In the end itwas all about chance; but he knew one thing, above all else.
Anything was possible.
The Storm Thief by Chris Wooding
This book had an utterly fascinating premise. It takes place in a dystopia of the future on a small island, Orokos, in the middle of nowhere that’s entirely cut off from the rest of the world if at all the rest of the world even exist– to its inhabitants, there is nothing else but Orokos. The city is ruled by chaos. There are these storms, called probability storms, that wreak havoc over the city every time they come. They have to ability to totally and randomly alter things; they can make a house appear on the other side of the city, they can made people simply disappear, they can raze a district– the possibilities are limitless and utterly frightening.
Born into this imbalanced world are two young thieves, Rail and Moa, who struggle everyday and to survive. On one mission for their theif-lord master, Anya Jacana, they come across a rare piece of technology that in a moment of impulse, they decide to keep– a decision that alters their fate completely. It’s the beginning of the biggest adventure of their lives that will not only change the way they see the world, but perhaps all of Orokos as well.
This book had a lot of fantastic things about it. It’s one of the better books I’ ve read in a long time. (In a way, it reminded me of Laputa: Castle in the Sky if you’ve ever seen that movie.)
First, I liked the characters a lot. Rail (a boy) and Moa (a girl) are well defined and very humanly so. Rail is down to earth and cynical; Moa’s a bit of the dreamer. I liked the way they relied on each other for what they lacked and how they stayed in character, for example Moa was a dreamer and thus she dreams of a better life. (It bothers me when books say characters are one thing and then they never act like it.)
Rail and Moa were very easy to get attached to. The story was told in third person, from many character’s points of view, which I liked becuase I got a chance to understand all the characters. I actually haven’t read a book like that in a long time (except for my own) and it was a rather nice treat. And because of it, I really got to know both Rail and Moa and they became full and real in my head.
That and the fact that the writing was pretty good was a major plus. I’ve been reading so many lame books lately that I was thrilled that this guy knew how to write. He doesn’t work the old saga style, but he, like many contempory authors, found a quick pace and stuck to it. It gave the book a certain mood, like a rainy day kind of feel– mysterious and fascinating, it made Rail and Moa’s journey seem real and dire. The writing drew me in and kept me interested.
One thing in particular that I really liked about the writing was how easily the conversation and story flowed. Everything worked together really well. The people sounded natural when they spoke and they had their little quirks. The plot was well paced, and events never seemed rushed or drawn out. While reading this book, I had a little movie going in my head. I guess this world was, though crafted with simple words, really came to life for me.
The only bad thing I have to say about this book was that as I was reading, I got so attached to Moa and Rail that the other parts of the book, told from different characters points of view, made me anxious becuase I really wanted to know what was going to happen to the heroes next.
That’s not to say that those other parts weren’t as good; I guess in a way, this isn’t really a bad thing, because I was definately enjoying what I was reading. It’s simply that I like some people more.
The best part of this book was hands down the ending. It was superb. It answered all my questions and didn’t feel at all cheesy or rushed. It had enough meat to it to wrap things up nicely, but just like a good meal, it left me wishing for more. The story doesn’t need more; I was given enough information to infer what was going to happen, but at the same time, I was so invested in the characters, I was a little sad to see it come to an end.
My final thoughts for this book? Excellent. I really enjoyed it. It’s aimed at a younger demographic, mainly older kids between 10 and 14, but I still had a great time reading it. The writing was not at juivenille and it’s pretty much guaranteed that I’ll be looking into more of Wooding’s work. The Storm Thief brought me into a well developed world and gave me a cast of characters I could barely stand leaving.
0. Couldn’t get past chapter one for fear of wanting to kill myself. Book induced suicide…
1: Yuck. Ew. Below Average. Probably didn’t even read the middle and skipped to the end.
2. Ok. Would’ve been better if I’d written the ending and everything else.
3. Not bad at all. Very enjoyable. Quite nice. Recommendable.
4. My kind of book. Near ideal, but something was a little off (annoying names, bad ending, that sort of thing).
5. WOW. Makes me wonder why people watch T.V when this is out there. Really liked it. Don’t expect to see this often.
6 and above. What I want my book to be.