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Friday, October 31, 2014

Book Review: Mystic City by Theo Lawrence

Book Description (From Amazon):
Publication Date: October 9, 2012 | Age Level: 12 and up | Grade Level: 7 and up

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.

My Thoughts:
The story opens with a couple being torn apart, separated from each other. It’s a story of loss, love and hopefully, redemption.

Aria Rose can’t remember anything. Well, she can remember some things, like her parents, her friends, her home and close acquaintances, but she can’t remember her fiancé or anything about their secret love affair. She only knows what she’s been told, that she overdosed on a drug called Stic, which is made from Mystic energy. The overdose has left her with selective amnesia.

Her fiancé, Thomas, is from the other side of the river, literally. Aria’s father is a powerful man. He controls half the city. Thomas is from a rival family, The Fosters, and they control the other side of the city. Manhattan is partially submerged. The poor and the second class citizens live in the Depths, down below, while the reach and powerful live above in tall buildings called the Aeries.

The Roses and Fosters have been at war with each other for so long, but Aria is going to bridge the two families together. She’s been told that she was sneaking off to the Depths to have secret rendezvous with Thomas since neither family would approve. Now that they have been discovered, their relationship has been brought out into the open and made public. For the first time, the two families will unite in a common cause. To win the upcoming election and prevent a Mystic from getting a foothold in the governing of the city. To bring peace to the city and wipe out the threat of a Mystic uprising.

Aria has it all; beauty, money, privilege, a handsome fiancé. They will be the toast of the town, they will pave the way towards a new future of peace and prosperity. There’s only one problem. How can Aria marry someone she doesn’t remember and doesn’t remember loving?

On the surface, she may look like she has it all, but in her heart, she feels different. She questions why she can’t remember. She has dreams, nightmares really, of a faceless boy she assumes is Thomas. She tries to peace her memory together so she can remember him, their love, but the more she tries to remember, the more questions she unearths.

Does she love Thomas? Does she even know Thomas? Is her family telling her the truth about her overdose and memory loss? Who is the Mystic boy who keeps saving her life? Are the Mystics really the threat the people of the Aeries believe them to be?

The deeper she digs, the more lies she uncovers and she will stop at nothing to regain her memories and learn the truth. What she finds, though, will alter her perception of the truth forever. No one is what they seem. Loyalties are tested and Aria will have to decide which side she is on and how much is she willing to sacrifice in the name of love.

The story swept me up for the very first page and would not let me go until I had finished the story. I found the story at times to be chilling not knowing who to trust or believe. Who do you believe when you can’t believe your own memories? And how do you keep hope alive when it seems all hope is gone?

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