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Jack of Thieves

The Master Thief, Book 1
By: Ben Hale
Narrated by: Derek Perkins
Length: 10 hrs and 51 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (101 ratings)
Regular price: £28.19
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Summary

The Thieves Guild is renowned for their ability to steal anything. Its elite members have robbed nobles of wealth, reputation, and even their honor. The Guildmaster rules them with brutality and fear, yet his name and past are a mystery. From the depths of the Evermist swamp, he seeks a master thief, one who can help him reclaim his lost power.

Young and brash, Jack Myst has drawn the Guildmaster's attention. His feats mark his potential, but his audacity and cunning make him dangerous. After years of preparation, an invitation from the guild is exactly what he desires. When he gets it, his hunt begins, and there is nothing he cannot steal.

Even the Guildmaster's secret.

©2016 Ben Hale (P)2017 Podium Publishing

What members say

Average customer ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • David
  • Worthing, United Kingdom
  • 14-03-17

Generic and unremarkable

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Gods no!
I hate being critical of someone else's hard work, and to be fair the writing isn't terrible, if this is a first attempt at a novel by a young adult writer then I'd say it shows promise.
However.
The story it'self is clunky, the characters two dimensional and ham-fistedly presented, the world building nearly non-existent, the magic system unexplained and uninteresting and the imagery honestly felt as though it was drawn straight from a bad computer game or a dodgy kids cartoon.

Has Jack of Thieves put you off other books in this genre?

It serves as a salutary lesson in being skeptical of any book with a 5 star rating, but I've read plenty of other equally pulpy sci-fi / fantasy novels.

What about Derek Perkins’s performance did you like?

A great performance, clear and with consistent characterisation, can't ask for more in a narrator.

Did Jack of Thieves inspire you to do anything?

It inspired me to find something more enjoyable to listen to and to write this review.. so yes, yes it did.

Any additional comments?

Ben, do yourself a favor and read "The Anatomy of Story" before plotting your next book.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A new classic , great listen

Great listen with really great characters, Ben hale new number one fan, Book two already downloaded

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Outstanding listen.

This audio book was an outstanding listen. I can not wait until the rest of the trilogy is released. Ben Hale is fast becoming my number one author. I really hope there are many more books in the future.another strong narration by Derick Perkins. If you want a good book to loose your self in then give this a try you wont be disappointed.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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good book but way too short :)

cannot wait to see what happens now, I have a general idea especially after the big reveal at the end.
good book overall

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • m
  • 09-08-18

What a shame

Unfortunately I came to this book after searching for something that might help fill the hole left after I finished Patrick Rothfuss.

I'm afraid this simply isn't in the same league.

The characters are cliched and 2-dimensional. The story is, well, boring (sorry). I gave up about half way through when I realised I simply didn't care about the characters or what was happening.

The narration is excellent though.

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Very enjoyable

A welcome listen and enjoyed the story. Well narrated and will get the next book in the series

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Ace

As normal very goodcan't go wrong with this fella perfectly good read if you're into saying honey and a bit more funnier

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Not very good

Not very good didn't finish would return if I could I will be more careful in future about what I buy

1 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Maryann
  • 23-03-17

really......really good!

I was happily listening to what I thought was a nice story when the plot grabbed me and held me strongly till the end. i listen to multiple books at once unless one is so compelling I can't switch to another. Doesn't happen often so I know that when it does I have a gem in my hand. hey

15 of 15 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jessica
  • 10-05-17

What a gem, no a DIAMOND!

What did you love best about Jack of Thieves?

The dialogue for Jack was so funny and witty I was surprised at how far it went. The story was well written and fun. There was never a slow moment in my opinion.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Totally, I had to find more things to do just to keep listening.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Willie-B
  • 19-05-17

Skip it unless you are new to fantasy.

What would have made Jack of Thieves better?

Jack of Thieves has a good plot in an interesting world, but unfortunately the story is presented in such a way that it would appeal to someone in middle school. I have grown out of the type of fantasy this book presnets and moved onto more adult themed books such as GOT or any of the excellent books by Joe Abercrombie. There just was not enough violence in the battles and everything always seems to work out for the protagonist. I don't mind things working out, and I don't mind a book that leaves out the violence, but everything just works out because, there is no real reasons for anyone to act the way they act.

What was most disappointing about Ben Hale’s story?

The way characters just go along with things for no apparent reason.

Have you listened to any of Derek Perkins’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No, I don't think so. The voice actor did a good job with the material he had to work with.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Indifference. It was such a cool concept, but it is difficult to get excited about this with such bland characters.

Any additional comments?

I normally have to stop and rewind books when people talk to me while I am listening, for this book I didn't really care. I hope that the author is able to develop this series better, there were some great settings and situations that just went off badly. If this were a puzzle game, it would be the kind that has a key 1 foot away form a key hole.

