Going into this book, I wasn't quite sure what to expect. My only experience with Green was with Half Bad, which I ended up DNFing so I was a little hesitant to see how this book would hold up. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I did enjoy this book but I still have some issues with it.

Hello everyone!

I am back with another review, The Smoke Thieves by Sally Green. Thanks so much to Penguin Random House for sending me an ARC of this book for an honest review. As always, all opinions are my own.

The story follows 5 main perspectives with different storylines - although they eventually all end up converging in the end. There's Tash, the young demon hunter; Catherine, the princess of one kingdom betrothed to the prince of a neighbouring one; Ambrose, one of Catherine's most loyal guards; March, the servant in a third kingdom who's family had all been killed in a war years ago; and Edyon, the petty thief who lives with his merchant mother. Each of these characters is connected at one point throughout the story and in the end, they must all work together to save those they care about.

I won't say too much more about the plot because I don't want to spoil anything but I will talk a bit about the writing of this book. For the most part, I found it to be quite engaging and well written. The first hundred or so chapters seemed to drag a little bit but I think that was mainly because Green was setting up the world and the characters. Once things picked up in the story I found the book easier to read. That being said, I'm not sure I would call it quite as gripping and captivating as I've seen from the blurbs on the back of the ARC.

For the most part, I liked the characters we were supposed to like and didn't like the ones we weren't supposed to like. But, I'm not sure I really know much about them. I find this to be the case in multi-POV books, especially those in third-person. You just kind of get a surface understanding of who they are but not too much deep into their lives. Catherine, for example, seems to be a fairly typical fantasy princess that we see in books these days - witty, smart and completely oppressed by her powerful brother/father/male figure in her life. She, of course, fights against that and her arranged marriage. This isn't to say that she should just roll over and not stand up for herself, I would just like to see a fantasy with a princess who is listened to.

In terms of the storyline itself, I think it was fairly engaging. There was always a lot going on and between all the POVs, there was something going on for each character. I can't help but feel like things could have been put together a little better. I was expecting the characters to meet sooner than they actually did and that, along with the ending, made the last hundred or so pages of the book seem a bit... rushed.

I also felt like there were some aspects that needed to be explained a little bit better - including the whole demon smoke aspect. I think there was a little bit of an explanation but not enough that I could confidently describe it here. I'm still not sure why it's so special or why it's outlawed. I mean, it has hallucinogenic qualities, I get that, but why are there even demons and why is the smoke so necessary that demon hunter risk 10 years hard labour in prison just to deal with it.

This was one of those endings where things were happening, it was all coming together, and then the book ends. A great set up for a sequel, but not so much when you want a nice conclusion. There's so much left unresolved by the end of the book that I'm left feeling like other parts could have been cut out or shortened so that we could get some semblance of a proper ending. At over 500 pages, I'm making an investment in an ending that I want to feel satisfied with.

Overall, this was a decent read that had some parts I enjoyed, but I'm not sure I will be picking up book two.