Forfatter billede

Natalie C. Anderson

Forfatter af City of Saints & Thieves

5 Værker 671 Medlemmer 17 Anmeldelser

Om forfatteren

Omfatter også følgende navne: Natalie C. Anderson, Natalie C. Anderson (author)

Værker af Natalie C. Anderson

City of Saints & Thieves (2017) 539 eksemplarer, 16 anmeldelser
Let's Go Swimming on Doomsday (2019) 128 eksemplarer, 1 anmeldelse
Město světců a zlodějů (2018) 2 eksemplarer
La fille qui n'existait pas (2018) 1 eksemplar

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I was really enjoying this book right up until the ending which kind of ruined it for me. Can't really explain without spoilers so here we go.

Stop me if you've heard this one before.

We have Good Guy and Bad Guy. Bad Guy is, like, really bad. They rape and murder innocent people and they won't stop. The justice system is either too corrupt to prosecute them or they're too careful to leave any proof of their crimes. The only way to stop them is to kill them.

Good Guy knows this and, while they have a strict moral code and have never killed anyone before, spends the entire book/movie hunting down Bad Guy to kill them.

The chance comes, they're face to face, Good Guy's gun pointed at Bad Guy's head. It's now or never. Good Guy's about to pull the trigger when Bad Guy says, "Go ahead, shoot me. But if you do you'll be just like me."

Despite the fact that Good Guy has had the whole book/movie to consider the consequences of what they're planning to do and come to terms with them, they think Oh shit, they're right. I can't kill them because then I'd be a killer. Bonus points if they're related in some way and the Good Guy can see some of their own face in Bad Guy's. Good Guy hesitates. Bad Guy takes the opening and goes for their gun.

There's a loud bang!

Good guy thinks Did they shoot me??? No I'm not hurt. Blood starts to spread on Bad Guy's chest. Did I shoot?? No, my gun's cold. Good Guy turns to look over their shoulder. Unexpected Side Character stands behind them with a smoking gun before slipping away into the night/mist/forest.

Good Guy turns back as Bad Guy slumps to the ground. Dead. Good Guy gets to have their cake and eat it too as Bad Guy is now dead and Good Guy got to keep their hands clean, never having to make any hard decisions or deal with any consequences of those decisions.


I am so tired of this trope! First of all, the whole "If you do this you'll be just like me" thing is so overdone. Is killing someone ever morally justified? How about when taking one person's life could save the lives of countless others? Philosophers have debated this ethical dilemma for centuries. We've all heard about the trolley problem. We've all thought about what we'd do in that situation. And ultimately there is no "correct" answer, there's just what each of us decides is the ethical choice in a given situation given our own personal sets of values. So, sure, have this scene and maybe we can learn something interesting about the main character. We could get to see what she really values in that split second she has to decide what to do. It's tired but it would give some insight into our MC's true character. That is if the author has the courage to go through with it and have them make the choice instead of foisting the responsibility onto a side character we barely know and never see again.

Tina's story ends up wrapped up neatly in a bow and we never even see what she thinks about what went down. Her father is dead and she doesn't think about him once in the denouement, she just moves on. She never struggles with any sense of guilt or even considers what she would have done if Catherine hadn't been there to shoot Omoko.

She hasn't changed at all because of what happened and that's about the worst way you could end a book.

Still giving 3 stars because the set-up was really well done and I was really invested in the characters and the world.
… (mere)
ElspethW | 15 andre anmeldelser | Feb 26, 2022 |
Abdi's older brother is grabbed by the Somali militia group (Al Shaabab) from school. Three years later, Abdi and his remaining family members are kidnapped by AMISOM (a combined U.S. and Somali army effort.) After being beaten by AMISOM, Abdi is recruited to infiltrate Al Shaabab, where his brother is now a commander. In exchange for a new life for Abdi and his family he is charged with discovering/foiling an upcoming attack. The story is told as flashbacks as Abdi is now an unwanted teenager, under the protection of a U.S. mission worker. He is temporarily allowed to hideout in a refugee home for equally unwanted girls. Abdi is able to recover his humanity as he develops a relationship with the social worker, head of the school and two students, and assists them, eventually able to deal with the atrocities he has witnessed and perpetrated. Violent.… (mere)
skipstern | Jul 11, 2021 |
Oh, dear.

City of Saints & Thieves started out pretty good, but by the end it had reached such nauseating levels of cliche and stupidity that I skimmed the entire climax.

I really should have known when, about fifty or so pages in, I stopped to look up whether the author was from Africa. Because for a novel set in Kenya featuring a Congolese protagonist, the whole thing sure reads really, really white.

This opens up a whole can of worms about whether authors can, or should, write about cultures other than their own. Which, yes and no? If you're a white woman and you're going to write the story of a Congolese refugee, you better do a damn good job. Anderson does not do a good job. Her world is not believable. Sangui City never comes alive, or even elevate itself beyond cardboard cutout 2D. There's no sense of presence or place. Tina's formal education ends when she's eleven, but she casually references the Chinese pirate Zheng Shi and Indian bandit queen Phoolan Devi. Tina and her world don't feel real, and consequently I struggled to remain invested in such an obvious facade of fiction.

Not to mention a lot of technical stuff was just wrong. Tina's ability to open any lock with a couple of bobby pins is ridiculous. Boyboy's hacking reminds me of the hacking scene in Jurassic Park: cute, but that's not how it works. I majored in English, for crying out loud, and even I know the hacking stuff is unrealistic.

The author spent time in Kenya and has worked with refugees, and likely done really important and excellent humanitarian work. I understand and empathize with her desire to tell the story of the refugees she met in an engaging way. But the entire book rings very false.
… (mere)
miri12 | 15 andre anmeldelser | May 31, 2019 |
Pretty good! A little slow and dragging at times but good. I was so mad at first when I thought Tina was in love with her half-brother. I was like all these cute Kenyan boys and she got to like her brother!? With that being said (no, he wasn't her half bro after all), I didn't care for the romance at all and didn't see why Michael was so pretty. Throw stones if you wanna, but the book could've done without Michael and not missed a beat.

I absolutely loved Bug Eye and detested Ketchup pretty much like everyone else did.

There were some heavy themes of rape, survivorship, and family bonds. I liked Tina, but I didn't exactly care or not care for her. I know some people didn't like it, but I was genuinely surprised at who the big boss was.

Overall, it was good (but too long) and I wouldn't read it again.
… (mere)
DestDest | 15 andre anmeldelser | Oct 11, 2018 |



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