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- Publisher: Random House Children's Books
- Publication date: 10/9/2012
- Pages: 416
- Source: eARC provided by publisher via NetGalley for review
For fans of Matched, The Hunger Games, X-Men, and Blade Runner comes a tale of a magical city divided, a political rebellion ignited, and a love that was meant to last forever. Book One of the Mystic City Novels.
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.
Okay, first let's drool over that cover a little... done? Okay, moving on. The first reason I wanted to read this book was because of that gorgeous cover. Then after reading the synopsis I was more intrigued. I was a bit nervous about it due to the whole political feuding thing, but it was excellent. This book was full of magic, romance, secrets, and scandals. I found myself completely glued to this book once I started. The visualisations, the character growth, and the flow of the storyline were just incredible. The only downfall I had was the predictability of it all. There was no part of the story that shocked me, as I was just wondering when it would actually be out in the open. It didn't take away from my enjoyment of the story though. I loved the Romeo & Juliet type vibe that it had and I was hoping they would not meet that same tragic ending.
Aria is obviously the privileged daughter of one of the most powerful people in town. She lives in a huge high rise apartment building, has more money than anyone needs, and is engaged to be married to the gorgeous younger son of her fathers rival and they will unite the families. She wants so hard to remember meeting him and how they fell in love, but unfortunately since her overdose on Stic, a drug made from diluted mystic energy, she has partial memory loss. I didn't really connect with her character completely because honestly, I thought she was too stupid for her own good and I just wanted to smack her at times. As she is trying to remember things or piece together clues, so many things are so obvious that it's unbelievable that she doesn't make the connections. That aside, she is a very determined girl. No matter what the situation, or what will come of it, she keeps pushing on. She is almost killed numerous times, chased down, and subjected to "medical treatments".
This book takes place in future Manhattan. A very destroyed version of what was once a beautiful city. Due to global warming, much of the city is under water. All of the mystics (or the people with magic energy) are all banned to lived in the Blocks down in the Depths, where they live in poverty. This is a horribly sad and destroyed part of the city where it is almost totally taken over by water. They have gondolas to travel around. They are also drained of their powers because their energy fuels the city. They must be registered, but some of the mystics live in hiding as rebels so they can keep their powers. They don't believe in how the "Government" rules. There is much more to it than meets the eye. Are the mystics really as bad as they are made out to be? Just like with any group of people, you have your good ones and your bad ones. What are lies and what is the truth? Now Violet, one of the mystics is running for political position in hopes to be able to save the city and let the mystics and everyone live together as one. No more segregating or taking peoples powers away from them. She is seen as a major threat.
Overall I loved the beauty of the writing, the steady pacing of the story, and the sweet romance. The magical element of this book was wonderful too. I wish that it had been a little bit more of a mystery to unfold, but even knowing what was going to happen, I loved reading it as it did. This is a decently sized book at over 400 pages, but it was a very quick read. It was such a fantastic story that I didn't want to stop. Although I didn't fully connect with the characters, I still wanted the best for them. I couldn't stop cheering on Aria. And the more she got knocked down and set back, the more her determination grew, and so did mine right along with her. The way this book ended has me really looking forward to the next one. It was wrapped up nicely so it didn't leave us with a cliffhanger, but it does leave you wondering what will happen next. 4 out of 5 stars.