Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads
Title: Gates of Thread and Stone
Author: Lori M. Lee
Publication Date: August 5, 2014
Synopsis: In the Labyrinth, we had a saying: keep silent, keep still, keep safe.
In a city of walls and secrets, where only one man is supposed to possess magic, seventeen-year-old Kai struggles to keep hidden her own secret—she can manipulate the threads of time. When Kai was eight, she was found by Reev on the riverbank, and her “brother” has taken care of her ever since. Kai doesn’t know where her ability comes from—or where she came from. All that matters is that she and Reev stay together, and maybe one day move out of the freight container they call home, away from the metal walls of the Labyrinth. Kai’s only friend is Avan, the shopkeeper’s son with the scandalous reputation that both frightens and intrigues her.
Then Reev disappears. When keeping silent and safe means losing him forever, Kai vows to do whatever it takes to find him. She will leave the only home she’s ever known and risk getting caught up in a revolution centuries in the making. But to save Reev, Kai must unravel the threads of her past and face shocking truths about her brother, her friendship with Avan, and her unique power.
Review: Books that merge fantasy and sci-fi are my favorite. Gates of Thread and Stone does this excellently. There is magic, but there is also technology. The gap between the magic and technology has diminished and the history of the world is full of wonder. There are allusions to some semi-apocalyptic event, but little is revealed about it. There are godlike beings and people with magical powers. There's also this amazing mode of transportation known as Grays. They are run by magic stones, but made of metal. They come in all types of animal shapes. The horse Gray reminded me so much of Robot Unicorn Attack:
Besides the amazing world-building, the story and characters are also so captivating. Kai has an unknown past and has a slight obsession over her friend and companion, Avan. I liked the way Avan was shown to have ambiguity when it came to his orientation. The romance was a main part of the story, but it made sense as the story was from a romance-interested teen girl with a crush. The progress of their relationship was natural. And Kai keeps her focus on rescuing her brother.
Kai's ability to bend the threads of time had a lot of potential. It seems like it could have been used more, but I could see that happening in the sequel which is supposed to come out sometime in 2015. There was a lot more introduced that I could see being delved into more in the sequel, like the gargoyles.
My favorite aspect of this book was the world-building. Towards the end of the book, there was almost constant exposition. I guess this is bound to happen when a protagonist has a blank past and it is explained, but there were so many reveals at once.
I really enjoyed this book and although it was a slow read for me, I give it a 4/5. I highly recommend it to fans of books that blend sci-fi and fantasy. I will definitely be looking out for the sequel.