Book Review: Langley by Poppy Kuroki

Note: This is a free book received through Poppy Kuroki’s Newsletter. The link is at the bottom of this review.

I love books that return to worlds I’ve come to enjoy. Basically, new books in a series that expand on the story or character or just continue from where things left off. Poppy Kuroki’s Langley may not continue from where things left off with Black Diamond, but it expands on what came before, and I do so love her world.

1. Thoughts on the plot

If you’re not familiar with Poppy Kuroki’s world, it follows the members of the Black Diamond organisation, a group of assassins devoted to the goddess of death. They came to join the organisation by different means, each one of them finding their place in this unlikely group. This story follows Langley, a boy raised as a traditional dancer by his father. One day, however, his father is attacked and Langley must determine by whom and how to stop it.

The plot is fairly straightforward, given that this story is firmly in novelette territory at about 75 pages or so. That does not make it any less interesting. Langley’s story is one of family and duty and love and I really enjoyed the twist at the end. Very surprising!

2. Thoughts on the character

Of the Black Diamond members I’ve seen so far, Langley is perhaps the most focused and disciplined. He has a devotion to his craft—dance and performance—and spends hours applying himself to improving his ability and seeking the approval of the master performer, his father. I appreciate the depth of Langley’s character, as well as the arc of a child who prefers to embrace his family legacy instead of turning away from it. That extra bit of character development at the end, with the twist that I can’t talk about because of spoilers, well that really made Langley a character to root for.

3. Favourite part

That twist that I can’t talk about because of spoilers. Well done!

4. Critique

My only critique is that I would have liked more. This book was so well done and I love this world and could happily spend hours there, so am always a bit disappointed when the story ends.

Overall, Langley was another stunning instalment of the Black Diamond series and I would highly recommend it and all the other books to anyone looking for a story that breaks from the unexpected and makes you feel.

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