Dark Metropolis

( 7 )

Overview

People are disappearing. Sixteen-year-old Thea Holder hears the rumors, but she can barely make ends meet, let alone worry about strangers who've gone missing. Her mother is cursed with a spell that's driving her mad, and whenever they touch, Thea is chilled by the magic, too. Thea must make a living for both of them in this sinister city, where danger lurks and greed rules.

Thea spends her nights waitressing at the decadent Telephone Club, attending to the glitzy clientele. But...

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Dark Metropolis

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Overview

People are disappearing. Sixteen-year-old Thea Holder hears the rumors, but she can barely make ends meet, let alone worry about strangers who've gone missing. Her mother is cursed with a spell that's driving her mad, and whenever they touch, Thea is chilled by the magic, too. Thea must make a living for both of them in this sinister city, where danger lurks and greed rules.

Thea spends her nights waitressing at the decadent Telephone Club, attending to the glitzy clientele. But when her best friend, Nan, vanishes, Thea is compelled to find her. She meets Freddy, a young, magnetic patron at the club, and he agrees to help her uncover the city's secrets-even as he hides secrets of his own.

Together, they discover a new side of the city. Unrest is brewing behind closed doors as whispers of a gruesome magic spread. Soon, Thea and Freddy begin to realize nightmarish truths about the city's dark underbelly, and that time is running out for Nan. And if they're not careful, the masterminds behind the disappearances will be after them, too.

Jaclyn Dolamore weaves a chilling tale with a touch of magic in this lyrical thriller, where the dead don't always seem to stay that way.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
03/31/2014
Dolamore’s urban fantasy introduces a city loosely based on culturally vibrant, politically repressive interwar Europe and plants a dark secret at its heart. The setting feels generically European; revolutionaries meet at the “Café Rouge,” and crowds flock to the “Lampenlight on Saturday night.” But the diabolical plot that entangles Thea, a 16-year-old trying to make ends meet as her mother slides into insanity; her best friend, serious and purposeful Nan; and Freddy, a magician who can revive the dead, shows substantial originality. As Freddy interacts with Thea, he discovers that his guardians are misusing his powers to enslave the dead. Meanwhile, Nan finds herself among his victims, stripped of her memories. She fights to keep her promise to rescue fellow prisoner Sigi as they navigate their complicated relationship. Dolamore (Magic Under Stone) brings the elements of her complex storyline together with flair, and an extended climax provides closure and reveals new sides to the characters—heroes, villains, and those somewhere in between all have strong motives. Though a sequel is planned, this installment stands alone. Ages 12–up. Agent: Jennifer Laughran, Andrea Brown Literary Agency. (June)
Kirkus Reviews
2014-03-12
A decadent populace, a totalitarian state and a plague of vanishing people bring three young people into the heart of an anti-government plot. Thea just wants to keep her job at the Telephone Club, serving the wealthy glitterati. Her mother's losing her reason to bound-sickness, weakened by magically enhanced grief from the destruction of her illegal marriage bond to Thea's missing-in-action father. These days, it's all Thea can do to keep the two of them alive. Freddy is one of those wealthy Telephone Club patrons. By night, he woos Thea, who fascinates him; by day, he brings corpses back to life at the request of his guardians. Nan was once a Telephone Club waitress herself, but now, she's awakened—her memory magically damaged—surrounded by gray, unhappy laborers who insist she's dead. This postwar, Jazz Age–inflected, slightly steampunk magical world is revealed through the eyes of these three teens as they try to save all their world's victims, even those long since doomed. It's not clear why this government is so wicked—it feels as though the villains' dastardly behavior is more a matter of convenience than conviction. Whatever the cause, what can comic-book evil do in the face of three adolescent protagonists? There's a possibility of sequels in the chaotic, untidy conclusion. There's enough original worldbuilding in this comfortably familiar dystopian fantasy to keep readers going despite the gaps. (Fantasy. 12-15)
School Library Journal
05/01/2014
Gr 7 Up—With her father missing and presumed dead and her mother becoming increasingly mentally unstable, 16-year-old Thea Holder must find work that will support the two of them. The waitressing job she finds at the Telephone Club introduces her to a mysterious boy, Freddy, and the sinister underworld with which he seems to be involved. When her best friend and co-worker, Nan, vanishes, the situation becomes increasingly perilous as Thea and Freddy discover that the city workers are literally dead men walking, kept alive through arcane magic. Reminiscent of Fritz Lang's 1927 sci-fi film Metropolis, this grim, pseudo magical world with hints of Jazz Age—esque features never completely comes together. Unfortunately, what could have been an interesting premise is marred by stilted dialogue and two-dimension paper doll—like characters. Two understated romances develop, including one between a zombie—turned—female photographer and an asexual fae teen who is willing to sacrifice herself for the cause. Teen readers would be better off reading Libba Bray's "Diviners" series (Little, Brown).—Jane Henriksen Baird, Anchorage Public Library, AK
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781423163329
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
  • Publication date: 6/17/2014
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 365,576
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Lexile: 630L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Jaclyn Dolamore spent her childhood reading as many books as she could lug home from the library and playing elaborate games of pretend. She has a passion for history, thrift stores, vintage dresses, drawing, and local food. She lives with her partner, Dade, and three weird cats in a Victorian house in western Maryland. Visit her online at www.jaclyndolamore.com

