Title: City of Saints & Thieves
Author: Natalie C. Anderson
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mystery, Thriller
Publisher: Oneworld Publications
Release Date: July 6th, 2017 (UK)
Street-thief Tina breaks in to the luxurious house where her mother was killed to steal from Mr. Greyhill and nail him for her mother’s murder. She is caught red-handed.
Saved by Mr. Greyhill’s gorgeous son, Michael, the pair set in motion a cascade of dangerous events that lead them deeper into the mystery, and reveal dark and shocking secrets from Tina’s past.
Tina and her mother fled the Congo years ago as refugees, trading the uncertain danger of their besieged village for a new, safer life in the bustling Kenyan metropolis. The corruption and politics of the Congo, and the gangster world of Sangui City, are behind Tina’s mother’s downfall. Is Tina tough enough to find the truth and bring the killer to justice?
Following her mother’s death, Tina has to learn how to take care of her younger sister and herself, all the while living off the streets in Sangui City. As part of the latest mission the local gang she’s part of has embarked on, Tina must infiltrate the house of the man (presumably) responsible for her mother’s murder. The mission, however, is compromised and Tina must now face a past she has no wish to go back to. Determined to find out the truth about that night, she embarks on a journey to find out who her mother really was and what really happened to her.
I’ve sat on this review for two weeks now and I’m still not sure how to write it so it might end up being all over the place. City of Saints & Thieves is definitely not a bad book – it’s enjoyable and attention-grabbing. My conflicted feelings may be caused by the fact I read this while in a not-so-good place, but for the most part it really did entertain me.
The writing is definitely one of this book’s strong sides. Tina’s voice is captivating and easy to follow. I also liked the occasional pop culture reference that would pop up, it made the book all the more fun. (You can’t mention comic book stuff and expect me not to get excited, ok?) The first person POV goes perfectly with the atmosphere the book creates and definitely helps build the suspense.
Tina is a refreshing character and it was interesting to see things through her eyes. She’s not any of your typical YA heroines. She’s determined, but often finds herself questioning herself, which I found incredibly realistic and relatable. Some might think her resolve weak for wavering at the slightest nudge, but we all know how easy it is to give into those little seeds of doubt that get planted inside our heads. Despite all that, Tina still pushes forward and does not give up on her principles – I really appreciated that about her.
Honestly, I feel like we didn’t get enough of the rest of the characters and I couldn’t form solid opinions on them because of that. And personally, I think we got too much of Michael, but that could be because I didn’t like him. I wasn’t interested in anything he had to say or offer.
Overall, City of Saints & Thieves did not manage to ensnare me completely. I enjoyed it, but I also found it a bit lacking – probably due to the chaotic mental state I was in while reading. I’d still recommend it if you like mysteries and suspense.