13 of 16 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Alex
  • 06-05-17

Annoyingly juvenile

The main protagonist is annoyingly juvenile at key points for no purpose beyond creating filler. The story is half undone by this and then also by the inconsistent rules within the guild. What plot purpose is served by emphasizing how important some rules of the guild are only to blazenly ignore them without any reaction at a later point.

While it isn't annoying enough to justify returning, it's not far from it. Unfortunately I can not recommend this book. :(

19 of 24 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Joshua
  • 25-05-17

Nothing of interest here

Where to begin?

I guess I should state that I didn't quite hate this book, but I think that's mostly because I eventually began tuning it out, and my mood improved at that point.

I found the main character unlikable, at first. Later I transitioned into active dislike. First off, he seems to lack any charisma. Smirking and hurling uninspired insults doesn't constitute charm. His claim to Master Thief status is that he managed to climb a clockwork-like wall and reach the third of fourth doors on the first try. Okay, so he's athletic.

Later on when he goes up against flesh and blood enemies, he tends to get caught with his hand in the cookie jar. At this point, he flashes a smirk, tosses in some insults to sputtering, seemingly-impotent enemies and runs off. My favorite evasion scene involved him declaring that his victims couldn't follow him. Next chapter. That's a big part of my problem. The main character tells everyone, and the reader, how things are and that's the final word. The absolute opposite of "Show, don't Tell."

World building is non-existent. Environs are lazily described, if at all. The characters are all similarly shallow. The female character is named Beauty. The charm of the main character is established by his telling her she has nice legs, or other anatomy, at various points of the story. The leader of the assassins guild? A kid. Shocking. What a crazy twist!! Also, that's about the extent of his character development.

The main character's central motivation and goal seemed to hold some promise, but it unraveled and ended up taking another, and in my estimation, somewhat less interesting path. That's okay, with the lack of character depth and world building, the original goal wouldn't have involved anything too interesting to accomplish anyway.

This seems harsh and I hate to get so negative about a book, but I figure, that if I were a character in this story, being dismissive and unappreciative would qualify me for at least the rank of Journeyman Thief.

18 of 23 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • M. Barnes
  • 14-03-17

Excellent world creation and story

Would you listen to Jack of Thieves again? Why?

Yes. I listen on my iPod in the evening and often go back the next morning and listen again. The story is engaging and the narrator does a great job.

Have you listened to any of Derek Perkins’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No. This is my first book with Derek Perkin's as narrator, but I will look for his work. I enjoy his work.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

This is a book that keeps you wanting to see what happens next so you keep listening.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Sailfish
  • 27-03-17

Story premises were fine; lacking execution

The major story points were unique and interesting but there was too much repetitive and unimaginative focus on the Jack and Beauty budding romantic interest. Also, Jack's continued brashness made him annoying and a less interesting protagonist. Lastly, Derek's narration tone came off blandly which further dimmed my curiosity toward the novel.

Even so, the novel wasn't bad; just not exciting enough. As such, I will not be pursuing the subsequent books in this series.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Peet
  • 05-04-18

still boring

I love fast-paced well thought out fantasy and


this has many mind-boggling 5 star reviews but B H and D P still boring

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • andrew
  • 10-10-17

Eh

Eh, it was fine. Very average, nothing amazing. The flip side was it wasn't bad either, it was a fairly normal story about a group of thieves.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Ben
  • 30-08-17

So Bad....

What disappointed you about Jack of Thieves?

Not even sure where to start with this review. For starters, I'm not sure how it could have gotten such a high rating. Here's a cliffs notes summary of the book:- Jack is a conceited, overconfident blusterer with mommy issues. He's good at everything he does... Women all think he's gods gift to men... .etc, etc. Oh yeah and at no point in the book does he ever really learn any lessons.- He joins the thieves guild to avenge the killing of his mom and powers through every obstacle without really making any mistakes along the way, with the exception of being a total A-hole to everyone he meets and interacts with. There is some reference to some mysterious mythology near the end of the book, but the story so far has been so bad I don't care enough to give this author a second chance.

What could Ben Hale have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Character development. None of the characters really develop at all... all very flat. At best Jack is convinced that sometimes he needs other people to help him out. I almost feel bad for the female characters who are for some reason attracted to him. I guess that's what happens when you try to stuff a lot of story into a shorter fantasy book. There's also a real lack of world building. Generic elf and dwarf races are described... probably the most interesting world building part of the book is the stuff about the animal druid link... but in the end it's just another excuse to make Jack this super-powered character who excels at everything.

Did Derek Perkins do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

Derek does do multiple voices and you can tell the difference between them... I just don't like his performances in general. Something about his voices just give the characters a very juvenile tone. I think he also does the Dragonvein books, which I think could be significantly more enjoyable with a better narrator.

What character would you cut from Jack of Thieves?

Jack. His character needs a major re-write. You're supposed to root for the protagonist but he's just so flat that it's hard to care about him.

Any additional comments?

Not recommended

1 of 1 people found this review helpful