Cover Image: Into The Crooked Place

Into The Crooked Place

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Member Reviews

This book gave me real six of crows type vibes and I think that might have tainted my view of it as I spent a lot of the time comparing the two.
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Thanks to Bonnier Zaffre and NetGalley for the Advance Review Copy in exchange for an honest review.

Maybe I was just exceedingly grumpy when reading this book, that or the book itself made me grumpy but I just didn't get on with it at all.

The writing is absolutely saturated with endless similes and corny metaphors. I didn't enjoy the premise, and there was nothing new to add to the genre, I'm basically over these gangster genre books before they've even really begun. It felt a bit like writing by numbers and was just really, really boring and I found myself falling asleep reading it even during the middle of the day. I didn't enjoy To Kill A Kingdom either, if I'd realised it was the same author I wouldn't have requested it. 

Sorry, just a big fat meh from me.
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DNF'd as I couldn't connect to any of the characters. I loved To Kill a Kingdom and will probably try other writing by Alexandra Christo because I loved To Kill a Kingdom SO MUCH. Into the Crooked Place unfortunately I just couldn't connect to the characters and I found the plot to be repetitive and predictable. I was disappointed.
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I was really excited to read this book after absolutely falling in love with Alexandra Christo's first book, "To Kill A Kingdom", which was definitely one of my favourite books the year it came out (I want to say 2018?). This book is actually very different to Christo's first offering.

The lead character in the story is Tavia. She is basically a street magician, and sells cheap tricks and trinkets to unsuspecting townsfolk of Creije. She doesn't create any magic though, only crafters can do that, and there haven't been any of those in the realms for years. But then her boss, Wesley ( who is also her childhood friend, and boy is that a complicated relationship!) gives her a new potion to sell. The potion is meant to bring happiness, but Tavia soon finds out that this is not true at all, and the potion is something none of them have ever seen before. It leads her on a path to - very briefly and without any spoilers! - bring down the forces of evil in the city and all of the realms before things get out of hand.

I really liked the magic aspects of the book. They are really well thought out, and I love the artful dodger style peddlers of the craft on the streets. It's cool and clever and not something I've seen in a book before. I also like the descriptions of all the different places in the realms, especially Creije. It helps the whole story come to life, and the characters do all have different characteristics depending on where they are from, which is also really clever.

The characters themselves are well written. The book is split into chapters which are written from points of view of different characters, which is great because there are quite a few important characters and they all have different motives. Most of them don't trust or even like each other, and they all have secrets, of course.

I did really enjoy this book. It's a well thought out story, and an intricate world full of magic, history and varied characters. I did find it a little slow at times, and I admit that because of Christo's first book I had exceptionally high expectations of this book, which it didn't quite live up to. But I did still like the book on the whole, and it is very well written. I definitely want to get the next book to find out what happens to the characters.
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Having adored her first book I was really looking forward to this. Although I really enjoyed it, I didn't find it as good as To Kill a Kingdom. 
I loved the concept and the characters all had their own individuality which was lovely. Wesley quickly became my favourite character even though Tavai is supposedly the protagonist. I didn't find myself getting confused at times and bored at others but I think it will be one of those that I have to read twice to get the full benefit.
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Magic rules the city of Creije Capital and Tavia Syn knows just how many tricks she needs up her sleeve to survive. Selling dark magic on the streets for her kingpin, she keeps clear of other crooks, counting the days until her debt is paid and she can flee her criminal life.

But then, one day, with her freedom in sight, Tavia uncovers a sinister plot that threatens to destroy the realm she calls home. Desperate to put an end to her kingpin's plan, Tavia forms an unlikely alliance with three crooks even more deadly than her:

Wesley, the kingpin's prodigy and most renewed criminal in the realm

Karam, an underground fighter with a penchant for killing first and forgetting to ask questions

And Saxony, a Crafter in hiding who will stop at nothing to avenge her family

With the reluctant saviours assembled, they embark on a quest to put an end to the dark magic before it's too late. But even if they can take down the kingpin and save the realm, the one thing they can't do is trust each other.
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gangster fantasies are so my thing - i love the gritty, unapologetic adventure of it all - so it has been very exciting to see it become such a popular trope.

