#Review: The Chicken Thief

chickenThe Chicken Thief by Fiona Leonard

Published: 2014
: Penguin South Africa
Paperback: 350 pages
Genre: Political, Action
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Source: Received from the author/publisher for an honest review
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Alois is The Chicken Thief, a bright young man struggling to find his way in a southern African country wracked by political unrest and a crumbling economy. Through a chance encounter, Alois is set to make some fast money. But the enterprise goes horribly wrong, and he finds himself in a complicated and perilous struggle to rescue a war hero and transform the political landscape. Though an unlikely hero, Alois discovers, in this charming and fast-paced adventure, that both dreams and justice are within his grasp. – Goodreads

My Thoughts:

In a southern African country that is plagued by corruption, an economy that is sliding and a president who is not all he seems to be, comes Alios an unlikely hero. Alios is a chicken thief – this is not code for something, he really steals chickens and he takes pride in his capabilities. He also sees it as his job and not as a crime, a viewpoint that was easy to share with his enthusiasm. Alios is thrust into a world of secrets when he is asked to pick up a letter by a wealthy man for a lot of money! Here things change and not everything is what they seem to be. Alios must find strength within himself to go on a journey that could change his country forever!

What I found really intriguing about this novel, was that it hit close to home. Living in South Africa, I felt like the author was talking about South Africa a lot of the time. And maybe she was, or maybe this southern African country with no name, is South Africa, although South Africa is referred to in this novel as bordering or close. Going along with the SA feel, what I found interesting is that the president doesn’t really seem to run the country, his ministers do, he seems to just be the face of the government. There is something about the president – an idealistic man gone wrong that only added to this novel!

Then there is a whole host of brave characters that make up this novel. The setting, as I’ve discussed, felt so real and I could imagine every single scene in this novel. I say scene, because it played out so visually in my mind! The pacing was perfect and the action was very well placed. Although I’m not the biggest fan of the cover, due to me not really liking yellow and orange, I do think it suits the novel fantastically. And the title is another great fit! Together it makes sense, fit the storyline and is something a little bit different on my bookshelves.

It doesn’t look like there will be a sequel, and the book doesn’t need one, but I would love one! Maybe it can take place in 5 years, just to see what has happened to all the characters and the characters I didn’t get enough of! I recommend this book to anyone who loves a good political action thriller and just a genuinely good story with strong characters!

*** Spoilers and Discussions: ***

For quite some time I thought Alios was Gabriel’s son, and I was very glad to find out I was wrong. It would have been just too convenient!

There is something that bothered me, Rose and Alios’s relationship. It felt so one-sided, even when Rose really came into the story. I never thought that she really cared, but that she was just there for the action or something. I also don’t really think Alios cared about Rose. I think he just liked a pretty face and confused it with love.

Favorite Quote:

“To the untrained ear, fear is in the sound of a footstep, the breaking of a branch, the heaving of a chest. But only a bad thief makes those sounds. To hear a practised thief you must listen for the sound of the blood in his veins as it carries to his extremities; the only sound that cannot be hidden.”