Review: The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch (Spoiler-Alert)
'The entire City of Camorr is full of idiots running around and getting hung, all because they think that stealing is something you do with your hands.' Father Chains spat.
'Um... what do you steal with Father Chains?'
The bearded priest tapped two fingers against the side of his head, then grinned widely. 'Brains and a big mouth, my boy, brains and big mouth.'
This book is so large. I mean that both literally and figuratively. It took me almost a month to read, which is quite unprecedented. But that being said, it was not for lack of enjoyment. In fact, I think reading it slowly was essential to absorbing the importance of description and feeling real ties to the characters. Getting to see flashbacks from their childhoods and upbringings made it so much more impactful when things came full circle in the present.
While I enjoyed the majority of the book, I didn't feel an overwhelming connection—that is, until the last 100 pages. Because... wow those last few chapters almost made me cry and I didn't even realize I was that connected to these characters.
Because that's the thing. They're morally reprehensible. They're conmen. Thieves. They're doing bad things for bad reasons. But they're not the worst men in their world. And they form their own family, one you can't help but feel a part of. While I do think Calo and Galdo were a bit too surface level, I grew surprisingly close with the rest of the cast. Especially Locke and Jean.
And I have to commend Scott Lynch for creating such a unique story structure. At no point did I know the direction we were going in. Major characters died early on, we were thrust to and from flashbacks in the middle of action, and we were deceived by Locke along with his targets.
But by far, my favorite part of this book was that parallel in the final battle.
'I don't have to beat you,' Locke whispered, grinning madly up at the Gray King, his face streaked with blood and tears, his nose broken and his lips cracked, his vision swimming and edged with blackness. 'I don't have to beat you, motherfucker. I just have to keep you here... until Jean shows up.'
I'd put the entire three-page scene here if I could because it's so masterfully written. The fight is brutal, but perfect. The sleight of hand that gets Locke the one second he needs. The figurative meaning it has in terms of Jean always being by Locke's side. The image of Locke bleeding out and weeping atop his greatest enemy's body. Impeccable. That's storytelling at its finest.
It'll probably be a while before I pick up the sequel because while this book was amazing, it did take a bit of brainpower and I'm not sure I'm mentally ready to comprehend whatever further shenanigans Lynch has ready to cook up next. Also, the latest book in the series came out 9 years ago so... I think it's safe to say I have some time to catch up.