Book Review: The Lies of Locke Lamora

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Title: The Lies of Locke Lamora

Author: Scott Lynch

Series? Yes

Rating: 4/5 stars

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The Lies of Locke Lamora has been on my TBR for a while, but I have always avoided it as it sounded like a bit of a sausage fest. The book does lack prominent female characters, but it somewhat makes up for it with the strength of the ladies who do feature (I need Sabetha!). What’s more, it’s dark, it’s entertaining, and it’s not afraid to stick a blade right into your heart.

Locke-Lamora

“There’s no freedom quite like the freedom of being constantly underestimated.”

While the main plot of the book features heist, treachery and more mutinies than you could shake a stick at – the heart of the novel lies in the epic bromance that is the Gentlemen Bastards. I am a huge fan of the ‘family that you choose yourself’ trope, so Locke and his gang of misfits tickled at my heartstrings. Make no mistake, they’re neither gentle or loving to one another – preferring to trade insults to niceties. Yet, through flashbacks and banter, the reader could feel the camaraderie between Locke and each of the member in his team. Morally ambiguous characters who look out for their own? Basically a set up after my own heart.

“I don’t have to beat you. I don’t have to beat you, motherfucker. I just have to keep you here… until Jean shows up.”

I liked that Locke had a completely different relationship dynamic with each of his crew member. It allowed for each individual character to shine, and readers to truly become invested in these bonds. There’s the mischievious Sanza brothers, Calo and Galdo – always quick to tease Locke, yet also most loyal. Little Bug, impulsive and eager to prove himself to older crew mates. The ever constant and dependable Jean Tannen, unassuming and deadly. I love seeing them interact with one another, and seeing how Father Chains trained them in the flashback.

“We’re a different sort of thief here, Lamora. Deception and misdirection are our tools. We don’t believe in hard work when a false face and a good line of bullshit can do so much more.”

Speaking of Father Chains’s training, I found sections of the book which dealt with deception and swindling to be its most fun. The Gentlemen Bastards particularly target the wealthy and proud, seeing how they used expectations and appearances to their advantage was quite the ride. Scott Lynch’s easy and sharp-witted writing just adds to my delight.

“Someday, Locke Lamora,” he said, “someday, you’re going to fuck up so magnificently, so ambitiously, so overwhelmingly that the sky will light up and the moons will spin and the gods themselves will shit comets with glee. And I just hope I’m still around to see it.”

Although most of the book was wildly entertaining, I appreciated that The Lies of Locke Lamora dared to go to dark places and take difficult roads. It would have been so easy to make Locke and the Gentlemen Bastards own all their exploits and emerge grinning. Yet, the plot throws many wrenches in Locke’s best laid plans, and the death toll is shockingly high for a book that started all banter and petty tricks. I liked that our protagonists were in true danger at some point, and they definitely did not emerge unscathed.

The worldbuilding laid the foundation to a much richer world which I am excited to explore in future books. The city of Camorr is loosely based on a medieval Venice, with once charming waterways turned sinister by presence of vicious sharks and the shadow of the criminal underworld. The city was another character unto itself, treacherous and filled with secrets. I also loved seeing the rise and fall of rival gangs, and how Locke navigated the beauracracy of criminal societies with poise.

I mentioned earlier about the lack of female characters in this book, it makes me sad because all the females who DO appear and freaking fabulous. Nazca, Dona Salvara, the Berengias sisters, were each fiece and had their own story independent from the men they’re with. Unfortunately, we got to see very little of those stories. Yes, the women were awesome, but I wish they got more limelight.


 

Needless to say, I’ll be checking out the rest of the series and hoping ardently for Sabetha to make an appearance. I’m in love with her already!

