3 out of 5 stars
If a book starts off being about heists and clever crimes, it should keep being about those things.
From the get go, Midnight Thief had a lot of promise. Ragamuffin teenager Kyra is scaling, sneaking, and stealing. She’s got skills like Inej in Six of Crows and about as little to lose.
But eventually the story turns. Midnight Thief is actually about a race of marauding barbarians called Demon Riders who pillage the countryside atop giant, man-eating cats.
It’s a departure.
Back to sexy acts of thievery, Kyra’s adventure begins when her skills are noticed by The Assassin’s Guild’s intriguing leader, James. He recruits Kyra for a test job – with a twist. She figures it out, and goes to work for him anyways first bad move, girlfriend. The head Assassin doesn’t want her to be an assassin, see? Just a thief. Until he does, of course, want her to be an assassin. Kyra didn’t see that coming. (Er, I did.) She balks, and it doesn’t go well. (Assassin, remember?)
Meanwhile, demon cats. That’s still a thing. They intersect with Kyra’s story in a way that has her fighting both them and James, until she turns one against the other. Okay, still a little clever.
While I definitely prefer heists to magical cats, Midnight Thief was still entertaining. Kyra is a strong character who faces some real moral dilemmas, and makes satisfying, if predictably upstanding, decisions. I just wish she were making them with a jewel in one hand and a pocketfull of lock picks. And fewer giant felines.