Author: Theo Lawrence
Series: Mystic City
Publisher: Random House Children’s Books
Genre: Young Adult
Pre-order Amazon: Mystic City
Release Date: 9th October 2012
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.
Review: 3 ½ out of 5 stars
Mystic City is the first book in the Mystic City series by Theo Lawrence and was kindly provided to me by Netgalley for Random House Children’s Books.
I was initially drawn to Mystic City from the beautiful cover and really intriguing synopsis, it is a story which follows the Rose and Foster families who have been embroiled in a political feud for generations but have formed an alliance with the engagement of their children Aria and Thomas. Their union will prevent the Mystics (humans able to wield magic) from ever having a shot at public office.
Aria has no idea of how she became engaged to Thomas; she has lost a few weeks of her memories apparently from an overdose of a street drug known as Stic but things just don’t add up and she begins to question their time together, their love and their parent’s motives for wanting them married so soon. When she meets powerful mystic, Hunter, a gorgeous rebel from the Depths, she begins to have glimmers of recollection and believes he could be the key to unlocking what is being hidden from her.
For some reason I didn’t straight off feel a connection with Aria, she seemed vague, naïve and did things without thinking. As the story progressed so too did my opinion of her but it took a while and she still wasn’t the type of heroine I am usually endeared to.
I adored the mysterious Hunter from the onset, he was intriguing, appealing and obviously cared a great deal for Aria but there were obstacles in their way which forbid them being together. I expected a lot more from the romance but it wasn’t at the forefront of the story, after the ending, which was a complete surprise I am keen to see what is to come of them.
The world building in Mystic City is complex and took me a while to grasp; I still don’t think I can fully explain it as I am still a tad confused about who is who & what is what. The plot centers on the political feud and a brewing war between the rebel mystics from the Depths (The old NY city) and the wealthy non-mystics from Aeris. Mystics are literally drained of their powers, rendering them harmless and hidden away or used as servants but they are starting to rebel under the new leadership of Violet Brooks who is fighting for equal treatment.
Some of the gadgets and explanations I felt to be confusing as well, it took me a while to understand what the items were the characters were using, for example, they use a TouchMe screen which I think must be an Ipod of sorts and an aMuseMe which I ‘think’ is a musical device. I also couldn’t really picture the setting; all I know is that NY City is now covered in dirty water, a result of global warming.
There were some interesting secondary characters and each played an important role in this book, some of them took me completely by surprise which is always a good thing. I really liked Turk, he was a great friend to Hunter and I thought Davida’s loyalty was wonderful, I couldn’t take to Aria’s family or superficial friends Kiki and Bennie.
I really enjoyed the premise of this story and despite the few things mentioned above it was quite interesting.
Overall, Mystic City was enjoyable and although I wasn’t blown away by it, I became fascinated by the world they live in. It is filled with drama, action, betrayal and a sweet romance that I hope to see progress in the sequel. It is a nice start to this new series by Theo Lawrence and I am keen to see how it all unfolds.