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Most Helpful Favorable Review
5 out of 8 people found this review helpful.
4.5 Stars 'City of Dark Magic' is a unique and mysterious thril
'City of Dark Magic' is a unique and mysterious thrill ride of a novel - unlike anything I've read before. The plot surrounds the Prague Castle and the army of academics who have taken over for the summer in order to restore the Lubkowicz Palace to its former...
'City of Dark Magic' is a unique and mysterious thrill ride of a novel - unlike anything I've read before. The plot surrounds the Prague Castle and the army of academics who have taken over for the summer in order to restore the Lubkowicz Palace to its former glory and turn it into a museum filled with centuries old treasures. The story focuses on Sarah Weston, a music expert from Boston who is invited to help with the museum - specifically with the artifacts concerning Beethoven. Sarah can't ignore all the strange happenings that begin soon after her arrival and then people start dying. Who can Sarah trust? Who is the person behind all this chaos? And what is this mind altering drug that the Prince and her mentor were taking? Will Sarah be able to get to the bottom of everything before it's too late?
This novel was an enchanting and exciting blend of genres that I immediately fell in love with. There is so much going on during the book - murders, intrigue, mayhem, sex, drugs, time travel, alchemy and espionage to name a few - that it sucks you in and doesn't let go until the final word is read. The characters are all very interesting and distinct. I felt like they were a great cast of personalities for the book and all played their parts to perfection. I really liked the character of Sarah. She was brilliant and intuitive, but she definitely had flaws and character traits that made her feel very real. There is sex, swearing, and drugs in the novel, but this didn't bother me because it didn't detract from the main story. (Well, the drug in question may have actually enhanced the plot.)
Speaking of the plot - I barely have words to explain it. The authors paint such a vivid and beautiful depiction of both Prague and the Palace - it was easy to insert myself into the setting and the story. There are several story lines that happen at once in the book, all of which are some sort of mystery waiting to be untangled, and all seem to fit together in some way that doesn't show itself to the reader until the end. The main thread of the story is magical and breathtaking in it's entirety and I was enchanted by the way the story was told, the story itself, and the subject matter that was talked about. All of it wound together to make an unbelievably compelling novel that will resonate with me for a long time to come. It's one of those books that you feel you must re-read over and over in order to pick up on small details you missed before and also just to lose yourself in its pages again. In summary, this is one of the most imaginative and fascinating books I've ever read. It breaks genre boundaries and opens the reader up to endless possibilities. Highly recommended!
Disclosure: I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
posted by StephWard on December 12, 2012Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Most Helpful Critical Review
17 out of 18 people found this review helpful.
First of all, I have to honestly say that the cover is too prett
The mystery bit was really engaging. I love Sarah Weston’s back story, and how ordinary she was up until she received an invitation to work closely on a private collection in Prague. And I love how the lives of so many individuals were tied up because of a series of events in Prague throughout history.
I also appreciate how they incorporated Beethoven’s life and music into the whole thing. It made the story a lot more colorful, in my opinion.
I also love Poli because she’s one very amazing child prodigy. Although sometimes, I do hate the fact that Poli sounds so mature for her age; too mature, in fact.
Nico/Jepp is also memorable. He is one of the characters bringing about the fantasy bit in this story and I love how he’s portrayed as someone very capable regardless of his size.
This story has too many things going on in it, it’s crazy!
First off, the writing is inconsistent all throughout. While I love some parts of the story, there are those parts that seem totally irrelevant at all. For example, the sex-scenes were incorporated into the story just because it can be. No other reason. Sure, Sarah and Max has to be portrayed as having developed feelings of love for each other, but to start things off in a quickie in a very dark comfort room was NOT the way to do it. In fact, all the sex scenes in this story only made Sarah look like a cheap skank who loves too much sex.
Second, like I said, too many things going on. While I do love me some really engaging mystery, the combination of Beethoven, a former CIA operative turned Senator, a quest for the Golden Fleece, a mysterious sensory-enhancing drug, alchemy and that good old family squabble for fortune is just too overwhelming. Oh, and did I mention that hell-holes or magical portals are also included, plus immortal dwarfs and dead bodies dropping everywhere? Yes. Like I said, too much of too many things all at once.
Third, the romance between Sarah and Max felt forced. While I do concede that no two people can go through so much without developing a bond with each other, I just felt that Max and Sarah should have been given more time to sort out what they actually feel for each other, rather than to throw them into various mysterious situations.
I give this story three stars because it was engaging. It’s overwhelming, but otherwise, it was really engaging.
posted by Dia_Pelaez on January 22, 2013Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 31, 2012
A Waste Of Money
Unfortuately far too many female authors, of a certain age, seem to have studied plot development under the direction of the late Helen Gurley Brown. It is difficult to stay sufficiently interested in the protagonist long enough to determine if there is a plot, although one does have some curiosity as to whether her education in music stunted the side of her brain having to do with reasonable precautions against acquiring various and sundrey transmittable diseases.
9 out of 17 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 1, 2013
I thought I was going to like this book and the main character..
I thought I was going to like this book and the main character...until the author decided to become a pervert and turn a dinner eating scene into a cheap pornagraphic event...this could have been a good book if the auhtor focused on the story and did not throw in cheap sex scenes for no good reason...would not recommend
4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 31, 2013
Needs better editing
Too much filler, too many characters, too little plot. I'm on page 83 and the book has not engaged me at all. I will probably stop here.
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 1, 2015
magical realism...even the author's name is eerie.
The book never lived up to my expectations of what seemed like a time travel, Beethovian, Vienna-ish story. Great imagination on the author's part even if it didn't always make sense. Drugs, sex, history, discoveries in an old castle....It had a lot going for it but, for me, failed to live up to its potential. For a better take on magical realism read The Night Circus...Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 21, 2013
Posted December 20, 2013
Posted December 19, 2013
Too many plot spoilers here giving away the entire book, then bragging how they got their book for free. Guess what...the rest of us dont get our book for free...we have to buy it and when you rewrite the entire story, there is no need to waste money on buying it. And before some smartaleck says dont read them its hard not to when you have to scroll past yards of them. You usually see something that ruins the book.
0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.