Title: City of Saints & Thieves
Author: Natalie C. Anderson
Series: Stand Alone
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: January 24, 2017
City of Saints & Thieves is definitely not one of those books that I tend to gravitate to normally, but that is a good thing! This year I told myself that I would do my best at reading more diversely and this book is definitely assisting me with that goal!
This story takes place in Kenya. Our main character is Tina aka Little Girl. Tina is a member of the local gang called the Goonda's. She steals things for them. And I don't mean she just pick pockets people on the street, she breaks into highly fortified locations that should be next to impossible to get into.
Of course, she doesn't do the jobs alone. She has a team behind her being her eyes and ears. BoyBoy who is not a Goonda handles all the technology stuff and hacks into things when Tina needs him to. Bug Eye is the guy in charge. And there is Ketchup. He is...well he is Ketchup. Tina doesn't really trust him, but he comes in handy as extra back up on jobs.
However, Tina's life was not always this way. Tina and her mother were refugees from Congo. Her mother found a place to work with a well to do family in a rich neighborhood. Her mother eventually had another daughter, whose father just happened to be the man that Tina's mother worked for. But over all, everything seemed to be going well for them and life was more or less just fine and dandy.
Until Tina's mother was murdered.
Tina, being pretty sure she knew who murdered her mother, took her sister and ran. She got her sister set up with the Nuns and in school with them and then took off. She never strayed far from her sister though, she felt she owed it to her mother to stick around and make sure that her sister was always safe and taken care of. It is during her time on the streets that she found her way into the Goonda's and her calling as a thief.
And it is when she breaks into the house that her mother used to work at, where she used to live, that this story starts.
It really does start off with quite a bang. Pulling you directly into the story. Action right from the get go.
I really appreciated the characters too. Especially Tina. Often times we don't truly get a strong female lead, but here in City of Saints & Thieves we do. She is not one for apologizing and stepping aside. She is the kind of girl that is going to fight for what she needs/wants/believes in. And it is quite refreshing to have a character like this.
Also, while some of the locations of the story are made up, I believe we are still getting a glimpse as to what life is really like for those in Kenya, especially refugees. I know not all end up in gangs etc...but I do think this book is allowing those of us who have never had the chance to go to places that these locations are influenced by to see what life can be like there. Does it tell me everything I should know about Kenya and the hardships they face? Does it tell me everything I need to know about the refugees from Congo? No, it does not. But it does give us readers a glimpse though, and what we choose to do with the glimpse is up to us.
City of Saints & Thieves has strong characters and lots of intrigue and mystery. Definitely not one to miss.
This review is based on an ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are mine and mine alone.
Enter for a chance to win one of five (5) finished copies of City of Saints and Thieves by Natalie Anderson (ARV: $18.99).
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