The Thief

by Megan Whalen Turner

{ 1996 | Greenwillow Books | 224 pgs }

In the words of Tracy Jordan, “Twist!”

Have you ever watched Ocean’s 12? That’s the one where they try to steal the egg, remember? At the end we find out they had successfully stolen it a while back. The Thief has a similar end-of-story plot twist with little, if any, foreshadowing.

Up until the final chapter, I enjoyed The Thief. The characters were interesting and fairly well-developed, the plot was captivating, and I wanted to know what happened next.

The problem was that the book was told in first person, and we were never given any indication that the narrator was not who he claimed to be until the last pages of the story. Suddenly the entire book was explained as being a giant plot twist. I can think of only one instance where the narrator said something that hinted he might have a different identity. Since Amazon says The Thief is intended for readers age 9-12, I doubt that most readers were able to piece together the true story from such lacking foreshadowing. It just wasn’t any fun to find out at the end that the plot was half-hidden.

The writing is good, and, as I said, the story is interesting, but I wasn’t impressed with the Ocean’s 12-esque ending. Maybe kids age 9-12 will enjoy?

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