Monday, July 04, 2016

Book Review: Crooks & Straights by Masha du Toit

Crooks and Straights by Masha du Toit is set in South Africa and is the story of an adopted big sister trying to protect her "special" little brother. I use the quotation marks here on purpose because he's special for a reason and that'll come clear.

Crooks & StraightsThe setting is one I don't see often enough. I really enjoyed the feel of the novel for being set in Cape Town, I think it was Cape Town, suddenly I think that's where the author is from lol. It doesn't matter because it's not our world or our town. Magic works and there are magical creatures, and djinn you can summon in a cup of tea, a magical mafia-esque underground, and hints of a totalitarian regime of purists (non-magical folk, AKA muggles in the Potterverse) growing in power. I suspect we'll get more into them in the second book.

Which brings me to my only real complaint, it ended too soon. I realized I was already 98% of the way through the book and there wasn't any resolution happening. It never DID happen. In a story arc type thing we closed the book because it was over around the time where Luke gets on the Millenium Falcon for the first time to leave Tatooine. Yeah, not kidding. WAY too soon. All set up, beautiful set up, interesting set up, great world building set up but then YOINK! The waiter takes the salad plates and presents the bill with no meal or dessert.

That being said, do I recommend Crooks and Straights? I don't know. I do like the setting and the characters, except the Dad. I thought he was a little hollow and underwhelming. He mostly got bossed around by the women and did whatever they told him to do whether it's his wife, the hired help, old woman down the road, or the daughter. He was there, but only barely. I don't remember his name even... Kesel maybe?

Yes. Get the book. I liked the story so far. I liked the setting. I want Masha du Toit to write more stuff and I'm a supporter of indie authors and it's worth the money. But get it knowing you'll want to get the next one because you're not really buying Book 1 so much as Part 1.
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