The Lies of Locke Lamora  - Scott Lynch This was my second time reading this book, and I promised myself I'd write a real review of it this time. I loved it the first time I read through it. I still enjoyed it a great deal the second time, although perhaps a little bit less, because the surprises in it lose a bit when you can see them coming. And that's one of the things that was so great about it. It was full of real surprises that I couldn't predict. Usually, in most fantasy books, I can predict the supposed surprising twists and turns of the story. With perhaps the exception of George R.R. Martin, but his surprises are always HORRIBLE. And Lynch's surprises tend to be more, well, exciting as opposed to horrible. Martin only seems to know how to shock his audience with more death, and Lynch shows that there are many other ways to keep the readers guessing.

The characters this book is about are not good people. They're thieves and con artists, operating in a ruthless city filled with corruption. I fell in love with Locke Lamora as I read it. I enjoy him, because although he is a bastard, he yet does have a code. Despite the way he screws people over, he actually does care about the little guy. And his friends are more dear to him than anything in the world. This is the sort of character I can enjoy. He's also smart. And while it's great fun to watch him outwit his enemies, it's also perhaps even more fun to watch him fuck everything up and have his plans blow up in his face. Make no mistake. Locke Lamora is NOT a Mary Sue who can never fail. He is a smart but fallible anti-hero, which becomes apparent if you manage to make it past the first third of the book, which is spent demonstrating to the audience how awesome he is.

I could say a few more things, that I loved, and perhaps a few things that could have been better. (Perhaps 4.5 stars is what I'd really give this.) But they are things that would really ruin the book for you, and as I said in the beginning, it becomes a bit less enjoyable if you see the surprises coming.