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Talking Cats and Murderers: A Review of CITY OF A THOUSAND DOLLS by Miriam Foster

Posted by on February 19, 2013
City of a Thousand Dolls 
Miriam Foster
361 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: February 5th, 2013
Source: ARC from Publisher

An exotic treat set in an entirely original, fantastical world brimming with deadly mystery, forbidden romance, and heart-stopping adventure.

Nisha was abandoned at the gates of the City of a Thousand Dolls when she was just a child. Now sixteen, she lives on the grounds of the isolated estate, where orphan girls apprentice as musicians, healers, courtesans, and, if the rumors are true, assassins. Nisha makes her way as Matron’s assistant, her closest companions the mysterious cats that trail her shadow. Only when she begins a forbidden flirtation with the city’s handsome young courier does she let herself imagine a life outside the walls. Until one by one, girls around her start to die.

Before she becomes the next victim, Nisha decides to uncover the secrets that surround the girls’ deaths. But by getting involved, Nisha jeopardizes not only her own future in the City of a Thousand Dolls—but her own life.

   Flowing with adventure, talking cats, and assassinated girls CITY OF A THOUSAND DOLLS is a fantasy book that begs to be picked up.

   When Nisha was a baby she was abandoned at the City of a Thousand Dolls, a place were girls who aren’t wanted or can’t be taken care of are sent to. Now sixteen, Nisha lives in the shadows working as Matron’s informer. Her closest friends are a tribe of cats that can talk to her in her mind.

   Soon Nisha begins questioning her mysterious past and why she was abandoned. Then things take a turn for the worst, girls are being murdered and if Nisha doesn’t find the murderer, not only will the City be shut-down but Nisha’s life will be at stake.

   CITY OF A THOUSAND DOLLS isn’t perfect. Miriam Foster didn’t have enough world-building, she didn’t really explain how the city looks. Another part that occasionally annoyed me was when one of the background characters said something, it seemed like they were being forced, but then, like I said, that wasn’t very often.

   The novel was pretty good for a debut, I really liked the way Miriam was able to create another race and world. Usually talking cats would get on my nerves, since I hate books where animals can talk, but since they only talked to Nisha, it was pretty cool especially with what happened in the end. You should definitely read CITY OF A THOUSAND DOLLS, I’m pretty glad I did.

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  1. It's unfortunate that sometimes the first book in a series doesn't spend enough time on world building. If this is a series, then the author will hopefully be able to add more for the next installment, but sometimes character development and the main issue drives the plot and the world is left behind. The way I see it is, if I'm walking down the street and there's an accident in the middle of the road, I'm focused on the accident, not necessarily the scenery or the way the buildings look along the roads. You see them and you know they exist, but it's an instant gratification thing with that main focal point, whether it's an accident, or the plot of a story.

    I'll definitely check this one out. The cover reminds me of those two creepy scary statues with the death ray eyes in The Never Ending Story, and now I'm going to have nightmares remembering how scared I was when I saw it way back when.

    Thanks for sharing your review, Asma!

  2. Regardless of its imperfections, I am very much looking forward to reading this very unique story with an amazing cover. Like you, talking animals aren't usually my thing, but it sounds like it might not be a deterrent in this book. Thanks so much for the review!

  3. This is good news! I've been reading such mixed reviews for this book. Glad to hear you enjoyed it. I'm really eager to dive into this one.

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