Review: No Heart For A Thief

  • Title:
    • No Heart For A Thief
  • Author:
    • James Lloyd Dulin
  • Release:
    • January 24, 2023
  • Format:
    • Paperback
  • Series:
    • Malitu #1

What stands out to me the most about No Heart For A Thief are the characters and the world-building. Each character feels as real and genuine as any human being, and not a cardboard cutout shaped like a person, as so many other novels do. On top of that, the world-building and lore are excellent. Even things down to the years are referred to as “turns”. It’s different enough to feel unique, but not so different it feels alien.

The perspective alternates between present, past, and dreams and does so smoothly. I was a bit put off by the past POV when the character could constantly say “I did this…”, but I quickly got used to it and came to appreciate it. It helped quickly differentiate the past from the present. While it does linger on one or the other for great lengths of time, I think they’d make nice stopping points, should you choose not to read a set number of pages or chapters.

Switching between past and present is done in such a wonderful way in this story. It helps you to understand (one of) the protagonists better and slowly feeds you bits of information about his past. it gives you a much-needed break from the events of the present, which makes it feel less like a nonstop barrage of events, and allows you to ruminate on scenes that took place while in the previous section. On top of that, it helps the characters to get to know each other better as well, giving it plot relevance.

Really, the only failing point of this book for me was the glossary at the back. Not to sound ungrateful either. I love and appreciate it when authors give you lore guides and glossaries at the back of their books. It’s suuuuuuuuper helpful…. usually. In this instance though, half of the glossary just used other-lore terms that had me skimming around to see what they were referring to. If I knew what the lore was referring to, I wouldn’t need a guide.

At one point in the story, a character is referred to by a term. I looked it up in the glossary, and it literally said the same explanation the story gave me. Later, I heard them referred to by another term. I looked it up, and it just redirected me to the first term, with its borderline useless description. The glossary left me annoyed and confused, more than educated. Based on some conversation dialogue, I think they’re the Malitu series’ word for trans people, but I can’t say for sure.

Glossary rant aside, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this book. I honestly hope it gets an audiobook, as it’s likely the only way I’ll have time to return to this world and these characters. I have too many books, and not enough time to re-read books over and over the way I used to, and it’s books like this that make me sad because I’d do just that if I could. Reading this book day after day, I’m sad to be done with it and have to move on.

Note: This copy was provided to me free of charge as a physical review copy. The opinions stated in this review are mine and mine alone, I was not paid or requested to give this book a certain rating, suggestion, or approval.

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