The debut story of Locke Lamora is gripping and crammed with an intense gamut of emotion. Though the secondary world is vividly realized, the characters are what make this novel shine. The dialogue is sharply witty and every motivation fits its corresponding personality like a snug winter jacket. Sections of intentional world-building stood out from the rest of the action, but even though this stole some momentum from the main plot, each instance of description was redeemed through later relevance.
My only disappointment was in the main character, the titular Locke Lamora, who is attributed as being smarter than everyone else, yet is routinely outsmarted. Locke survives mostly due to luck and the help of his friends rather than through his own personal genius, which contradicted the narrative description offered.
I have already purchased two additional copies of this book so that I can lend it out and encourage others to dive into the dangers of the Camorri underworld. To this end, it comes with my firmest recommendation.
So go read LIES and prepare to be steeped in a vividly imagined world full of snark and shark.