I want to start this review with the reason I picked up the book. And that would be the author. I was sitting at NY Comic Con last Saturday at a panel called "Myth Mixology: How Urban Fantasists Create the Perfect Cocktail" and to be honest the main reason I sat at the panel to begin with was to be in that room already and get good seats for the next panel "Hocus Pocus: Magic & Monsters in Science Fiction and Fantasy". So I knew who Allison Pang, Faith Hunter and Nicole Peeler were (panelists for Myth and Mixology) but I've never read ANY of their books. Have them though. But through that panel only two jumped out at me that I had to read their books right away: Theo Lawrence and Faith Hunter. As you can see Theo has been crossed off the to-read list within a week. Why?
First was the fact that I really thought he was a sweet person, very friendly, making jokes even when a bit intimidated being the new kid on the block, but not scared to jump right in along with the other more known authors. But then it was how he talked about his book and I'll share with you what sold it for me. This story is post-apocalyptic, dystopian if you will, and with paranormal elements set in New York if after global warming New York was turned into a place like Venice with canals and gondolas. There's a corrupt government and a lot of stuff happening but throughout all that there's a love story that the author wanted to draw on from Romeo and Juliet in a way.
So, I'm sold! That was just too interesting to pass and after finishing this book today I can say it delivered. I got the audiobook because I know normally I do better listening to stories of teenagers than "reading" them. The narration was excellent! Truly brought the characters to life.
But enough of that and lets talk about the story. Aria Rose, the daughter of one of the rulers of Mystic City, wakes up without memories. Her family tells her she OD'd and that she is lucky to be alive. Oh yeah, and she's engaged to marry the son of one of their political enemy. But things don't feel right and as Aria starts exploring she finds Hunter. Hunter is a rebel mystic with the special power of walking through walls/floors (I can't even tell you how cool that is!!!) as well as healing. He lives underground where mystics (people with powers, and they each have different powers) hide so they are not drained of their power by the government. And with Hunter she feels things she doesn't understand but that feel right. But Hunter is also not what he seems, and not a simple mystic.
While uncovering what was done to her, regaining her memory, and figuring out who is right and who is wrong, Aria and Hunter will have to go through EVERYTHING to be together. Like the author said, at the core of this book there is a love story. And the characters have to work hard to get their HEA. But it's so worth it in the end.
The twists and turns of the story kept me interested, the world the author created has me enthralled. Even though this story was a bit slow to start, once things got going they kept a good pace. The last few chapters were just explosive! The bad guys are bad, the good guys are strong and amazing. And others are just not what they seem. Action packed, heart racing and satisfying!