister. A baby hungry for dinner. What would happen to her family if she didn't get up again? Stupid conscience."Kai tries so hard to be untouchable, to not let the little things about her shit world to get to her. But ultimately she is a good person which means when someone attacks HER and the attacker accidentaly gets stabbed she has to help them not die alone on the street... even if it is begrudingly. I liked her character a lot! She is fierce and unstopabble. She cares for her brother inmmensly. Saving her brother from the clutches of their military is her number one priority in the book, and she doesn't let anyone, specially a teenage boy, derail her.
Yes there is some romance in Gates of Thread and Stone but it is not the main focus of the story so it doesn't take over and make you feel like it is a nuissance. You know these two friends have a connection,and you know they care for each other, but they have their priorities straight. Real romance can wait until after they save Kai's brother, which makes the few scenes that Kai and Avan have together that much more meaningful. Strenght of characters is so hot.
Avan is Kai's childhood "friend". They don't hang out really, Avan is a year older than Kai and stuck in his father's shop all the time helping the family business, but they always look out for each other. Or, more like Avan looks out for Kai. Their tentative friendship strenghtes when Avan offers to help Kai rescue her brother, which I think it would have been the only way for Avan to get past kai's defenses. Avan is strong and reliable, you just know he will go to the ends of the world for Kai.
The magic that Kai wields in the book is super under developed. Which is to be expected since she has always been told to hide her magic, and she doesn't have anyone with similar powers that can help her hone them. I liked the idea of threads of time ("Threads of Time actually sounds like a pretty kick ass title) that you can manipulate. So far Kai has only been able to slightly slow time down (for very short periods of time) but I can see where with a bit more training she could become an unstoppable machine. I am hoping in the next book she gets to hone her abilities, and that she gets to kick some serious ass.
Good world building. The state of the world was explained, no letting the reader wonder aimlessly. I liked the idea of mahjos (descendent's of the Infinites who possess some sort of magical ability), and the Infinites (which are like gods in a way). In the book it is said there are more than 50 Infinites in the world, and so far we have only met a few. Maybe we will get to meet more in the next book. Infinites are god-like entities that personify certain infinite concepts of the world (Time, Famine, etc). I liked how this an original, fresh take on all powerful beings. I give points for trying new things!
I felt like we were a little disconnected from the rest of the world though. There HAS to be more cities, other towns, if not where are all the Infinites making camp? This ONE city can't be all that is left of the world. So where are all the people?
The only things that slightly annoyed me about this book was that the author replaced cuss words with "original" words. It was ONLY the cuss words, which is why I was so annoyed. It is one of my pet peeves. If the author wants to create her own language, sayings, phrases, etc., then that's fine by me! I just don't think it is necessary to replace only cuss words. It breaks you from the flow of the read, and it is quite frankly unneccessary.
The ending was both equally sad and happy. Bittersweet. It doesn't leave at a cliff hanger, but still leaves the door open for a lot of things to maybe develop. I really am looking forward to the sequel, the possibilities are endless!