as with all tropes, recycled elements are bound to pop up from book to book, but its how the story enhances those elements that makes its worthwhile. and unfortunately, ‘into the crooked place’ doesn't really add anything special to the genre.

it's a solid book on its own - there is a variety of characters and representation, interesting magic system and world building, and decent writing and pacing. all great things, but that's where it stops. it's nothing i haven't read and enjoyed before.

so while this is still entertaining, especially for fans of gangster fantasy stories, there really isn't anything about this that makes me obsess over the story.
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I absolutely LOVED to Kill A Kingdom so was very happy to be approved for this one. I love group dynamics and misfits coming together, this was right up my street. Can't wait for more.
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I was a big fan of Christo’s To Kill A Kingdom so was very excited to read her latest book.

I love the concept for this book - the magical system, the setting and the crooked characters really appealed to me.

There was something missing from Into The Crooked Place that was in To Kill A Kingdom.  It took quite a while to get going and I felt there was a lot of complicated world building going on in order for us to understand what was going on.  I didn’t feel like I always understood what was going on or why certain things were significant.

One thing that this book really did have going for it was its characters.  I really enjoyed the way that they all interacted with each other and I liked the fact that I was rooting for them, despite the fact that they are are morally grey!

The characters were what saved this book for me.  I felt more could have been done with the world building and the pacing was often just a bit off.
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I received this book from the publisher via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

An enjoyable anti-hero romp!

I really liked the concepts in this and found the magic particularly fascinating. It does take a little while to get properly going - there’s a lot of world building needed to get us to the end, but it’s definitely worth it. The finale, in particular, has such a great cliffhanger.

Tavia is probably my favourite character, but Wesley really grew on me!! I loved him by the end! I liked all the characters, but those two definitely stood out.

I can’t wait for book 2, because I want more on Saxony’s kin, and also for the crew to win! (I hope! lol)
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Where do I even start? I LOVED THIS BOOK! I loved how the perspective changed between different characters - although I was always hoping the next chapter was going to be from Tavia or Wesley because I needed to know what happened next in their relationship. Wesley's story line almost destroyed me. I NEED the sequel now to find out what happens next to him! I read a few reviews before starting this one and some said that the plot was almost predictable - well I applaud anyone who saw all of that coming because I certainly didn't!

Thank you NetGalley and Hot Key Books for the eBook review copy!
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Sadly it just didn't work for me. To Kill A Kingdom was a great retelling of The Little Mermaid, but Crooked Place felt like it was being forced into a retelling of Six of Crows. It needed a lot of tightening up; there was far too much telling us about complicated relationships and very little convincing material building the world and the magic system. Confusing and it really dragged. So sad.
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Tavia Syn knows how to survive on the magical streets of Creije. She sells dark magic on the streets for the kingpin, keeps to herself, and counts the days until her debt is paid and she can leave that life behind. However, when new magic is introduced to the streets, she uncovers a sinister plot that threatens the whole realm. In a desperate attempt to stop her kingpin’s plan, she makes an unlikely alliance with criminals even more dangerous than her.

Into the Crooked Place is an intriguing fantasy full of crime magic and fighting to protect what is yours. I know a few people are comparing it to Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows but I would actually say that this will probably appeal to fans of Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody more. It has a similar atmosphere, a unique magic system, and a city full of crooks. Unforutnately, Into the Crooked Place just didn’t really… grab me. I’m a huge fan of Christo’s other novel To Kill a Kingdom so I am super dissapointed I didn’t enjoy this one more!

One of the best things about Into the Crooked Place was the characters and the group dynamics. I loved Tavia and Wesley’s complex relationship and I loved their questionable morality. That is one thing that Alexandra Christo does really well – morally grey characters. So if that is something you love in a fantasy, then this is a book you need.

Into the Crooked Place isn’t a romance heavy novel, but it was enough for me. It features a f/f romance between Saxony and Karam, a complicated romance with a complicated history. I liked it. Then there was a m/f sort-of-romance between Wesley and Tavia who also share a strong connection and a complicated past. I also really liked that romance too.

Unfortunately, it was the worldbuilding and plot that really let this book down. There was so much room and opportunity for more detail to go into the worldbuiding but it just didn’t feel as developed or well done as it could have been.

