Oct 4, 2019

DNF ARC Review--Into the Crooked Place by Alexandra Christo

Into the Crooked Place begins a gritty two-book YA fantasy series from Alexandra Christo, the author of To Kill a Kingdom.

The streets of Creije are for the deadly and the dreamers, and four crooks in particular know just how much magic they need up their sleeve to survive.

Tavia, a busker ready to pack up her dark-magic wares and turn her back on Creije for good. She’ll do anything to put her crimes behind her.

Wesley, the closest thing Creije has to a gangster. After growing up on streets hungry enough to swallow the weak whole, he won’t stop until he has brought the entire realm to kneel before him.

Karam, a warrior who spends her days watching over the city’s worst criminals and her nights in the fighting rings, making a deadly name for herself.

And Saxony, a resistance fighter hiding from the very people who destroyed her family, and willing to do whatever it takes to get her revenge.

Everything in their lives is going to plan, until Tavia makes a crucial mistake: she delivers a vial of dark magic—a weapon she didn’t know she had—to someone she cares about, sparking the greatest conflict in decades. Now these four magical outsiders must come together to save their home and the world, before it’s too late. But with enemies at all sides, they can trust nobody. Least of all each other.

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest and voluntary review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

It is with great sadness that I must add another DNF book to my list for this year. I wanted to read Alexandra Christo’s Into the Crooked Place because I adored her debut, To Kill a Kingdom, but alas, try as I did, I just could not get into this story.

I read up to the halfway point and felt like I didn’t really retain any information as it seemed very little was happening. Obviously, some things did happen, but it was more just like the start of the story. I’m aware that this is a duology, but I guess I was sort of expecting for this first book to complete or nearly complete the goal ahead of them and they were only starting their quest when I called it quits. These four misfits, you could say, join together to track down a nefarious character who is using other magic users for his own gain. They plan to kill him.

I will say that the characters were the better part of the story, at least the main four that I met, there was a mysterious fifth person who came in for a brief chapter, but since I had to quit reading this one, I never got a follow-up on that character. I can’t even remember his name, it is possible that it could’ve been the man they were after.

I feel like what led me to quit the story was partly a pacing issue but also a world-building one too. I felt like I wasn’t understanding this particular world we were in and how things work. I grasped some of how magic was used and how it worked. But then other magical related things popped up that seemed to contradict that knowledge.

I don’t know how else to describe it, as I was a little confused with it myself. As I might have mentioned before, I am picky with my fantasy reads. If the world becomes so complex or isn’t built in a way that I can easily understand how it works and how magic works, should it play a role in things, then I am likely to call it quits. I’m not going to give myself a headache just to try to read through it all or just mindlessly read so I don’t have a DNF on my plate. I read just past the halfway mark, and yet I won’t count this towards my reading goal, as that’s not how I roll. Nothing against others who would count it, but for me, I feel like the book needs to be read towards the end to count. I have flipped through books to see how it ends, but since this is a kindle read, I’m not messing with that way of reading. So this is a no-count DNF read for me.

But I’d still recommend giving Into the Crooked Place a go if you loved Alexandra’s previous book! This one was just wasn’t for me, as I said before, I am picky with my fantasy reads and how the world-building goes. That largely plays a part in my comprehension and ultimately, enjoyment of the story.



  1. How disappointing! The cover is absolutely lovely!

  2. Ah I’m so sorry to see that you had to DNF. I’m at 25% of this right now and I can completely u sweat and what you are saying about the magic and how confusing the world building is. I’m hoping that I get more into it, but we will see!

  3. OH NO. I'll admit that I started this one and quickly put it back down, but I wouldn't call it a DNF just yet. Is it dumb that I was turned off by how tiny the text was? XD The world does sound pretty confusing. I'll still give it a chance but my expectations are definitely lower now.


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