Wednesday, March 8, 2017

"Gates of Thread and Stone" by Lori M. Lee

My rating: ★★★★☆ (4.5/5)

Author: Lori M. Lee

Series: Book #1 (Gates of Thread and Stone series)

Genre: Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Romance, Young Adult

Page Count: 333 (hardcover)

Release Date: August 5th, 2014


Places to order:
Barnes & Noble
Book Depository

About Lori:
She has a borderline obsessive fascination with unicorns, is fond of talking in capslock, and loves to write about magic, manipulation, and family. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband, kids, and a friendly pitbull.

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.
My review:

I received a e-copy of "Gates of Thread and Stone" from Netgalley and Skyscrape in exchange for an honest review! This review will have a non-spoiler and a spoiler section since this was released 3 years ago and so that anyone can read this! Hope you all enjoy it! 

It took me a long time to finally pick this book up, but on August 7th, 2016, I was able to start and finish this book in less than 4 hours because IT WAS AMAZING AND GAVE ME ALL THE FEELS AND RIPPED OUT MY HEART! So, to start off my review, I will do the non-spoiler section for those who have not read this book yet and then I'll have the spoilery section below! 


When I initially started this book, I didn't reread the synopsis (I did read the synopsis long ago, but chose not to reread it) and went into it with an open mind, which got me to pay more attention to the details of the story and world building!

In the beginning, we see that the story is told in first person by Kai, our main protagonist. The setting definitely reminded me of the book "Of Metal and Wishes" by Sarah Fine since Lori's novel *almost* gave off a steampunk kind of feel, and the world felt similar to Sarah's "Of Metal and Wishes" world.

As usual, I wrote small sections about the main characters, but I also keep in mind not to do spotlight sections for characters that might be part of a spoiler.

Kai. Early in the book, we—as the readers —are told that Kai doesn't remember anything before the age of 8 and that Reev found her one day and decided to become her adopted older brother, making them family. It's really refreshing to read books with characters that have an extremely strong relationship with their siblings, and even if they aren't blood, it makes them ever closer. As it says in the synopsis, Reev disappears 

Reev. My heart swelled a bit while reading and learning about the things he does for Kai and their relationship with one another. They have such a strong bond and loyalty to one another that made me really happy to see in a YA novel since there aren't very many YA novels that I can think of at the top of my head that have such a strong sibling relationship. Reev found Kai when he was around 18 years old (she was around 8 years old at that time) and instead of leaving her on the streets, he helped her and loved her as his sister. Despite that she didn't share blood with him, he treated her like any older, protective brother would treat his younger sister. I'm excited to see more of his character development in the next book since there are things that happen in this book that will change him in a way that will allow us (as the readers) to see a different side of him.

Avan. Oh my word, would I like to be "friends" with him *wink wink*. Avan is a year older than Kai since he graduated from school a year before she did, and he is Kai's only friend. I can't blame for her having a crush on Avan because DAYUMM. He's got tattoos on his neck, shoulder, AND CHEST, plus he has an eyebrow piercing *passes out*. He's secretive, brooding, quiet, kind, and loyal... and I love all of these aspects about him *GRINS*. But on a serious note, he is one of those complex characters that you don't realize contribute a fair amount to the story until later. His relationship with Kai is much more than romantic (that's later)—they have a deep sense of trust between each other and remain loyal to one another. 

  • Strong sibling relationship (KAI + REEV)
  • Not super heavy on romance 
  • Even and steady pacing (never felt too slow or too fast, in my opinion)
  • Great world building (never got confused about the magical aspects or creatures in the book)
  • Briefly explores the sexuality of a certain character (I think the character is bi, as far as the book explains it in a few lines)
  • Unique idea about the Infinites 
  • Wishing sexuality could have been explored more for that certain character or for other characters (maybe that will be in the next book?)
  • Introduced one or two characters that could have been introduced in Book 2
Books that reminded of GoTaS
  • Of Metal and Wishes (by Sarah Fine)
    • The tones seemed somewhat similar—in my opinion
  • Percy Jackson Series (by Rick Riordan)
    • Gods and demi-gods parallel the Infinites and mahnos in the GoTaS
Regarding the plot and overall concept of this book, I was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed reading about this world and learning about the Infinites and mahnos (you learn about these two in the book). Kai is a character that I feel a lot of people will root for, because she has went through various hardships and was brave enough to travel across lands to find her family, despite the dangers that lurked in those lands. I think that this series has great potential to grow and expand since it is a new world, and there's potential to have (or create new) characters that



