Cover Image: Into The Crooked Place

Into The Crooked Place

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Member Reviews

TO KILL A KINGDOM is one of my favourite books so I was eager to see what the author did next. The pace of this one was a bit slow for my liking and it didn't live up to my (admittedly high) expectations. I'm hoping the sequel will prove me wrong though.
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To kill a kingdom is one of my all time favourite books, so I was expecting to absolutely love Into The Crooked Place. It just didn't live up to the hype for me unfortunately.

The pace was too slow for me, and I just didn't feel engaged in the story. I'm so sad that this book wasn't for me. 

But please, if you are a fan of YA Fantasy and haven't read this one, then please pick it up, as everyone has different tastes. 


*Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for my Earc in exchange for an honest review.*
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✨“His face was obscured by a large top hat that hid everything except his moustache, but Tavia took note of his suit and how his broad chest puffed out, like just standing was something he excelled at.”✨ 
― Alexandra Christo, Into the Crooked Place

🌷This book has multiple perspectives. The main characters we are cast into the eyes of are: 1. Tavia, a busker delivering dark wares to the citizens of Creije, 2. Wesley, a ‘gangster’ who strives to be make Crejie his, 3. Karam, a feared warrior,   and lastly, 4. Saxony, a girl who will do anything for her people. 

They are a dysfunctional team with trust issues who need each other. 

After a deadly weapon is released onto the streets, it is up to this unlikely gang of thieves, gangstas, and secret keepers, to save the world before it is too late. 

🌸Okay, now I really did enjoy this book. I loved the relationships (romantic and platonic), the setting and the banter. Characters who rip into each other every now and again but secretly don’t hate each other is a mood. 

However, there were a lot of unnecessary scenes in this book that I just wanted to rip out because they added nothing to the plot and were, quite frankly, putting me to sleep. For instance, there was a lot of repetitive parts. A character would vividly describe something from their past, and half way through we’d live it AGAIN with them and like… we already knew everything in great detail so what was the purpose of telling us again in a very long winded way? 

A good read with the potential to be a great one if it had only deleted some of the unnecessary parts. 

Thank you @Netgallery for giving me an advanced copy. 

Read. Be happy. Stay safe.
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Please note that this book is not for me - I have read the book, However I had to DNF and because i do not like to give negative reviews I will not review this book fully - there is no specific reason for not liking this book. I found it a struggle to read and did not enjoy trying to force myself to read this book.

Apologies for any inconvenience caused and thank you for the opportunity to read this book
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Creije and revolves around four main characters - 

Tavia is a street busker illegally selling dark charms and potions, biding her time until she can escape the city and the life debt she owes to it's evil kingpin, for good. 

Wesley is Tavia's underboss, they were childhood best friends but his gangster lifestyle has changed him. Creije is his criminal empire and he does whatever it takes to further his seedy career. 

Karam is Wesley's bodyguard amongst other things, who makes a deadly name for herself in the fighting rings. 

Saxony, Tavia's best friend is a freedom fighter, both hiding from and plotting revenge on the people who destroyed her family. 

After a sinister new magic hits the streets threatening to destroy Creije and possibly their lives, these four criminal misfits find themselves having to work together to save their city before it's too late. With enemies at all sides they can trust nobody...least of all each other. 

The book is well paced, and the characters have chemistry with lots of banter and diversity. The author brings the world and city alive. 
 
This was such an immersive world, I had to surface now and then just to find out where I was and what was going on. There was plenty of magic but the distinctive thing about this world is that while anyone can buy and use magic, only crafters can create new magic. Once again the author has created complex characters and actually managed to make me care about the bad guys
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The first half of this book was good.... be concept,  magic,  good and bad,  a KINGPIN!! (WHOO SPIDERMAN VIBES) but i got a bit lost in the middle.  However,  i kept going and the latter half was the best. So much action,  a few twists,  i lot of gasping moments!!

Wesley is very very interesting.  I don't really care for anyone else but i will pick up the sequel to find out what happens to him!!

I do think it was written well,  lots of banter but maybe too much walking around in the middle.
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This arc was provided by the publisher in preparation for the City of Spells blog tour hosted by Pride Books. Review will be for City of Spells.
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(this review is for both into the crooked place and city of spells, focused on the sequel as part of pride book tours - it will be posted on my instagram, goodreads, and blog this evening)

"the time for heroes is over" in this  spellbinding sequel to into the crooked place, cities are falling, friends must make their way back to one another, and unlikely allies have to decide what they're willing to sacrifice to win and save the realm. 

into the crooked place follows a compelling cast of characters (tavia, wesley, saxony, and karam) as they join together and set out with a band of crooks to overthrow the kingpin and put an end to his sinister plot. city of spells is the conclusion to this duology, continuing on from the events of the first book.

i loved alexandra christo's debut book 'to kill a kingdom' so naturally i jumped at the opportunity to read this duology! once again, i was completely captivated by christo's characters, she seems to have a way of making me grow attached to characters very quickly, so much so that i actually miss them when i put the book down. needless to say, for me, the stand out thing about these books is the characters. 

