Rating: 3 stars
I received this eARC from Blackstone Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of this book in any way. All quotes are taken from the uncorrected proof and are subject to change.
Ezekiel Blast is a thief, or that’s what everyone thinks. Truth is, he’s a finder. It’s his micropower. He finds lost things and returns them, which has given him quite the reputation. Beth Sorenson, a proportionate little person, wants in on that reputation and the shunning bubble that comes with it, and makes fast (and reluctant) friends with Ezekiel.
When the FBI ask for his help finding a missing little girl, he isn’t sure he can do it. But when the unthinkable happens, it’s up to Ezekiel to do what only he can: return lost things to their owners.
“When people treat you like you’re guilty, then you feel the shame just as if you were. Shame is what other people force on you.”
I was honestly pretty conflicted about this book. To begin with, I didn’t even want to finish it until the plot actually kicked off, which really wasn’t for a long time. The first few chapters threw me into things too quickly (mostly thanks to the inordinate amount of dialogue) and left me feeling drained and disinterested.
But then stuff happened, and it kinda took me by surprise. This was way darker than I had ever imagined it would be. What felt like a middle grade book suddenly had very adult themes and elements, and it resulted in an intriguing but tonally unbalanced story.
The biggest issue, though, was the writing. Consider me surprised that someone who’s been writing for longer than I’ve been alive somehow needs to brush up on his atmosphere and pacing and descriptions of any kind. It felt consistently like a white room. Dialogue went without tags for so long, and the characters speaking had essentially the same exact syntax, that I often forgot who was who and had to sleuth my answers from context clues. It honestly felt like a script for a comic book, not a regular novel. The things that were severely lacking were beginner mistakes. It really makes no sense. Add to that Card’s weirdly important discussion about pubescent breasts and the highly questionable descriptor “concentration-camp scrawniness” and you’ve got yourself a WTF kinda book.
And why on Earth was Ezekiel so butthurt about people calling him by his actual last name? That was such an unnecessary detail and it only made me dislike him. His character definitely grew on me, but he was such a bratty smart aleck most of the time.
I did, however, like some things. The banter was sometimes great, especially between Ezekiel and his father. The mystery was alright, but some extremely concerning aspects were kinda brushed over. I liked how it ended and the train of logic some scenes had. The climax was handled well and I appreciated Shank’s character a lot (but what is it with male LDS authors and their insistence on weird nicknames? Card and Dashner do this and it’s so annoying and juvenile).
Overall, this was fine. It could have been really cool, with superhero elements merged with a very Criminal Minds meets SVU plot, but the technical errors and some poor choices really dragged it down. I’m disappointed.
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