by Theo Lawrence
Series: Mystic City #1
Published by: Random House
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. 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.
I was drawn to the gorgeous cover of Mystic City and the synopsis with its promise of a dystopian world. Theo Lawrence has a new fan. I absolutely immersed myself into the world he has created and cannot wait for the next installment in this series. From his phenomenal world building, writing style and likeable characters Lawrence completely drew me in to this fantasy world laced with paranormal elements, hatred, oppression and rebellion.
The tale begins when we meet Ari Rose. She is the youngest scion of one of Mystic cities most powerful families. After a Stic overdose in which she almost dies, she wakes to find herself betrothed to Thomas Foster, the son of her parent’s sworn enemy. The upper city of Manhattan is basically divided into two political camps those who support the Roses and those who support the Fosters. When a mystic from the Depths begins a political campaign for the upcoming election, the families decided to join forces through the marriage of Ari and Thomas. Ari is confused, she cannot believe she would have tried a drug, let alone overdose and she has no memories of Thomas. Despite her concerns, her parents keep pushing the wedding plans. When Ari meets Hunter, a swoon-worthy rebel mystic who lives in the Depths, she begins to recall lost memories. Convinced he holds the key; she begins to try and regain her lost memories. The tale that unfolds is breathtaking, filled with danger, lies, actions and romance.
When I first met Ari, I wasn’t sure what to make of her, but as she regained her memory she became surer of herself and her personality fully emerged. I ended up really liking this brave girl, as I discovered more about her and the stand she was prepared to take. She is selfless and sweet. Hunter was confident, mysterious and smexy, except when it came to Ari. From the beginning it’s apparent she is important to him and that he cares about her. I found him to be noble, protective and I became attached. Thomas seemed like a spoiled rich kid, who tried to manipulate and mold Ari. When he didn’t get his way, he tried to buy her happiness. Ari’s maid Davida was fascinating and added to the tale. Ari’s friends and those she meets in the Depth helped propel the tale and each had distinct personalities. Turk and Kiki were my favorites. I look forward to learning more about them. The people in the Rose’s circle were fascinating and it was interesting to figure out who to trust.
The world-building and plot stole my breath away. I love world-building and Lawrence painted a Manhattan skyline that blew my mind. From the upper city to the Depths, I found the world mesmerizing. Filled with gadgets, scanners and a complex society I was in sheer heaven. I adore when a writer is able to create the world in my mind with a stroke of a pen. His attention to detail from the character’s dress to the murky tunnels delighted me. Having been to Manhattan, NY several times I was able to imagine this new world with its extreme weather and partially immersed buildings. The society was intriguing. We are slowly given details about how this dystopian world came to be, the mystic’s role in it and the caste system. I simply gobbled all of this information up. The plot was perfectly paced, with plenty of twists and turns. The romance is sweet and unfolded slowly. The characters are well fleshed out and we even see growth as Ari begins to fill in the missing pieces. I am completely enthralled with this new series and cannot wait to get my hands on book two.
I highly recommend Mystic City to fans of dystopian, fantasy and romance. I have pre-ordered a finished copy for my book shelf. I might add this is the first, non-eBook I have ordered all year since I am trying to go digital, but I want a physical copy of this one.
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