It's hard to believe this is a debut novel - the plot is intricate and tight, the pacing is taut, the characters and the world they inhabit richly drawn. The book tells the story of the rise and fall of Locke Lamora and the Gentleman Bastards - the City of Camorr's most accomplished and creative thieves and con artists. Its the first in a series but this book wraps up well and does not leave any huge loose ends.
And did I mention it's hilarious? It is but it is also at times quite dark. It's a fun adventure but still has weight. Its a nice mix.
The world created is perhaps analogous to a rennaissance era Italy but with alchemy and man-eating sharks and Fagin from Oliver Twist. Its a really intriguing and fascinating world.
So why not a 5 star rating? Its really close - a 4.5. But for whatever reason it wasn't an addictive read for me. But still really really good!