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Book Review: The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, by Mackenzi Lee

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Book Review: The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, by Mackenzi Lee

A trio of amateur heroines battle an evil, lawsuit-happy science-fiction cult in the first novel in the Neitherlands series.

Book Review: The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, by Mackenzi Lee

The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue cover art

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue
by Mackenzi Lee
June 27, 2017
Review rating 4/5

I find it a bit difficult giving this novel a genre,

… mostly because it’s a mish-mash of several, at times hitting the mark and at times missing it.

You see, The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue starts out like a very decided romance story. A bit of a strange one from my experience, as it goes a tad further than the other YA fare I’ve read yet doesn’t quite go far enough to be too much. I’d say the romance part, particularly on the first part of the novel, is closer to being scintillating than dreamy, and at times it can grow dense enough to not feel quite inviting.

Then the story takes a turn and becomes a mystery,

…the romance part of it basically thrown aside. It is an interesting mystery, though, so it’s easy to keep reading. I’ll admit most characters here are well rounded and their plights easy to connect with, so you’re always tied to the storyline and what’s going on. As the book goes, the mystery is eventually solved, and then…

Then the novel becomes an adventure novel. Out of the blue, also. With some romance interspersed.

And after a few chapters of adventure, the main plot ends and we’re back to pure romance.

But the thing is, it’s not a bad novel as it manages to keep you interested. It’s pretty entertaining, in fact. It just doesn’t seem to quite know what it wants to be, and is a bit riddled with a plot that throws far too many obstacles on the protagonists, with some of the plot twists happening by pure happenstance and feeling a bit annoying as a result.

Yet it is fun. And it is interesting. It doesn’t make you feel all fuzzy inside and longing for romance as some other novels do, but it keeps you reading, which is good. I can’t say this is a must-read, but I can say it’s skillfully crafted, regularly funny, and for most of it interesting – which I guess is more than one can say about many books out there.

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