Thursday, November 29, 2012

ARC Review: Mystic City by Theo Lawrence

Mystic City
Author: Theo Lawrence
Publication: Delacorte Books for Young Readers (October 9, 2012)

Description: 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.  

My Thoughts: This is a familiar fantasy story. Upper class young woman discovers that the world she lives in is a lie through falling in love with a member of the lower classes. It has been done before. This rendition, however, is well-done and very readable. Less experienced readers will find the story especially compelling as the story will be newer for them.

Aria is the daughter of one of the families that control Manhattan. She is scheduled to marry the scion of the rival family thus ending the rivalry between them. She is told that she is in love with Thomas but doesn't remember falling in love with him. Her family has told her that she has had a bad reaction to a drug called Stic which is made of distilled mystic energy and that her memory loss is because she almost died. She tries very hard to recover her memories and fall in love with Thomas again but isn't very successful. She really doesn't like him.

When she travels to the underside of the city where the poor and the drained mystics live, she meets a young man named Hunter and falls for him. Hunter is a mystic who is undrained and who still has his powers. His mother is running for mayor and that lets Aria begin to understand why her parents are so insistent that she marry Thomas and reunite the two rival families. Together they can field a candidate who will be able to defeat her and retain their control of Manhattan.

I was especially intrigued by the world that Theo Lawrence created with global warming melting the polar ice and causing the flooding of New York City. The Depths now have canals running where streets ran before. The mystics have been confined to what was once Central Park but which is now almost completely flooded. Aria and her class live high above this flooded land in the Aerie. The city is powered by energy drained from the mystics. People of Aria's class are afraid of what the mystics might do if they weren't kept drained and essentially powerless. The mystics have a variety of powers including being able to heal and being able to hurl energy bolts as weapons. 

I thought the political intrigue running through the story added to the interest too. I never knew what side some of the characters were on and really hoped that Aria was trusting the right people. I liked the romance between Hunter and Aria which had echoes of the story of Romeo and Juliet up to having them use those names as they corresponded secretly with each other. Watching Aria try to follow the clues and recover the memories her parents stole from her made her a very sympathetic character. 

Fans of fantasy dystopias will be a good audience for this first book which is, naturally, the first book in a trilogy.

Favorite Quote:
Hunter is good at covering his tracks, at living as a rebel without being caught, even when he's in the Aeries. At basically disappearing off the Grid. But what if that's not enough? I will protect him. And I'll protect the people in the Depths if I can, poor people who want a better life, mystics who want equality.

But most of all, I think as Davida clings to my arm and we exit the Great Lawn, I will protect myself.
I received this ARC through the Amazon Vine Program. You can buy your copy here.

1 comment:

  1. ooooo, this looks awesome!



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