About the book
Mystic City is the first book in the Mystic City series by Theo Lawrence. It was published by Corgi Childrens on 11th October and the book is 416 pages long. Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a review copy.
Synopsis (Taken from Goodreads.com)
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.
What I thought
So, this book was pitched as being dystopian and both X-Men and Romeo and Juliet-esque. Not the most normal things you think of hearing go together but I thought this made it sound amazing and I wanted it immediately. Going back to uni took its toll on me reading wise (fun books anyway) so I had to put off some stuff that I wanted to get into immediately. Once I picked this one up though I couldn’t put it down.
As soon as I started this book I knew I was going to love it. Set in a flooded Manhattan, this was instantly different to anything I had read before. There is a very clear divide of classes here with the rich and well off living in luxury high above any danger while the poor and mystics live below where things are not nice at all. The mystics are a group of people who are seen as a danger. Each of them has special powers (all different kinds of powers) and are forced to register and be drained. However, there are rebel Mystics who have refused and live in exile. I LOVED the idea of Mystics. This is where the X-Men similarity comes in. Although we don’t get to meet too many Mystics in this book, the few we do get to meet have very interesting abilities and I loved the range of this.
Aria is the protagonist of Mystic City and the book is told from her point of view. At the beginning of the book it is explained that she is about to marry Thomas, son of the rival of her father. However, she doesn’t remember saying she would marry him let alone remember how they fell in love or anything they have done together. A great aspect about how the story starts is that you are in the same place as Aria, you have no idea what is going on or why and neither does she. I really enjoyed getting to discover her story along with her. As a character, she was great. Although she goes along with what her family is telling her, she knows something is not quite right and sets out to find out what is going on. She shows strength, determination and is brave at the same time so I admired her for that.
Then there is Hunter who is a rebel Mystic who turns up and surprises Aria. She doesn’t know who he is and has never met him before but there is something familiar about him. Because of Hunter, we get to find out a lot more about what it means to be a Mystic and what they can really do. He was a fantastic character who again, was strong and brave. Hunter has a lot of mystery surrounding him and is a major part of this story but saying too much about him will give a lot away.
There is quite a lot about politics in this book but not so much that it is too much. Aria’s fiancé Thomas is the son of the enemy to their family, his brother is running for office but so is a rebel Mystic. This is kind of where the Romeo and Juliet essences of the book come in. Aria and Thomas come from families who have had a long running feud which appears soon to be fixed once and for all. I didn’t think I would but I actually really enjoyed getting to know how the world that Theo Lawrence built worked. The different rules and regulations were interesting and it was fascinating to see how different people reacted to these things.
Although a lot of the plot is given to Aria figuring out what the hell is happening to her, it is also super exciting. A mysterious plot mixed with the excitement of realising what happened to Aria = one amazing book. Theo Lawrence had me hooked from page one, had me sneaking in reading quick chapters while I was at work and then picking it up again as soon as I got home. Mystic City is awesomely addictive!