City of Saints & Thieves – Natalie C. Anderson


33956433City of Saints & Thieves by Natalie C. Anderson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: January 24th, 2017
Publisher: Putnam
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 14+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Mystery-Thriller, Vendetta

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BLURB:

In the shadows of Sangui City, there lives a girl who doesn’t exist. After fleeing the Congo as refugees, Tina and her mother arrived in Kenya looking for the chance to build a new life and home. Her mother quickly found work as a maid for a prominent family, headed by Roland Greyhill, one of the city’s most respected business leaders. But Tina soon learns that the Greyhill fortune was made from a life of corruption and crime. So when her mother is found shot to death in Mr. Greyhill’s personal study, she knows exactly who’s behind it.

With revenge always on her mind, Tina spends the next four years surviving on the streets alone, working as a master thief for the Goondas, Sangui City’s local gang. It’s a job for the Goondas that finally brings Tina back to the Greyhill estate, giving her the chance for vengeance she’s been waiting for. But as soon as she steps inside the lavish home, she’s overtaken by the pain of old wounds and the pull of past friendships, setting into motion a dangerous cascade of events that could, at any moment, cost Tina her life. But finally uncovering the incredible truth about who killed her mother—and why—keeps her holding on in this fast-paced nail-biting thriller.

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What a surprising YA mystery novel.

I was hooked from the very first sentence: ‘‘If you’re going to be a thief, the first thing you need to know is that you don’t exist.’’ Alright!

The author gives the reader rules that you must follow to become a successful street thief throughout the story. I personally found they gave the story an educational touch and were used as a time off from the intense plot.

Vendetta stories can be so captivating if they aren’t clichés. Tina wants to expose who she believes is her mother’s killer to the entire planet before taking his life. So far, it sounds pretty basic. Except, the closer she gets to her goals, the less she understands. Suddenly she isn’t sure who she thought for so many years killed her mother actually did the deed.

Her sidekick is her childhood friend, also the son of her enemy. I know what you’re thinking. Where’s the romance? Must be romance. Well, no. Fortunately, this really isn’t a romance book. Tina sometimes gets carried away, but she isn’t going to sabotage her plan by sleeping with the enemy. They do, however, make for interesting interactions.

The pacing is of the roller coaster type: fast, then slow, then fast, then slow. Especially the second half. I don’t think uneven pacing is the end of the world, but when I expect to read a thriller, I expect more thrilling scenes than lethargic ones.

Otherwise, this is a great, great read. The characters are fresh, three dimensional and inspiring in their determination. The storyline keeps you guessing and brings you to unexpected places. There’s diversity, so that’s always a plus. High recommended if you’re looking for something different and with mature themes.

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