OKAY, I'm not going to lie and say that it wasn't hard to figure out that Reev was a sentinel and that Kai was the daughter of Time since, you know, she can literally BEND TIME, and we find out about other "Infinites" such as Irras (Famine), Kalla (Death), Star (Strife), and who each represent a specific power or whatever. I was really impressed with the idea behind this story regarding the Infinites and mahnos, because Lori created a new world with multi-dimension characters and was able to execute the plot well. 

Also, did anyone else kind of get Percy Jackson vibes while reading about the Infinites and mahnos? They reminded me of gods and demigods (or the horsemen of the apocalypse) since Infinites were immortals and had offspring/descendants with powers called mahnos. Interested to find out who Kai's mother is (The River?) and what she is—since she's neither an Infinite nor a mahnos since her true form in not human.

Anyone else die a little bit when Reev was brainwashed and almost killed Kai? Because I did and it was so painful to read him fighting her and not remembering her. I figured out that Kai would be fighting Reev when it was shown on the board that she would be fighting someone named "Number 22," because I'm pretty good at predicting sad scenes like that hahaha. But it was hard to read them fighting each other since they have such a strong bond and since Kai had JUST found him UGH MY HEART.

Not sure how I feel about the reveal of Kai's father (aka Kronos, or known otherwise known as Time), because I wasn't expecting him to appear until the sequel, and it felt like he was introduced too early, if that makes any sense. I did, however, like the reveal of Kalla and how she played a role in Kai's life since the beginning of book when Kai encountered her in the alley and then again at the Raging Bull in a different form. When Kalla gave her the knife then, I was a little suspicious about that scene since I found it strange for a woman at the Raging Bull to be carrying around a knife and then again when the Sevs stopped pursuing Kai (and Avan) in the Void while she was holding the knife. So I knew the knife played an important role but the fact that its true form is a scythe was pretty cool.  

Now here's the part where I talk about THE SCENE (aka when Avan dies because of Kronos). OH MY SWEET LORD, my heart was ripping into pieces and being set on fire because that was just TOO MUCH FOR ME.

I think it did occur to me in the very deepest part of my conscious that Avan could be Kai's guardian, but I never gave it a second thought, so you can imagine my surprise AND PAIN when I found out that KRONOS made Avan her guardian and that he had to die because Kronos altered time on his life UGHHH. And when Reev had to hold Kai back to keep her from going to Avan.... THAT WAS JUST TOO CRUEL, LORI. HOW COULD YOU DO THAT TO MY FRAGILE HEART.

I was sitting on a bus to my house from the airport while finishing this book as was literally crying quietly in the back because of this scene (you'll see the GIF above as an accurate representation). It was pretty damn depressing and after all the crap that she had to go through. Thank god I had napkins in my backpack or else I would've had to wipe snot and tears on my Captain American zip-up jacket and lord knows THAT wouldn't happen lol. 

One of the things I'm dreading that could possibly happen in book 2 is that Avan won't remember her for a really long time and that Kai will get together with Mason, because she couldn't wait for Avan to remember anymore AND THEN Avan will all-of-a-sudden remember everything and shit hits the fan. It seems like a cliche but if it did happen, it would be entertaining and rip me apart AGAIN.

Overall, I would highly recommend this book for all sci-fi and fantasy readers. It has a great pace and lots of different aspects to love (i.e. sibling relationships, romance, magic, action, etc.). After finishing this book, I immediately went onto Amazon and bought the sequel because I COULDN'T WAIT ANY LONGER. Interested to see how the sequel is compared to this book since A LOT of things have changed and if this book will carry a heavier sense of intensity (if you catch my drift).

Hope you enjoyed this review! I'll be sure to post more reviews soon (and more often)! :D

Happy reading!
Whitney Lauren 

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