Overall, Into the Crooked Place hooked me with it’s characters and group dynamics but lost me a little with it’s worldbuilding and plot which was lacking.
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Into The Crooked Place was unique, plot-heavy and also terribly slow. Unfortunately, I couldn't quite get into this one and I was left feeling very disappointed. My first tip for this book would be to dive in not knowing much. Simply because everything hits ten times harder that way. But a caveat, a lot of the tropes in those book have been seen many, many times in YA fiction; so you're bound to get recycled character dynamics. This was my main issue in why I found the book to be very slow, it felt like I already read all of its elements before! This was very similar to a lot of releases in the past year or so; Ace of Shades (gangster fantasy), Six of Crows etc.
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Unfortunately, this tale of a bunch of misfits and forbidden magic just wasn’t for me. It felt, at it’s heart, rather generic and unoriginal which meant that nothing ultimately stood out and made it memorable. 

The pacing and writing are good, and I got through this quickly - although I found the writing tended to lean more towards the younger end of the YA spectrum, without that ‘grittier’ edge I like in my fantasy writing. It’s just the plot itself, and it’s characters, that ultimately let the story down. The characters are a little ‘trope’, and have all been seen before in some form or other in better YA fiction. There was no real depth to them. That said, I enjoyed the female/female romance and tension created between them - it felt mildly different, although got repetitive after a while. I liked that the story, behind this, didn’t really fall on the ‘romance heavy’ elements we normally see in YA. 

The world building, like the characters, could have been developed more. I wanted more information about why magic was outlawed and how the ‘new’ magic was created. A lot is left to the reader’s imagination when a more solid explanation would have been helpful, as at times I struggled to understand the surroundings. 

An ok YA fantasy that’s decently written, but it lacks any real originality in a heavily saturated market.
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I absolutely adored To Kill A Kingdom and was really looking forward to this book and while it was not wholly disappointing it didn't live up to the standards I had for it

It took a while to get into but once I did I loved the world-building and magic but I just wasn't as invested in the characters as I wanted to be.
I wouldn't cancel this book off your tbr as I still enjoyed it just not loved.
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This is a really interesting world with some fascinating magical aspects, but the plot was a little bit predictable and sometimes felt a little disjointed. We follow our four main characters as they undertake a journey to acquire the magic necessary to defeat the kingpin of their city. Things I liked: I thought the characters were well drawn and all had believable motives for their actions, which always felt true to character. I loved the world building and expect that the concluding book will explore some areas in more detail. I thought the magic system, with a finite number of magic in existence, very interesting and again, hope this is explored more in book 2. I also enjoyed the quest narrative aspect of the plot and thought the way the crew came to support each other was well done. Things I didn't like: I found the conclusion really predictable and therefore, a little uninspiring. I also thought that the plot got quite muddled at times, with the action jumping around and no indication given for the passing of time. What I would say is that I think this is set up really well for the concluding book, which I will be looking forward to.
I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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I definitely did like this book but it did take me a while to get into it. I wasn't particularly invested in the characters or their plight and thought the story was on the more "Young" spectrum of YA which was a little bit tricky for me to get into. 
That being said, i did enjoy this overall and i thought the magic system and the world building was very good. I really liked the premise and i thing a younger audience would really like this story too.
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I also read To Kill A Kingdom by the author, and I guess my feelings are the same. For some reason, the books don't Wow me. The plot, the characters and the writing feels 'meh' and I end up saying, I could read another book. 
I guess her writing isn't for me. It wasn't a bad book, but it wasn't a book that I was looking forward to go back to. 

Thanks a lot to the publisher and NetGalley for this copy in exchange for an honest review.
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I loved To Kill a Kingdom ( which came as part of a book box subscription) so when I saw this I was excited. 

I could picture the characters quite easily in my head, and the storyline was easy to follow. I didnt read it as quickly as I thought I would ( which isnt always a bad thing), The problme was I wasnt rooting for any of the characters so if someone was in peril I wouldnt have had to read the next chapter, and the next and the next. 

I did enjoy the book and I think it is more young adult then alot of books these days which are put in the genre, which makes it feel a little simple.
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