Rating: 5/5 stars
“God made no mistakes in crafting their hearts.” – Roshani Chokshi
Okay, so where to begin? I was really excited about this book as soon as I heard about it. Treasure hunters? Paris in the 19th century? Heck yes I was going to read this book. And, guys, it did not disappoint.
The world was hard for me to get into at first because I didn’t fully understand what was happening. And a lot of the puzzle and mathematical parts went directly over my head. That changed, though, as the story progressed. I became intrigued by the magic and the mystery of the plot, but the mathematical bits were still a struggle.
The shining light for me, however, was the characters. I LOVE the characters in this book. They were fully fleshed out and very different from each other and felt like real people. I liked that they relied on their brains to solve problems instead of having magic that fixes most things. I enjoyed reading about their relationships to each other and the banter between them was fun.
I was shocked to learn that Roshani Chokshi was inspired to write this story after learning of human zoos. This book takes place in Paris around the time of the world’s fair, Exposition Universelle of 1889. They had an exhibit called a “Negro Village” where people were put on display. When I came across this concept in the story I thought “wow that’s horrible,” but then I found out that it is a true part of history. Our history is so much darker than what we learn in history class. These are the types of stories that should be talked about and I am glad the author did.
Okay, so I ended on a dark note there, but I enjoyed my time with this book and I learned quite a bit. I will definitely be re-reading it the future. And I can’t wait for book 2!