Title: The Baker Thief
Author: Claudie Arsenault
Genre: Adult: Fantasy, Superheroes, LGTB+
Format: E-Book ARC
Publication Date: 26th June 2018
My Rating: 4/5 stars
Adèle has only one goal: catch the purple-haired thief who broke into her home and stole her exocore, thus proving herself to her new police team. Little does she know, her thief is also the local baker.
Claire owns the Croissant-toi, but while her days are filled with pastries and customers, her nights are dedicated to stealing exocores. These new red gems are heralded as the energy of the future, but she knows the truth: they are made of witches’ souls.
When her twin—a powerful witch and prime exocore material—disappears, Claire redoubles in her efforts to investigate. She keeps running into Adèle, however, and whether or not she can save her sister might depend on their conflicted, unstable, but deepening relationship.
BAKER THIEF is the first in a fantasy series meant to reframe romance tropes within non-romantic relationship and centering aromantic characters. Those who love enemies-to-lovers and superheroes should enjoy the story!
Thank you to Kraken Collective for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
This book has some trigger warnings, and at the start of the book, there is a page dedicated to the trigger warnings and the pages they appear in. So please take care of yourself and read this page first if you are planning to read this novel and do not want to come across anything that triggers you.
The first chapter jumps straight into the “action” and was able to hook me in immediately. Claudie Arsenault’s writing is so easy to read and flows fluently, and I adored how descriptive she is, without going over the top with the descriptions. This is my first novel by Claudie Arsenault and I can see myself reading more of her lovely writing. I’m almost positive the chapter titles are written in another language because I have no idea what it means. So I mostly just ignored them – no idea if they were important, ahah.
I adored the characters the moment I met them. Claire’s entrance was amusing and I was immediately in love with her personality and bubbly and carefree nature. Claude is genderfluid and Claire is his female self, but for the purpose of cohesion, I’ll just call her Claire for the most part. Claire is also aromantic, and it was eye-opening to read about aromanticism from an own-voices point of view. Her sibling relationship with Livia is sweet and I loved reading the scenes with the together. Strong sibling relationships are the best, and I’m glad that more books are incorporating positive sibling relationships. Claude works in a bakery, and literally every time the bakery scenes came up, I was hungry and craved for hot chocolate and croissants.
When I first met Adele’s character, I didn’t know what to think of her. She is definitely interesting but I was in love with her character as much as I was with Claire. But as the story progressed and we get to see Adele more often, I grew to love her personality, kindness and sympathy. She also has a sweet sibling relationship with her sister Em, whom is the coolest sister/scientist ever. I love how Claudie Arsenault also focuses on the importance of family ties in this story and how it wasn’t overshadowed friendships and colleague stuff. Claude/Claire and Adele have such a great friendship together and I’d love to read more about them together and exploring each other’s boundaries.
Throughout the story, we get to meet a lot of interesting and diverse characters. Usually, a large cast is a problem for my short-term memory, but all the characters were so realistic and lovable that I was able to keep up with who was who. In many novels, side characters are often forgotten, but in this book, the side characters all got equal “page-time”, enough so that we could learn about them and grow to love them. Some side characters I adored include: Zita, Claire’s best friend and Kouna, Adele’s boss, who is fierce, loyal and righteous.
The story starts off with a bang, but gets a little slow as the author sets up for the main action. But after at least 50 pages, the story picks up due to the mystery of the exocores and the disappearance of Livia, who is a powerful ice witch and is Claire’s twin sister. I was constantly at the edge of my seat as I read through the action scenes and was not prepared for the plot twists that were thrown my way. Of course, there were ones I could see coming, but there were a good few that I did not, and it helped keep me wanting more from the book.
Overall, the book is amazing, filled with characters on the LGTBQIA+ spectrum, and is action-packed and intense, keeping the reader interested. You all should definitely get this book once it releases on JUNE 26TH 2018! The characters were easily lovable and their personalities fun and realistic. The world building is strong and descriptive, and the plot has a clear direction and mostly keeps you on your toes.
I also made a little aesthetic for this amazing novel:
Will you be reading The Baker Thief when it comes out?