Mystic City (Mystic City #1)
Delacorte Books for Young Readers
October 9, 2012
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For decades the Roses and the Fosters have been rival families, one ruling the East of Mystic City, the other the West, only now Aria finds herself engaged to Thomas Foster. With no memory of how this betrothal came to be, Aria can't fathom the proposed joining of the two feuding families came to be, but everyone else seems thrilled about it.
Their marriage will solidify a great political union and bring together Aeries -the privileged ones living about the city - against the mystics banished to the the Depths below.
If only Aria could remember this supposed great love . . .
It's not until she encounters Hunter, one of the mystics living below the city, that Aria thinks she might be even starting to start to remember something. It doesn't seem as if everything is as she's been told - about her memory loss or anything else.
The premise of Mystic City with its rival families, society castes, and a girl who may be about to uncover the truth behind what's she's always been told her entire life, sounded really fantastic. For some crazy reason, I had a little bit of a hard time getting into the story at first. At first it seemed like certain things were just too easy to predict or that it was too obvious what was too come.
As I kept reading, though, Mystic City really grabbed me, it became really engrossing. The things that I thought were too obvious or made an outcome too clear turned out to either be purposely that obvious, so that they would be guessed and figured out - or they only seemed so clear-cut so that when it turned out not to be what you thought, it would be surprising (but never not believable).
Aria's memory loss plays well. The reader is allowed to get a few steps ahead of her, seeing things she can't - or won't - see about both the story and the characters. At times it does get frustrating, as you do want her to wise up and see something or someone for what it is, but that's not who she is or where she is. It does get to a point that her naivete, however, is kind of pushing it - I felt a sort of 70/30 pull between thinking it fit her character and being frustrated with her, thinking she was being a bit dense.
The design of Mystic City reminded me a bit of what Julie Kagawa had designed in The Immortal Rules. Here we get a really good description of the different areas/levels, especially the Depths but I do wish there had been a bit more on how the city as a whole connected. Maybe I just had trouble picturing all of it. I did love that the environment, transportation, and things from the modern day were all taken into account when building this new, future city.
The characters and the emotion, not to mention the plot are fantastic in Theo Lawrence's Mystic City, Mystic City #1 and will leave you eagerly awaiting the second book in this trilogy.
digitial galley received from publisher through NetGalley - thank you!