If you haven't read the Lies of Locke Lamora yet, then this thread may spoil for you. Read at your own risk. Seeing that this topic is about the first book of the Gentlemen Bastards sequence books, do not borther putting spoiler tags around information regarding the first book. However, if anyone has anything to say about the other Scott Lynch Gentlemen Bastards sequence books, then use spoiler tags! For more Scott Lynch discussion, see also this thread.
The Lies of Locke Lamora (LoLL) was one of the books I recently picked up for ten cents a piece. (Yes, very happy about that.) It was also one of the books on my list of books I still wanted to read because an array of friends, colleagues and acquaintances had recommended it.
So here we are, I own the book and I have read it. And I must say I too like it. Its strong suits are the buildup, switching between normal chapters and flashback chapters, thereby creating nice cliffhangers every chapter that makes you keep reading. The downside is that some of the flashback chapters are infodumps, and also that after a while, you can guess what will happen next, depending on the sort of information dumped in the flashback chapter.
I quite liked the descriptions, and how they added to the atmosphere of the story, which are especially strong in the first half of the book. The cursing was over the top and artificial at times near the start, but seemed to work better as the work progressed. Especially if it was Locke doing it.
Locke not using his real name didn't come as a surprise to me. Especially when it was stated that Lamora was probably not his real last name. I suspect that Locke may be connected to the Throne Therin in some way, but if so, then that will probably be revealed later. The Sanza brothers and Bug were also all marked for death from the start, when it became apparent that the only other Gentleman Bastard worthy of backstory was Jean Tannen. (Poor sods.) Nonetheless the characters and their interactions felt more dimensional than what can be read in other works of fantasy fiction.
As an European the whole Venice-Italian canvas the story is painted against is one that I found pretty dull and uninteresting, and the reference to the Camorra was pretty straightforward, but the group of friends that were the Gentlemen Bastards made me keep on reading (together with the cliffhangers). I wanted to know more about them and for the rest of the sideshow bob's bobbing around the story, I couldn't care less. Although I felt that Nazca could have been more interesting to read about, had she not been killed off a few chapters later. (Pity.)
The fights were well done though, and balanced. Which is something that sometimes goes overboard. Nonetheless the 'good guys' win in the end. But at least it was in a satisfying way.
All in all an entertaining read that made me interested in part two.
What did you think of LoLL?