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Rich and Ensnaring: A Review of MYSTIC CITY by Theo Lawrence

Posted by on October 13, 2012
Mystic City (Mystic City, #1) MYSTIC CITY
Theo Lawrence
416 pages
Publisher: RandomHouse
Release Date: October 9th, 2012
Source: ARC from Publisher

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..

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.

   In a world where global warming is reeking havoc – raising sea levels and temperatures to unbelievable highs, Aria Rose prepares for marriage. Rich families like hers live in the Aeries, high above the filthy Depths where the dangerous Mystics roam. As the daughter of one of Manhattan’s two most important (and rivaling) families, Aria should be ecstatic and excited to be with the boy she risked everything for. Why shouldn’t she be?

   She’s supposed to be madly in love with the son of her father’s worst enemy. But that’s the thing. She’s supposed to be. Because when she wakes up after a drug overdose, she doesn’t remember anything. At all. And suddenly, things don’t add up. Things don’t make sense. And suddenly, lies begin to slip from almost everyone’s lips.

   With fantasy and hints of dystopia, MYSTIC CITY had me ensnared from the moment I set eyes on the gorgeous cover. Like it’s cover, the interior of MYSTIC CITY is full of richness – in the writing, in the world, and even in Aria. It’s hard to describe, but there’s a simplicity to it all that makes everything just so much better. Oddly, Theo Lawrence’s debut was vaguely reminiscent of Bethany Griffin’s MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH. I’m not entirely sure why I found myself comparing the two, because MYSTIC CITY is completely, and utterly unique.

   There were times when I found the plot mildly predictable. Stripped bare, it seemed like the same old story – during the first half of the book. But soon, Aria’s world tipped, and I fell with her. Nothing was as it seemed. No one was who they said they were.

   While I ending up liking the story more than I expected to, the fact that I didn’t connect to Aria wholly still nags at me whenever I think of MYSTIC CITY. Her dialogue could be described as bland at times, and her character, simply washed out. But then again, the whole world of MYSTIC CITY has that washed-out effect to it. Hazy, muddled, and hidden under a mist.

   In the end, I have to say I really enjoyed MYSTIC CITY, especially because the concept of the novel is pretty unique. Theo Lawrence’s debut is rich, ensnaring, and kept me hooked until the last page was turned with a plot that kept moving.

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  1. *Hazy, muddled, and hidden under a mist* – WOW!
    That's one of the best descriptions I've read in a long time,
    you need to be writing a dystopian! <3
    Anyhoo, Mystic City sounds & looks great,
    it's already on my wish list lol ;D
    Mary DeBorde M.A.D.

  2. I really loved this one. I know that it was hard for her to piece things together but I don't think she had enough information so it didn't bother me much. I loved the setting and world and loved that Aria didn't do what she told. And I thought the romance was great. I had a lot figured out but I didn't feel like it was suppose go be a secret.

  3. I am very much looking forward to Mystic City. And that amazing cover might have just an itty bit to do with it. The story itself does sound very intriguing. I have heard some mixed reviews about it, which is definitely disappointing, but this is one that I will read regardless of the reviews it gets. It has been on my radar for far too long for me to kick it off now. Thanks for the great review!

  4. Not sure how you really felt about the book. I know what you mean by”. It's hard to describe, but there's a simplicity to it all that makes everything just so much better”! Those are the books that keep me reading.

  5. The world building sounds really interesting in this one. I'm guessing they wanted to trick their daughter into thinking she was in love with the enemy's son to create an alliance?! I am curious to know what all is lies and why the mystics are considered so dangerous.

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