The Book Love-Child of Dan Brown and Leigh Bardugo - Reading List

The Book Love-Child of Dan Brown and Leigh Bardugo

Friday, December 14, 2018

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi - a book review on Reading List

I have been going through books I've reviewed, trying to become a bit more organized, as 2019 is upon me, and well... things will be changing, as always, because I'm going to grad school.

And I noticed something, I have a weakness for titles that in some way contain the word "gilded".

My favorite so far has been The Gilded Cage, in case you were curious...

So I'm not even going to explain why I agreed to read and review today's book... simply check out the title...

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi - a book review on Reading List

The Gilded Wolves

Roshani Chokshi

Story Overview 

Severin has put together a band of experts... a team that will help him secure a treasure he never dreamed he could have.  In 1889, Paris, Severin and his team will dare to hunt down this prized artifact. While the high houses of the ruling powers are vying for leadership, it only follows that the forgotten house would want to make a move. A move to regain the artifact that will secure his position among the leaders, the artifact that has become missing. So when another power suggests a path to the treasured artifact, Severin cannot say no.  

His team is not sure if they are capable, but by leaning into each other's strengths, they might pull through.  Along the way, they realize the stakes for this are bigger than they could have guessed, and as they get closer to the prize, the mission becomes so much more. 

While each member of the team agreed to the search for different and personal reasons by the end, this is a group who becomes family or will destroy each other trying to secure the treasure. 

Genre: Fantasy, YA

Page count: 400

Personal Likes

The fact that the main characters in this story are friends, or becoming friends, drew me into the plot.  I like a good mystery, but the characters are the key to the story for me.  And characters who are unique, and yet forming a bond of friendship is an automatic point.

At the very beginning, I also loved the Paris vibe.  Between the setting, and the characters I was intrigued. Add in the feel of Ocean's Eleven, or Six of Crows, and I was sure this book would be amazing. Then we get to the fantasy elements, that some of the people are born with these Forging affinities, and well it seemed that all the important building blocks for an outstanding YA fantasy were in place.

There are some excellent one-liners from the characters, as dialogue was a huge part of the story.  And I always appreciate a good dialogue between characters.

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi - a book review on Reading List

Personal Dislikes

The complexity of the story took over and overshadowed character development.  This is a giant plot, with a ton of characters. And in an effort to minimize plot holes the arc of the main story got too technical, and the character development was minimized. So when all the good stuff started happening with the artifact, well I simply didn't really care if any of the characters were hurt or lost or anything. Imagine The DaVinci Code with 8 characters instead of two focal characters.  Overall the plot became scattered as pages were spent explaining the technical side of the quest, the science behind the puzzles, the technology in the equipment, all from characters I didn't care about.

What at the beginning was a good thing - the nods to Six of Crows - quickly turned into a negative.  As the story moves forward, the similarities between the two were too much. Yes, there are only so many stories in the world, but characters should be different. These characters felt the same with different names... like did I mention Severin needs a walking stick... sound familiar?  I mean sure they were in Paris, but it could have easily been anywhere... overall it was too similar in plot and character and I could not get into it.

Reading List Rating

Story rating:

I am torn between a two and a three.  The idea of a group of experts using their skills to accomplish a task should have been more interesting.  Overall the execution of the storytelling was not done as well as it could have been.  The characters needed to be more unique, well-developed, and compelling. 

Technical rating:

Overall, I didn't find a ton of issues with the basics which is good. I wish there would have been a better rendering of the images for the different points of explanation in the ebook version - hopefully the print version has utilized images to help explain the plans better.  With ebooks gaining popularity, it always disheartens me when a book isn't formatted for it better. 

Overall rating:

Overall I can only give this two hearts because the potential was so great, and it fell so flat, between the similarities to other stories, and the lack of development of the large cast.  

My Suggested Audience

This is a good option for those who are fans of heist style stories - Dan Brown fans would probably enjoy the idea of the plot.  Also, fans of Six of Crows could enjoy this story.  But fair warning, there won't be any surprises to the plot if you have read either of these.

Fair warning, there are many, many, many nods to Old Testament Bible stories and history through the entire story. It's the basis for the powers some have.  The Tower of Babel specifically.  As a result, many of the plot points deal with issues of falling to sin, or the devil. Plus there are many points of how to gain redemption in life by actions.  So while I wouldn't call this a biblical story or even a faith-filled one, there are biblical nods that are not veiled at all. 

Final Thoughts

I had such high expectations for this book after reading the synopsis on Goodreads.  I imagined an adventure like The DaVinci Code, with the rowdy misfits of Six of Crows, taking on a brand new adventure where I was always on the edge of my seat to see what happened next.  But not once did a plot twist catch me by surprise, in fact, I saw all of the turns miles before they arrived.  For a book like this, well, it's not a good thing when you can guess all the outcomes.  Add in characters who felt like carbon copies of Inej, Kaz, and Nina... well I'm surprised I finished. 

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi - a book review on Reading List

How similar can stories be before you feel like you're getting ripped off?  

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Marissa @ Reading List

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**** Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher, St Martin's Press, through NetGalley. I was not required to write a positive review, no payment was exchanged. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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