Still not a Chokshi fan

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alysa_h Avatar


Although I haven’t been the biggest fan of Roshani Chokshi’s writing in the past, I had hoped that the setting and plot this time around — an AU version of fin-de-siecle Paris, with magic and heists and a diverse cast! — would present a new and exciting point of entry.

Unfortunately, it still didn’t work for me. In fact, I tried to read this book several times over the course of several months, and just kept having to start over again and again. The writing is just all over the place, the characters, for all their alleged diversity (i.e., we’re told of it but not really shown it because they largely have interchangeable personalities when they “banter”), do not connect for me, and the setting and magic system come off like fantasy for people who don’t read fantasy.
Because it lacks the right atmosphere (which is extra odd considering that Chokshi’s other books were more or less reliant on nothing BUT atmosphere!), it seems less like an AU 19th century Paris and more like a new place and time vaguely inspired by France but spun from whole cloth... and spun rather badly, via constant and annoying info dumps that disrupt the story more than adding to it. There is just way too much going on; the author seems unable to balance it all in an organic and compelling way.
I finally made it about 1/3 into the book before giving up for good.

(I received a Review Copy of this book via NetGalley)