Thursday, September 6, 2012

It's a Love Story, Baby Just Say Yes

Expected Publication: October 9th, 2012
Mystic City (Mystic City # 1)
By: Theo Lawrence
Random House Children's Books
ISBN-13: 9780385741606

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.  


   Aria Rose is missing a major chunk of time.  So major, that she can't remember falling in love with Thomas Foster, the son of her family's multi-generational political  enemy or that they were engaged.  She also doesn't remember her supposed overdose on a mind altering substance created by the magic of mystics, called Stic.  Aria begins to question whether or not things really happened the way she's been told after she finds Thomas in a compromising position and it seems like her parents will do anything for her not to remember.  Then she meets Hunter, a rebel Mystic from the Depths of the city who wants to destroy the current political order, and Aria feels an inexplicable connection to him.  Things begin to unlock from her memories and send her down a dangerous path that might lead to the collapse of New York City - and her entire world with it.  Can Aria figure out the truth in time to know who to trust?  And who will live or die when it comes down to the biggest fight of them all?  I was intrigued by the concept of global warming trashing the world and causing a new class system to form.  The fact that natural magic was thrown into it caused me to request this from the publisher.  I was left with mixed feelings by the time the book ended, which are still mixed a half a month later.  Aria was semi-likeable, but I felt like she used her missing memories to act like a ceramic doll at some points and an atrocious brat at others (like when dealing with Hunter at first).  The whole dynamic between the Mystics, who are drained of the powers to keep them 'harmless', and the wealthy non-Mystics was very confusing.  If I had the powers to make people do what I wanted them to, would I voluntarily let myself be drained, treated like a second-class citizen and crushed into inescapable poverty?  HELL TO THE NO!!!  It didn't strike me as very realistic.  I liked Hunter and his complicated back-story and Thomas was delightfully morally ambiguous for a slightly villainous side character.  Aria's friends Bennie and Kiki were basically afterthoughts and despite the author's attempt to make Davida a major part of the story, I never saw any depth to the servant girl's relationship with Aria (which was supposedly really close).  I felt like it was a little to clearly drawn in terms of right and wrong, without enough in-between to be a truly satisfying and fleshed out story.  Aria as a heroine did annoy me at the constant obliviousness she displayed to what was really going on around her.  And there was some major inconsistency in the overall world-building that irks me.  Generally not a book I would recommend for anyone but tween girls, or young adult/adult readers looking for a bit of fluff.  I won't be going further with this series.

VERDICT:  3/5  Stars

*I received an Advanced Reading E-book Copy from the publisher, via NetGalley. No money or favors were exchanged for this review. This book's expected publication date is October 9th, 2012.*

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