You’d never know that Shatter Cage is a were-squirrel by looking at him. Between fake fire charms and his impenetrable confidence, everyone believes he’s the phoenix he claims to be.
The lie is a necessary part of his branding. He’s determined to become a Hero, blessed by the Oracles and venerated by legions of followers. For now, he’s just one more thief slinging magical artifacts on the black market, hoping for infamy to strike like lightning. But he’s never going to become canonized if Gutterman, demon and loan shark, gets his pound of flesh from Cage first.
A job offer from the biggest Hero cult in America lights a path to fame — and enough money to repay Gutterman. Unfortunately, Cage’s ex-girlfriend, Brigid Byrne, wants the job as bad as he does. Whoever steals an artifact named Nábrók will be hired. And Brigid doesn’t mind kidnapping, poisoning, and back-stabbing Cage to win…
The race of thieves is on. And Cage is bent on scoring Nábrók before all his bad decisions catch up with him.
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Title: Race of Thieves
Series: Artifact Hunters #1
Author: S.M. Reine
It’s been a few months since I read Reine but reading this made me feel as if I never left. I was obsessed with the Descent series, the first set of books to introduce me to Reine’s work. I loved her characters, loved her world, and I just loved how lost I could get in it all. It’s been fifty years, and it’s a new world. The best part about this book is that it’s so deliciously great with the open-mindedness. I don’t wanna say what they are for spoilers’ sake but a perfect example would be everyone meeting up at a drag club. The dress code is drag, and Cage totally rocked his look. There was no insecurity. He wasn’t worried about how he’d look dressed like a woman. It was just normal.
I want to tell you everything else that was made just as normal without the “I wasn’t sure but” or “normally this, but instead” bits, but just know that there are a lot of things in here that I think some other books don’t do for risk of losing particular readers. Cause you have the ones who won’t read a book if the guy’s in drag, or if his sexuality is questioned, or if he’s getting hit on any which way. It was just a big breath of relief and so damn refreshing to read a book that didn’t make anything feel awkward just because they’re constantly used as comedic relief and not really seen as normally accepted. Accepting something isn’t saying you’re okay with it ‘in spite of’, but just being okay with it without having to say you are, or why. I just really loved the open-mindedness, there’s no other way to say it without spilling everything.
The writing style is great. Reine’s story-telling is fast, engaging and it makes you forget you’re reading. You’re really immersed in the character and the whole world and more often than not, I always find myself wishing I was there right along side them. Cage was just ridiculously hilarious, but the things he didn’t say or do were also cool and they gave him a bit more depth in the time I got to know him. I liked his chaotic thing going on with his heroine counterpart, and I love that this is in the Descentverse. It makes me want to read the other series that are a part of this and if I enjoyed the other characters in here, I feel like I’d really like the other ones I haven’t met, yet. It’s an absolute recommend of this author, if not this series, and I highly suggest you check out all her other works that may call to you more than this wise-ass squirrel.