i found myself enjoying this sequel more than the first book. i think i was a little overwhelmed at first with all the characters i was following at the beginning of the first book and everything that was going on in the plot, but once i got into it and discovered more about their stories i needed to find out what happened to them - and this sequel definitely held my attention!

i really enjoyed the friendships and relationships between the characters in this duology, and especially loved seeing a sapphic (wlw) relationship! 

alexandra christo writes in a way that really captures and keeps my attention - the plot is always moving forward, fast-paced and exciting. so i'd definitely recommend any of her books, especially for getting yourself out of a reading slump (i was in one before i read this duology and now i'm very excited to get back to reading again)

thank you ever so much  to pride book tours and the publishers at hot key books for my copy of this book and for this opportunity.
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This book definitely packed a punch - it was quite a long read for a YA book (in my opinion) but I really did enjoy the premise of the book. 

It follows four characters, Wesley, Tavia, Karam and Saxony. They are all linked together due to Magic, they are all hiding a secret each but they have to come together to save the city of Crejie from the Kingpin. 

I really did enjoy the magic of this book, it was different and easy to get a grip of. The unlikely foursome set off to save not only their beloved city of Crejie but the kingdom from Dark Magic, the only problem is they still don't trust one another and there are a few more surprise's along the way. 

I will say that Wesley and Tavia are my favourites though. They are sarcastic to one another and you can see the banter and love that they have for each other but are too scared to show it. Karam and Saxony are definitely becoming a form favourite. I also like that there was some LGBTQ+ representation with their relationship. 

The book ended on a bit of a cliff-hanger so I am interested to see what happens in book two!
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‘Into the Crooked Place’ in the first book in duology. It follows Wesley, Tavia, Saxony and Karam, four misfits in the city of Creije, who end up fighting together for their city, their families and futures. 

Having read Alexandra Christo’s ‘To Kill the Kingdom’, I thought I would enjoy this one equally, but although I have enjoyed the premise of the book, I didn’t find it as engaging. I felt like the characters were not entirely developed and a little dry at moments. While the world and magic system in ‘Into the Crooked Place’ have been quite interesting, I haven’t felt completely engrossed in the narrative and committed to the main characters. Part of it was a result of over-used tropes and predictability of some elements of the plot. 

While ‘To Kill the Kingdom’ will remain my favourite book of Alexandra Christo, the action picked up in the second half of ‘Into the Crooked Place’, and I have enjoyed it more than the initial pages, so I hope I will enjoy Wesley, Tavia, Saxony and Karam’s journey in the second book more.
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I was excited to read this YA Fantasy as the premise (four “crooks” band together to save their home and the world from a dangerous magic plot) sounded quite good ,it was also recommended to fans of Leigh Bardugo and Sarah J. Mass - two brilliant authors I love.

Unfortunately, whilst reading I personally felt it was very similar to six of crows and I couldn’t stop myself from comparing Wesley and Tavia to Kaz and Inej,there were comparable settings and tropes that I found vaguely similar too. This ultimately hindered my enjoyment of the story, personally though the book was well written and had I not read six of crows I might’ve enjoyed it a little more.

And I also just wanted to thank net Galley and Bonnier Books UK for the opportunity to read this book.
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Had me from the cover! 
Anything filled with magic and I’m there! This magical book did NOT disappoint. 
The book kind of gave me similar vibes to the Six of Crows series - a group of outcasts come together, full of crime and magic. To start with these similarities really had me worried. I panicked that the whole way through I’d be thinking “oh I know what will happen here”, but this book truly had me on the edge of my seat. Any time I thought I’d guessed where it was going, the story changed. Not only that but I found it SO easy to read. With some young adult fantasy books I struggle to keep track of everything’s that is happening. I find myself reading pages over and over and flicking back pages to see if I missed something but that didn’t happen with Into the Crooked Place. It just had such an easy flow to it. I often read chapter to chapter with small breaks in between but it was so easy to read that I just kept going and going and going. 
I loved that while this book had a lot of action, it had a lot of emotion too. Nostalgia over realms the characters ran from, their lost families, their lost childhoods. I felt the pain of every single character but also felt the strength of those characters for getting through all they have. 
I have yet to actually finish the book but I’m veeeery near to the end. 
I absolutely loved this book, I would definitely recommend it and I’ll definitely read it again!
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I have a lot of mixed feelings about this one.

I’ll start with the stuff I loved. First of all: Tavia. She was such a fun protagonist, she was sharp and sly and I really enjoyed how resourceful she was. She was definitely my favourite character. I also liked some of the fun banter between the characters (although some of it is a bit clichéd) and the romances were wonderful.

