The Lies of Locke Lamora – Scott Lynch

This has to be one of the best books I’ve read all year. Think mofia and thieves with some magic and a whole lot of trickery and you’ve got the basic premise for this stunning debut work by Lynch.

Lynch has a natural talent for telling a tale and an incredible way of depicting reality. The novel is complex, realistic and morally ambiguous. Perfection. The morality of this book is slightly skewed, which only adds to the intrigue.
Lynch does have a unique writing style that might take some people time to get used to. Between each chapter is an “interlude” where he talks about character’s pasts and gives brief snippets as to how the main characters became who they currently are in the “chapters” which tell of “current” events. Some people couldn’t stand this, but I enjoyed it. The interludes parallelled nicely to the chapters. I got to read a “coming of age” story without it taking up half the book. It dragged out the suspense of the plot in a lot of parts, but didn’t do it in an annoying way. Most importantly, it added depth to the characters, city, situations and more.
Lynch also drops the “f-bomb” quite often in this book, which is another thing people complain about on the forums (if they complain at all). I guess this is a sticking point to me. How do you expect thieves in a mofia setting to speak? Of course they will swear. I give Lynch credit for making their dialogue, at times, absolutely hilarious. He had some of the most creative insults, curses and the like thrown into this book. I found myself (at the most inopportune times) laughing my unholy ass off while I was reading this.
I don’t think I can sing the praises of this book enough. Everything about it was perfection. It was gritty, realistic, moving, hilarious, unpredictable and packed with events. The crescendo steadily builds from the middle of the book, so there is no waiting until the end to get your “big scene.” From the middle on, the “big scene” is constantly happening. What most authors would wait till the end to have happen, Lynch places in the center of the story and from that point on, does not disappoint.
I can’t recommend this book enough, but if I had to limit it down, I would limit the recommendations to people who enjoyed Joe Abercrombie’s work and Brent Weeks “Night Angel” books. People who don’t mind grit, gore and language as well as slightly gothic themes. People who don’t mind moral ambiguity or unique sequence of events. Fantasy lovers (of course) and anyone looking for an incredible, amazing story to read.
Seriously, this has been my favorite book I’ve read all year.