This was such a fantastic book! It’s like Six of Crows meets Atlantis: The Lost Empire meets Indiana Jones and if that doesn’t appeal to you, then I don’t know what would.
The cast of characters were so diverse and I loved each and every single one of them! I don’t normally love characters to the point of wishing I was in their world (other than Throne of Glass) and for me, this one is right up there!
In this book we follow Séverin who is the leader of this rag tag group. He is a wealthy hotelier and part time treasure hunter who gets the chance to reclaim his inheritance with one final heist. He was previously denied his inheritance because he is mix raced, French and Algerian.
Then we have Laila, who is the perfect example of the friend who mothers everyone. She is constantly baking and always has sugar in her hair. Her and Séverins “relationship” is so fun to watch and I really hope they work things out! Laila keeps the entire group together and often acts as the go between for the other characters. Laila has travelled to Paris from her native India looking for the secret of her existence.
Enrique is one of my favorite characters! He’s Filipino-Spanish who is in Paris fighting for the freedom of the Philippines. He is the smart, problem solving, history buff of the group, and is constantly talking about symbolism and giving the others a history lesson, plus he is so witty and sassy and it’s fantastic!
Then we also have Zofia, who was the character that I felt the most for. She is Jewish, Polish and autistic, and absolutely loves math. She is the engineer of the group and can always be found with some sort of explosive in hand. I love her relationship with the others, especially Laila.
Then we have my precious cinnamon roll baby Tristan, who just wants to be left alone with his plants and his pet tarantula. The others are constantly coddling him and looking after him, and other than the last character is probably my favorite (if you’ve finished this book, I don’t want to talk about it. You know what I’m talking about.)
Finally, we have Hypnos who is first set up as the antagonist of the story who tricks Séverin and his friends into working for him, but eventually becomes friends with them all. He is black, queer, has the best fashion sense, and is so freaking adorable and just wants to be loved.
The plot of this story is so fast paced and I loved all the puzzles and riddles throughout! Each of the characters has important roles to play in solving the puzzles and I really spent a lot of time rereading the puzzles to see if I could figure them out on my own! The book also includes illustrations of the puzzles which really made you feel like you were there with them trying to solve the mysteries. There are also so many mythological and historical references in this book, and there is so much that I learned about history, symbolism, and how important spirals are in both a historical and mathematical context!
I don’t remember the last time a book made me laugh out loud, but OH. MY. GOD. did this book make me laugh! The characters were all just so witty and sarcastic and it made my heart happy! There was one section in particular that made me laugh and I then went and posted a photo of it on Instagram.
“Am I pretty?” asked Enrique, plucking at his fake beard and putting his hand over his jowls, wrinkles, and age spots. “Be honest.”
“‘Pretty’ is a stretch. Let’s call you ‘striking.’ Or ‘impossible to look away from.'”
“Oooh. Like the sun?”
“I was thinking more along the lines of a train wreck.”
Enrique let out a wounded hmpf.
I loved the aesthetic and Séverins hotel was stunning! Each of the locations that the characters went to felt like they were so real, and I could envision them so perfectly that I think if I were to choose a world from a book to travel to, this one would make the list!
I honestly don’t think there is anything bad that I can say about this book! I took my time reading it because I didn’t want it to end, but every time I picked it up, I didn’t want to stop reading! I have no idea how I am going to wait for the second book to come out because I need to know what happens to these characters!