• Grace A. Johnson

Review: Phantom Thief by P.D. Atkerson

Updated: Aug 24


It has been a long time since I walked away from a book and said, “Boy, that was fun!” I guess I’ve been reading a lot of subpar fiction and a lot of heavy stuff recently—I don’t know.

All I know is that Phantom Thief was indeed fun. Action-packed, suspenseful, wild, and fun. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and that kind of nail-biting, thrilling experience trumps any qualms, if you ask me.

I will just throw it out there that there were some typos and errors, but they didn’t detract from the story. (And I’m a fine person to critique typos, am I right?) One thing that did make my reading a little slow was that it was written from a more omniscient perspective, so I did a few double-takes to try and figure out who was talking and when. The writing style was kind of hard to follow at times, but once I got into the story (which occurred when I discovered that I can actually read PDFs on my Kindle) I couldn’t get out!

I guess you’d classify this as a YA spy thriller/suspense...in which case, this was a first time for me. Definitely not my usual historical romance, right?

But I have a secret affinity for fiction like this. I know, you couldn’t tell it by looking at me, could ya? Well, it’s true.

Anyway, the characters were all so amazing—from Lee (of course) to Winfield to the rest of the gang—and, y’all, the banter! The sarcasm! Those moments where you’re just casually reading and all of a sudden a laugh bursts out of nowhere and you’re trying to keep your mouth shut so that nobody looks at you like you’re weird, but you end up choking on your laugh and getting looked at anyway. You know those moments, don’t you? (Tell me I’m not the only one!)

Yeah, there were a lot of those in this book.

There were also a TON of plot twists. Y’ALL, THE TWISTS!

Atkerson did such a great job at weaving those twists in throughout the story, so that I never detected anything until it was revealed and I just marvel at how I didn’t notice it before! Gotta love a twist that catches you by surprise and then makes you feel like an idiot because it was there the whole time and you never picked up on it. (I totally got the deal with Winfield on, like, Chapter 3, though. It was everybody else who had me fooled.)

Another thing, the way the story flowed was way different than anything else I’ve ever read—mainly because this isn’t my usual genre…but also because of how many different turns the story took. I guess you could say it read like a pantsed novel—as a pantser myself, I could see how Phantom Thief unfolded a lot like some of my own stories. Now, I may be wrong - it could've been plotted - but that’s the vibe I got.

It was kind of slow in the beginning, picked up in the middle, and then just brought out all the stops toward the end. Plus, I started reading it much faster once I sent it to my Kindle. (Yeah, yeah, I’m one of those dummies who didn’t realize PDFs could be emailed to and read on a Kindle. Cut me some slack, will ya? I’m not tech savvy.) So, yes, that made a difference.

Needless to say, if you can make it through the beginning—and I have no doubt you can; Lee’s snark is showcased in the first couple chapters perfectly—you will breeze through this story!

Obviously, there were some elements that seemed unrealistic—about as realistic as a book about a fifteen-year-old genius thief who could break into the Pentagon while munching on a Pop Tart could possibly be—but it wasn’t written in an unrealistic way. Make sense? You find yourself buying the whole thing (and wondering if your next-door neighbor is secretly an evil mastermind) and getting so immersed in the story that it starts playing in your head like a movie. Mark of a great novel, am I right?

I’m right.

So let me just stop with all my nonsensical rambling and tell you that Phantom Thief will without a doubt be one of the funnest reading experiences you’ll go through. On top of that, you’ll come to love Lee so much that you’ll be on the edge of your seat, waiting to read the next installment of his story!

Seriously, I love that kid. He’s something else, lemme tell ya.


Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. All opinions expressed are my own.

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About the Author

P.D. Atkerson is a homeschooled writer, living in Montana. She spends almost as much time in the worlds she creates as she does the real one.

When she’s not reporting the stories of Simon Lee and other heroes, she’s making cakes, learning Russian or traveling to different worlds through the portals of books. She has a black belt in sarcasm and a master’s degree in useless facts.

Visit her on her website at pdatkerson.blogspot.com!

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