Slowly, I descend the main staircase of our apartment, which curves dramatically into the reception lounge, currently packed with important guests. Tall ceramic vases line the room, overflowing with roses of every variety: white albas from Africa, pink centifolias from the Netherlands, pale yellow tea roses from China, and roses altered with mystic dye right here in Manhattan to produce colors so electric they hardly seem real.”
Aria Rose hardly seems to know where she is at the minute. Having suffered an overdose of Stic, a drug made from mystic energy which gives nonmsytic people a buzz, she has lost some of her memory. Aria cannot remember sneaking around with Thomas Foster, the second child of the family Aria’s has been fighting against since before she was born, but apparently they were starcrossed lovers, meeting in the Depths for months before her overdose and when it all happened Thomas broke the news to her family and proposed. Aria now has to marry a boy she does not remember loving so that the two families can unite and fight against the Mystics who are threatening to obtain power of the city in the upcoming election. On top of it all Aria meets Hunter, a rebel mystic who she seems to be there for her whenever she needs him, and who stirs up feelings she shouldn’t be having about another guy just before her wedding day.
I started reading Mystic City unsure of what to expect. I was under the impression that it was a kind of Romeo and Juliet story mixed with X-men and to be honest I wasn’t expecting much from that description to be honest as Im not keen those types of comparisons, but with a great cover and with it being a dystopian, I knew I just had to read it anyway!
The storyline was brilliant and I seriously felt frustrated for Aria, memory loss must be an awful thing to handle. However as the story goes on and the memory loss appears to become a bit more sinister than first thought, I was even more hooked. When Aria finds the letters between her and her secret lover from before the ‘overdose’ I knew instantly what was going on but I still enjoyed the way the whole storyline worked out. I enjoyed the world in which Mystic World is set but I would have preferred a bit more background as to how it became that way. The world is very alike what we live in now but with magical people who have to be drained following an explosion just before Aria was born. The history matched ours to the exact details but with these magical people and I would have liked a bit more about how they came about. Other than that, with the effects of global warming mentioned and topical interests such as the first world war and tweeting mentioned I got the impression that that world isn’t so far away from the one we live in now.
The characters were interesting but I must admit I found Aria a bit annoying. I understand that some things may have been because of her memory loss and the strange situation she was in but to be honest she bugged me, she was naive and so typically ‘girly’. She is not a strong character and it seemed that she was often put in positions which were stereotypically feminine because of her gender. It annoyed me that although this was a future world the leaders of the manhattan side of things were all male with fully male accomplices, expect for their wives/girlfriends and daughters who weren’t involved in the ‘rough’ stuff. Aria did grow on me towards the end of the book though and I have to give her more credit than it sounds like I am for actually doing some of the stuff she did. Violet and Davida were the only strong female characters and were my favourites, however they are not viewed highly at all in the book. I liked Hunter and Turk a lot and thought they were great, especially Turk with his great outlook on the world, but most of the characters were not nice and were really not meant to be. I was angered and upset a lot by both Arias family and Thomas’ and Thomas himself did no favours in trying to get me on his side. None of the Foster or Rose family members are nice at all and I frequently found myself shaking my head or the book and swearing at them.
Mystic City is a great read and whilst it does feel a bit like a lot of the other dystopians out there, theres more to it than some of them. Lawrence does a great job of hooking you in and the story refuses to let go so if you want to read it keep some time free! I really enjoyed the story and need to know what happens next desperately, but I guess I will just have to wait until next year for that!
Mystic City is the first in the series of the same name. It was published by Corgi, a Random House imprint, on October 11th. My copy was sent in exchange for an honest review.
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