On the ocean liner Mauretania, two European scientists with a dramatic new invention are barely rescued from abduction by the Van Dorn Detective Agency's intrepid chief investigator, Isaac Bell. Unfortunately, they are not so lucky the second time. The thugs attack again-and this time one of the scientists dies. What are they holding that is so precious? Only something that will revolutionize business and popular culture-and perhaps something more.
For war clouds are looming, and a ruthless espionage agent has spotted a priceless opportunity to give the Germans an edge. It is up to Isaac Bell to figure out who he is, what he is up to, and stop him. But he may already be too late . . . and the future of the world may just hang in the balance.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
EVERYONE told me not to expect much from this book and to be patient. They said the beginning isn’t very good but the second half is pretty good and the next two books are amazing…so just hang in there. Well I found that to be true and false at the same time.
It is true the second half of this book is much more interesting, there is more going on action wise and the last 100 pages just fly by. But the first half isn’t that shabby either if you are paying attention. The only reason parts of it felt a little long are the backstories to the gods feathered in a little like info-dumping. They are interesting lore stories but it is unclear how they fit into the book until later and almost felt like filler while I was reading them. However with Gen the Master Thief there are clues to be found and double meanings to a few things that don’t become clear until the end of the book. I found it to be quite entertaining trying to figure out who/what Gen really is...
I had a hard time with this one. On the one hand, the story itself is interesting and has complex characters that add great dimension, but on the other hand... it felt really dry.
The Thief begins with Gen, a thief, currently living his days as a prisoner in the King's prison when he is approached by a magus - the king's scholar. The Magus wants to enlist Gen's skills as a thief to unearth an ancient treasure, which Gen eventually agrees to. Thus, they embark on a long journey in an attempt to discover said treasure.
Gen was a fun character, albeit a stubborn one. I appreciated his wit and dry humor even when other characters did not; it made Gen feel like a real person with a distinct personality. Now, I sometimes become annoyed with overly stubborn characters in books, but I actually enjoyed Gen's actions and how he didn't suddenly become some willing and obedient participant in the Magus' plan, but instead maintained his own strong-willed nature and wasn't...
Has a humorous tone that makes the read enjoyable in the moment, but I really have a problem when a story is told in the first person, and yet, there are out of nowhere, surprise revelations toward the end about that person that weren't foreshadowed at all. I know this book is part of a series, but taken on its own, it just doesn't stand alone as a good story. The first two thirds of the book are mostly a journey that gets a bit monotonous, then in the third act, we're introduced to hugely important characters and plot developments that we're barely foreshadowed.
It also has a problem of not really having a formidable villain. There are some stakes, as our traveling characters have to sneak through unfriendly territory, but there's no sense of menace in the story.
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