I also think Cristo did a wonderful job of introducing us to Creije, which is a brilliantly dark and gritty city filled with buskers peddling magic and twisted streets. I loved how much history she imbued into the story, just enough to create a fully realised setting. I never felt that it went into info-dumpy territory, she only gave information where it was relevant to the story and it all fit together nicely. There is an elaborate magic system that is interesting and confusing at the same time. There’s a lot involved with it and while some of it is explained well, other parts are just sort of waved aside.

One of my issues though was that I expected the characters to be more morally grey than they were. I think the problem with trying to put ‘bad’ characters into this kind of setting is that it didn’t really work. Sure, they’re criminals, but they’re also going on a journey to save the realm from evil. We’re told these characters are degenerates and criminals, who have done some bad stuff in the past, but we’re never really shown them doing anything particularly terrible. And I kind of felt that a bit of a missed opportunity.

What ultimately disappointed me though was the really slow pacing. It takes a while for the action to really get going, and when it finally did there were parts that were just…boring. It just made some sections really dull and hard to get through.

For all that I liked Tavia, and the world building, I just found that whenever I put this book down, I was really struggling to get back into it again and that really affected my overall enjoyment in the book and my eventual rating.

I’m still not sure if I’ll read the sequel or not. I’m definitely planning to read Cristo’s debut because it’s a fairy-tale retelling and I have such a soft spot for them. Hopefully it’ll have less of the problems I encountered in this one!
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I want to preface this by saying I really love to kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo! And I follow Alexandra on Instagram and I think she is a lovely person. We are both within the vegan gang and I love it.

So, I picked up Into the Crooked Place with low expectations, because I didn't want her amazing debut novel to influence my thoughts on her other book. Needless to say this book was disappointing. It felt very overdone, overused, and unoriginal. This book could have done with more. Just more. I think that this novel was a very solid gangster fantasy, I just wish there was more originality to it. Just like To Kill a Kingdom, I enjoy Christo's writing, world building, and characters. 

I wish that Christo had brought more to this book. Unwillingly, my bias towards To Kill a Kingdom made this books even more disappointing. Lira and Elian we're very enjoyable characters, while the characters in Into the Crooked Place feel very familiar and done-before. 

Overall I would give this book 2.25 stars.
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I love Alexandra’s other books and this one did not disappoint! I loved it! It had six of crows vibes. The plot flowed easily & the characters were incredibly written. She is such a talented author and I can’t wait to read every single book she releases.
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Unfortunately I no longer wish to review this book as the first few chapters did not reel me in. Thank you for the opportunity.
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As with her previous novel I loved the dialogue, it's sarcastic and playful and that was just perfect for the characters.

There's nothing really to hate here, it was just a bit, well bland. I think the big problem here was I've read it before. The characters and storyline were VERY similar to six of crows for me and there was nothing really new to make it stand out.

Now I've read a few books recently that fit on the "read it before" shelf and I've loved them. I think the key difference here was it was all just a little whitewashed and vague when compared to the "originals" it's trying to emulate rather than "as good as".

Cristo's previous novel was new, different and like nothing I've read previously so this made this one all the more disappointing

I still love Alexandar Cristo and would pick up anything else she wrote, including the sequel,  but this one missed the mark for me
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This was an absolutely amazing book! I loved everything about it. The writing style was amazing and so immersive. The worldbuilding was detailed and everything felt unique and familiar all at once. 
I really loved the characters, Tavia, Karam and Saxony were all so intriguing I loved the way that alliances were woven and broke over the course of the book. And that nothing was quite what it seemed, no-one is quite what they seem. 
The pacing was perfect, I could not put this book down and read the last 300 pages in one sitting. The plot was incredible, twist and turny and it kept me guessing right up until the last few pages. 
I would definitely recommend this book, I loved it so much and I cannot wait to read the next book, to see where this incredible story goes next.
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I expected to like Into the Crooked Place as I enjoyed Alexandra Christo’s other book, To Kill a Kingdom. However, if I’m being honest, this book read a bit like a discount Six of Crows. It wasn’t necessarily bad, but there was nothing that really made it stand out amongst the gangster fantasy/heist genre.

I think the diverse group of characters was probably the strongest part of the book. Wesley had a few good one-liners, I liked some of the relationships and there was some interesting backstory here and there. Tavia’s chapters were usually my favourite. But the world-building, and especially magic system, were somewhat confusing. I didn’t always understand how everything worked or why the characters ended up in the situations they did. It made the plot and pacing feel a bit all over the place at times.

Overall, this was a pretty average book. Nothing particularly terrible about it, but nothing particularly great either. That being said, I may or may not pick up the sequel for closure’s sake – I’m a sucker for a cliffhanger ending.
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I initially requested this because I LOVED To Kill a Kingdom by the same author but I felt this one was just quite slow for me. The story in my opinion was so dragged out before any action that I found myself just not really caring when it did happen. The characters also felt lacking and only really started becoming distinguishable to be towards the end of the book.
While I didn’t love this one I’ll definitely be picking up more from this author in future! The potential in this book just didn’t match up to her first for me unfortunately.
Overall a 3/5 stars
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