A magical city divided.
A political rebellion ignited.
A love that was meant to last forever.
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.
3 1/2 stars
Thank you to Edelweiss and Random House Children’s Books for this eARC! You can pick up a copy for yourself on October 9th, 2012!
Well that … was exactly what I expected.
I mean, of course I’d hoped for something more, but at least my expectations weren’t unfounded, right? …let me explain.
After you read that blurb, you have a ridiculously good idea about what’s going to happen in the novel. You’ve basically got this backwards Romeo and Juliet thing going on. (That was actually mentioned several times.) (I hated Romeo and Juliet. Just sayin’.) ANYWAYS. Right from the get go, something is clearly amiss. They say that Aria got the memory loss because she overdosed on drugs, but she is clearly not the kind of girl who does that sort of thing. The fact that she even partially accepts that story completely boggled my mind.
I’m going to attempt not to make things any more obvious than they are, but I guessed the reason for Aria’s memory loss from the very first chapter. It was not entirely subtle, or even halfway concealed. If you can pick out YA clichés, you can pick out where this is going to go from a mile away.
You know what? I’m fine with novels that draw the readers to conclusions the narrator is too stupid to grasp right away. IF IF IF we don’t take too long before we bring the narrator in on the secret before you start screaming, “ARIA YOU IDIOT HE-LLO!” My major critique of this book is that it gave us a very obvious plot line and then took an overly long time to spell it out for Aria.
That being said, though, I am usually the first to critique slow pacing in a book and that’s not at all what happened here. Aria may have remained far too clueless for far too long, but there were ALWAYS things happening. I could almost, ALMOST forgive her slow brain because of the fast plot. Again, none of the revelations were particularly surprising for the most part, but they were presented in an aesthetically pleasing way. The plot was not complex, but I still enjoyed what I was reading.
The world building was also nice. I didn’t find too many obvious plot holes, but then it wasn’t particularly complicated, either. You have your mobster elite who rule the city, their supporters, regular people, and then you’ve got the mystics they drain to keep from being dangerous. I would have loved to have spent more time in the mystic underground than we did, but I guess that’s for the second book. And there was plenty of magic usage, so that makes me happy.
And, of course, let’s talk romance. Awkward semi-love triangle/square? Check. Clichéd lines? Check. It didn’t annoy me–which is a good mark!–but I certainly am not about to sing its praises, either.
The second half of the book is where it really gets interesting in places. It did manage to surprise me a few times, and I always love a good display of magic, especially when there’s fighting involved. There was a distinct attempt to give several characters depth, which I appreciated, but most of the characters–including Aria, Hunter and Thomas–remain fairly unimpressive. They were okay, yes, but just not very unique. Although, I must say Aria DOES pick up some heavy machinery in the final battle that is impressive, if a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment.
All in all, I enjoyed this book. I didn’t LOVE it, but I certainly liked it. It was a very fast read that was an enjoyable way to spend the day. If dystopian romance is you thing, then you might like this one! Actually, it reminded me very much of Matched by Ally Condie. (See my review HERE.) Very, very romance centric, but there is also plenty of guns and magic flying around. If you’re looking for a quick read with an easy plot that doesn’t require much thinking–EXACTLY what I wanted when I read this!–then this is for you!
The second and yet untitled book in the Mystic City series is slated for a 2013 release.