Review: The Story Thieves by James Riley

the story thieves by james riley

Life is boring when you live in the real world, instead of starring in your own book series. Owen knows that better than anyone, what with the real world’s homework and chores.

But everything changes the day Owen sees the impossible happen—his classmate Bethany climb out of a book in the library. It turns out Bethany’s half-fictional and has been searching every book she can find for her missing father, a fictional character.

Bethany can’t let anyone else learn her secret, so Owen makes her a deal: All she has to do is take him into a book in Owen’s favorite Kiel Gnomenfoot series, and he’ll never say a word. Besides, visiting the book might help Bethany find her father…

…Or it might just destroy the Kiel Gnomenfoot series, reveal Bethany’s secret to the entire world, and force Owen to live out Kiel Gnomenfoot’s final (very final) adventure.

Description taken from Goodreads.

I thought this book had a great premise and I loved the way it used jumping into stories. The execution of this book was just about perfect for me, in fact. There are lots of Harry Potter themes and references, and I really enjoyed seeing those even though I didn’t necessarily love the Harry Potter books themselves. I think this would be a great read for Harry Potter fans, or people who are looking for a book with the same ideas at times but don’t love the actual books.

I loved the characters, the action themes and the world-building in this story. I didn’t necessarily really like the plot at times because of unnecessary run-offs or slowness in pacing. It wasn’t enough to drag, but I wished things went a little bit faster at certain moments.

Going in, I thought Bethany would be my favorite character in this book, but I found that Owen was my favorite. He’s kind of bland in the beginning, but he grew a lot as a character and I really came to enjoy him in a way I can’t quite explain. He’s a bit of a quirky, quiet kid against Bethany’s persona, but I really enjoyed his journey over the course of the STORY THIEVES.

Altogether, I really loved this story and I would recommend it. 4 stars.

pg count for the hardback: 400


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