Author: M. J. Kuhn
My rating: 3.3 stars out of 5
A complicated heist with lots of backstabbing.
When their crazy mob boss learns of an insane opportunistic heist, a group of criminals are put to the task. The item in question is held by one of the most powerful men in the world, is desired by kings, and hidden on an island guarded by humans with magical abilities. It’s an impossible task for a highly talented team. But while they work together to obtain the item, they each have their own agenda.
Ryia chops off fingers, heads, and other limbs for a living. Oddly, she’s a wanted criminal in several parts of the world. Despite her cheerful attitude, she doesn’t have a lot of friends. Tristan is a pickpocket. He’s a seemingly nice kid, but he’s stuck in a debt he can never repay. Ivan is a foreign disguise artist with his own reasons for sticking around. Evelyn was a high rising star in the noble guard, until one bad night killed her future.
I don’t usually like multiple narratives, but it worked nicely here, once I was several chapters in and got to know the characters. They were each distinct in their own ways, making them easier to remember. The plot involved all of them working together, but at the same time, they all had their own secrets, and their own reasons for backstabbing their teammates.
The title is very apt. The story is told from the perspectives of several men and women, all of whom are criminals of some kind and of some note. It’s gritty and dark in the way one expects the underworld to be. This isn’t the land of heroes.
There was some good emotional seesawing between teamship and backstabbing lone wolves. Even though they’re hard hearted criminals, I ended up sympathizing with several of them. I wouldn’t want to meet them on the street in real life, but they had great backstories and complex dilemmas. Not to mention, the stress of the heist and all the fantastic fighting scenes were gripping and thrilling. It was a great mix of questionable loyalties, morals, and lots of action.