32 thoughts on “Book Review: The Lies of Locke Lamora

  1. Omg this though: “Morally ambiguous characters who look out for their own?” YOU HAVE SOLD ME WITH THAT SINGLE SENTENCE. ❤ I had only vaguely heard of this and wasn't sure about it at all? But now I'm convinced I need it…because thefts and criminals and grey areas. *dashes for goodreads* It IS a shame about no prominent women though. D:

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think you’ll love this one Cait, it’s filled with entertaining, unrepentant scoundrels and there is a LOT of blood and death XD! I heard that the series gets better with including the ladies so fingers tightly crossed!

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    • Hopefully the writing and the entertaining plot will somewhat cover up the gaping hole of a decent female character. I am praying the second book improves in this department.

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    • I hope more prominent female characters join the picture in the later books! But I am definitely keen to keep going regardless as I’ve gotten quite attached to Locke and Jean 😄

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  2. This books sounds amazing!! …apart from the lack of female characters which it’s a shame as you said. I had heard about the title a couple of times but had no idea what it was about. I’m definitely going to add it to my wishlist. Thanks for this review! 🙂

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    • No worries Adriana, this series treats its women pretty fairly though so I have hopes any who will take a centre stage in the future will be freaking awesome! Hope you enjoy it!

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  3. I’ve heard so much about this book and that I should pick it up. It definitely sounds like a well constructed story, particularly with Locke’s relationship with different crew members and his plans. I love characters that are morally ambiguous too, because it makes things a lot more complex! Totally getting Six of Crows feelings from this. Lovely review Aentee!

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  4. This book has been on my tbr for soo long, and yes, I also haven’t read it because it seems heavy! But I also want to read it because it sounds badass! Especially after reading this review. Can you see my dilemma? *sigh* Anyways, great review! It makes me want to read this even more!

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    • It took me so long to read this haha, I read like three books in the mean time – but it’s worth it 🙂 Hope you’ll get a chance to read it soon ❤

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  5. This series has also been on my TBR for ages and I just haven’t gotten around to it! So glad to hear that you enjoyed it despite the lack of family characters (blech). Sabetha sounds amazing though!

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  6. The quotes made me smile.

    I think you’ve done a really good job of capturing the atmosphere of this book in your review. I haven’t read it, but it’s kind of reminding me of Six of Crows? I can feel that part of me that really wants to be involved in a good heist waking up.

    Liked by 1 person

    • If the quotes made you smile, I highly recommend reading the book itself, I think you’ll enjoy it! It is a little like Six of Crows, with much less romance though haha.

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  7. This book has been on my TBR for a while too! It sounds like the perfect book for me, but I was worried it would be too formulaic. I’m disappointed to hear about the lack of a diverse female cast, but am glad you liked it for the most part. Now I have to go buy my own copy! Thanks for the great review!

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  8. I have seen SO many people read this book, but I’ve never really even known what it was about! And now that I do, I must say that it sounds pretty good! I love the found families trope, especially when they actually care about each other like family ❤ And don't, you know, rat each other out and all.

    It's a damn shame that the awesome female characters were left out of the limelight, though :/ Women can be total badasses, as well. We can heist and whatever.

    I hope you like the sequel as much as you liked this one, Aentee! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • They are a true family, all snark and loyalty and love ❤ I hope you'll read it at some point, although I also pray that more female will take the limelight in the next book!

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  9. I’ve heard that once you start reading this series you can’t stop and it rips your heart out. I’m not too sure if it would appeal to me, but I might check it out. Thanks for the review! 🙂

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  10. I’m so glad you liked this one, Aentee! You’re so right about the bromance – it’s what makes this series special, in my opinion. And I was definitely taken by surprise when some of the more emotional moments happened….*cries* I’ve heard that there are WAY more women in the second book, so fingers crossed!

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  11. Ooh, I’m really glad you enjoyed Locke & crew. I think this is one of the most quotable books I’ve ever read, Lynch’s prose is amazing.
    Yeah, I know, “more women” is a common complaint and I think Lynch noticed the criticism and amended that problem in books 2 and 3. I’m currently re-reading Red Seas under Red Skies and it’s still pretty great.
    I hope you’ll like the sequels! 🙂

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