Thursday, March 28, 2013

Review: Mystic City, by Theo Lawrence

Title: Mystic City (Mystic City #1)
Author: Theo Lawrence
Publisher: Delacorte Books
Publication Date: October 9, 2012
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Aria Rose, youngest scion of one of Mystic City’s two ruling rival families, finds herself betrothed to Thomas Foster, the son of her parents’ sworn enemies. The union of the two will end the generations-long political feud—and unite all those living in the Aeries, the privileged upper reaches of the city, against the banished mystics who dwell below in the Depths. But Aria doesn’t remember falling in love with Thomas; in fact, she wakes one day with huge gaps in her memory. And she can’t conceive why her parents would have agreed to unite with the Fosters in the first place. Only when Aria meets Hunter, a gorgeous rebel mystic from the Depths, does she start to have glimmers of recollection—and to understand that he holds the key to unlocking her past. The choices she makes can save or doom the city—including herself. 
Manhattan is not what it once was. The corrupt rulers and upperclass live in the luxury of the Aeries, with it’s skyscrapers floating high above the eroding landscape below. The technology of the city runs completely on an energy drained and collected from the registered Mystics, the magic-wielding lower-class forced to live in the poverty of the Depths. 

We’re immediately introduced to Aria Rose, the daughter of one of the two ruling families of the city. She finds herself engaged to Thomas Foster, the son of her parents’ sworn enemies, without any memory of meeting him, much less falling in love with him. She’s told the gaps in her memory are due to her alleged Stic, a drug created by Mystic energy, overdose. Their union will erase the division between the two political rivals and ensure they retain their possession of power. Romeo and Juilet, anyone? Yeah, not so much. As Aria struggles with regaining her memory and believing in her “passionate” romance, she meets Hunter, a rebel Mystic from the Depths, and discovers the world she was forced to forget.
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I’m not even going to pretend to not judge a book by it’s cover. I mean, just look at it, it’s gorgeous. Possibly one of my favorites, ever. And the premise of this book was wonderful. It had all the elements of an exciting story - dystopia, magic, romance. Also, I am actually obsessed with New York City, so I was really interested as I began reading. I thought the author did a great job a painting a vivid picture of the revamped city, referencing streets and specific Manhattan landmarks. Other than that, I felt as though there wasn’t much depth to the story or characters. 

While the book was written from Aria’s point of view, I didn’t feel as though we had much insight into her feelings or emotions. There was only a few times when we saw her get passionate about something or stand-up for herself. Oh, and she was extremely naive and gullible, and that was slightly irritating. 

I’m not gonna complain about the story being predictable, because I sort of had an idea of what was gonna happen before I even began the story. However, I thought there could have been a plot twist or two to keep things interesting. The vibrant world-building is definitely the highlight of this book. Despite the unlikable characters and shallow relationships, I was compelled to see where the story was going to go and finish the book. 

Rating: 3.5/5

Recommended for: Fans of X-Men, the dystopian genre, and Romeo and Juliet like retellings.
Review also posted via GoodReads and Tumblr

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