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I Belong

Early Review: Mystic City by Theo Lawrence

Title: Mystic City

Author: Theo Lawrence

Genre: YA Dystopian

Series: Mystic City (Book 1)

Publication Date: October 6, 2012

Format: Hardcover, 416 pages

ISBN-10: 038574160X (Kids@Random House)

ISBN-13: 978-0385741606 (Kids@Random House)

Reviewed by: Kayla


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.

Quick & Dirty: A girl tries to move on with her life after losing her memory, but moving on means being a puppet in a political race with her parents.

Opening Sentence: The party has begun without me.

Excerpt: No

The Review:

Aria knows she loves Thomas Foster. At least that’s what everyone is telling her. Loving someone with no memory of ever meeting them can be pretty tough, even if she does have flashes of memories — sneaking out late at night, meeting in the ghetto area of the Depths, secret kisses… But then she meets Hunter, a rebel mystic that makes her forget her forgetfulness and the stress that comes with it. With a rising rebellion over the horizon and a mystic political candidate that could change life in New York for the worst, Aria has to decide which side she’s on — and which side she believes most. Should she let her parents use her as a political puppet to win the election? Or should she follow her heart — even if she doesn’t remember who she gave it to? This has the forbidden romance of Ally Condie’s Matched, adventure and mystery of Becca Fitzpatrick’s Hush, Hush and twisty plot of Beth Revis’s Across the Universe all rolled into one.

Mystics are outcasts — the ones who have the lower jobs and are never to be trusted. Yet at one time they helped build the city that is practically floating on stilts. But they became feared and thus the feuding Rose and Foster families took it into their hands to fix the mystic problems. So mystics are required to be drained of their power twice a year, leaving them as shells of their old self. But a rebellion is brewing of undrained mystics and even a union between a Rose and a Foster might not distract the citizens.

I think I’ve found my new favorite series. Imagine Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick as the first book in the series and you’ve pretty much got Mystic City in a nutshell. We don’t know Aria’s past and we don’t know about the dystopian world of Mystics and Aeries. Lawrence weaves an intriguing mystery full of action and suspense and pretty much everything you want in a YA dystopian book.

Hunter…oh my. He’s charming, sweet, and can knock a girl off her feet if he really tried. But he has his own secrets and obstacles to overcome. He thinks he’s doing the right thing by staying away from Aria, keeping her from danger and letting her live her life of high-end, classy materials. He’s strong not just physically but also mentally for having to endure the trials (sorry for being vague–can’t spoil the story!).

There were multiple consistency problems but that’s due to it being an ARC…but the fabulous writing and unpredictable plot makes up for it. The entire cast of characters are  great in themselves, but I thought some of the minor characters could have been mentioned earlier in the story. Manhattan as a dystopian city is absolutely beautiful and can (and will) steal your breath away. Overall this has great potential and Lawrence will definitely be on my “debut-author-to-be-watched” list. I can’t wait until the next installment! (But first I got to wait for this book to come out…)

Notable Scene:

So little time is left.

“Take this.” He folds the locket into my hand. It throbs as if it has a pulse, giving off a faint white glow. “I’m sorry for putting you in danger.”

“I would do it all again,” I tell him. “A thousand times.”

He kisses me, softly at first, and then so fiercely I can hardly breathe. Rain falls, soaking us, splashing into the canals that twist through the hot, dark city. His chest heaves against mine. The sound of sirens–and gunshots–reverberates between the crumbling, waterlogged buildings.

My family is drawing closer.

“Go, Aria,” he pleads. “Before they get here.”

But footsteps are behind me now. Voices fill my ears. Fingers dig into my arms, tearing me away.

“I love you,” he says gently.

And then they take him. I scream in defiance, but it is too late.

My father emerges from the shadows. He aims the wicked barrel of his pistol at my head.

Inside me, something bursts.

I always knew this story would break my heart.

Mystic City:

1. Mystic City (October 6, 2012)

FTC Advisory: Delacorte Books for Young Readers/Random House provided me with a copy of Mystic City. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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