The Fantasy Review’s Spoiler-Free Review of In the Lives of Puppets by TJ Klune.
Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing a review copy of this book in return for an honest review.
Fans of TJ Klune’s previous books, Under the Whispering Door and House in the Cerulean Sea will probably enjoy In The Lives of Puppets. With an interesting concept and some queer rep (ace and genderqueer), this book promised a lot and gave a little less.
In the Lives of Puppets is a pretty solid book, but to be honest I might not have finished it if I wasn’t going to review it. It just felt like I had such high expectations and was let down quite a lot, especially with the genderqueer rep. Sure, it’s there, but not quite in the way you might like.
The worldbuilding and characters are pretty mediocre, with some interesting elements here and there. Despite the slow pacing, we don’t learn enough about the world or the characters to be truly immersed in this narrative.
Overall, I would say that you can probably skip this novel and focus on Klune’s other works which are better in almost every way.