Title: The Stone Thieves and The Honourable Order of Inventors
Author: Eddy Telviot
The Stone Thieves is a YA sci-fi novel that combines chemistry with legend to create an interesting and complex novel filled with action, technology and intrigue.
#gifted | I was very kindly sent a copy of this book by Eddy Telviot (@fabatoms) in exchange for an honest review.
SPOILER LEVEL: LOW | This review contains minor details about the characters and plot of this novel that can be found in the blurb, as well as information about narrative structure.
The Stone Thieves is the first book in a new sci-fi series that follows four teenagers as they are invited into a group they never knew existed and taught extraordinary secrets. They are offered an opportunity few would refuse, but their failure will result in the expulsion of their family from the order they are attempting to become a part of. I really enjoyed this book – it was fun, action-packed and interesting – and it shows a lot of promise; I’m hoping the series will continue developing over the next instalments. The only reason it didn’t rate higher for me is due to a couple of personal preferences that I just couldn’t overlook whilst reading. I’ll start with those first, and then move on to the rest of the bits that I really loved.
Personally, I’m not a huge fan of third-person omniscient narrators, especially when there are a lot of perspective changes. It does allow for the exploration of a lot characters and I enjoyed learning more about them, but it did occasionally feel a bit jarring as the narrative could shift between characters across successive paragraphs, or even sentences. I prefer to stay in the head of a single or a few characters in chapters as I find it easier to compartmentalise the different narratives if they are restricted to their own chapters, so switching perspectives multiple times in the same chapter just wasn’t my favourite element of the novel. However, if this doesn’t bother you, or you really enjoy multiple perspectives, then you’ll almost certainly enjoy this novel.
The second thing is a very specific pet peeve of mine, but I couldn’t stop noticing its usage throughout the novel. That is, referring to known characters by something other than their name – as I said, very specific. I completely understand referring to an unknown character as “the stranger” or “the tall boy” and that it works well to add intrigue and description to a new character. However, if I know the character’s name, I don’t like them being referred to as “the hungry boy” or “the French boy” when their names could just have easily been used. It is a super specific pet peeve and I doubt most people would even notice, but it was something that I just kept spotting!
Right, now, onto the amazing parts of this book, of which there were several. Firstly, I loved how logic-based the scientific elements were – almost everything had an explanation and I’m sure that the elements that were not explained will be part of the successive novels – and I always appreciate it when technology is explained in futuristic novels. It is obvious that the author’s interests lie in chemistry, biology and genetics! I do only have an A-level Biology understanding of things like genetics, but at least it sounded as though it was logical and well-thought through. All of the different gadgets and technologies that the characters are given all sounded interesting and fun (and only a little dangerous!). I also loved how these technologies interacted with ancient arts and crafts, such as meditation, extracting poisons from plants and Tai Chi. I felt like I was learning alongside the characters.
I enjoyed the friendship that developed between the four main characters. They are thrown together but learn to get along and become firm friends as the novel progresses. A lot of the humour in this book developed from the character’s interactions with each other, as well as the strange situations they find themselves in. They definitely exhibit some of the classic traits of 15-year-olds in YA books, mainly that they believe they are all-knowing and invincible, and I mostly enjoyed seeing them realise that that is not the case! They definitely annoyed me at times, but I was really rooting for them by the end. I am hoping to learn even more about their backgrounds – particularly Veronique’s – in the next book in the series.
The secret world of the Few that this book has created is intricate and complex, spanning across time and continents. Again, Eddy Telviot offers detailed explanations of how the group originated and continued to grow and survive over the past millennia. I think I will enjoy the second book even more now that a lot of the world-building has been done and the focus can be on the action. My favourite part of this book was definitely the last 100 pages or so as it was action-packed and very tense.
I am definitely going to be carrying on with this series, though I’m not sure when the next book is due out. And another huge thank you to Eddy Telviot for sending me a signed copy of his book for me to review.