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 7 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 12, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    I¿ve gotta say that I¿ve been pretty hyped to read Dark Metropol

    I’ve gotta say that I’ve been pretty hyped to read Dark Metropolis by author Jaclyn Dolamore ever since I first saw the cover on Goodreads. It was beyond beautiful and instantly caught my attention. Why is there a flapper girl on the cover? What’s with the Human Centipede-esque person silhouette? What is going on? Fortunately all of those questions are answered by the time I finished reading the novel.

    In Dark Metropolis Thea Holder is a sixteen year old girl who can barely keep the world she’s grown up with intact. Since her father’s death her mother has been anything but sane and her job as a waitress at the notorious Telephone Club has begun to grow stressful. Why? Because girls from her workplace have begun to go missing and it’s only a matter of time before another one of her co-workers joins their numbers.

     It isn’t until she meets young, mysterious and handsome Freddy that she becomes caught up in something much larger than herself. Together Thea and Freddy will discover the secrets behind Freddy’s powers, the dark underworld hidden in the City, and the mystery clouding Thea’s Father’s death. That is if they aren’t stopped first…

    What caught my interest first with Dark Metropolis was the writing style. Jaclyn Dolamore has a very unique way of writing and it’s one that fits the novel perfectly. The narrative is ominous and gives it a dark feel no matter how light the scenes may appear. There’s always that impending sense that something is going to go wrong and that nobody in the novel is safe (which isn’t a wrong assumption). The novel does a wonderful job of keeping readers interested and on the edge of their seats, wondering about all the possible things that might happen next.

    The world that Dark Metropolis is set in is also one that I’ve never read before. It’s set in that Great Gatsby era but is in an alternate world where magic is real, known and common and very illegal under certain circumstances. There was some world-building missing from the novel that I wasn’t very pleased with. I was left with a lot of unanswered questions and found a few plot holes. Hopefully these will be answered in book two and I’m very interested in seeing how the story will progress.

    That being said the plot of the novel is—like most things in Dark Metropolis—very mysterious. You don’t know exactly what’s going on until the very end of the novel. You don’t know who’s good, who’s evil and who’s somewhere in the middle. I have to say that Dark Metropolis did a great job of being unpredictable in most situations and I’m so glad for that.

    The novel’s main characters are Thea and Freddy. Both of them are total opposites in some senses and totally the same in others. They go well together. Especially since their characters interact in the majority of the scenes in the novel. All of their scenes together and conversations worked. There was nothing flawed or wrong of whatever with these two protagonists. I love them to bits. However it felt like a major portion of the novel (a third of it maybe?) was all about a secondary character who felt unnecessary to see so much of.

    I would recommend Dark Metropolis to readers who are fans of urban fantasy and to any readers who are looking for a novel that will keep them on their toes. Any readers who are looking for a novel that has a romance element that doesn’t overpower the plot should also try giving Dark Metropolis a look. This is the kind of novel that you could easily finish in one sitting.

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  • Posted October 2, 2014

    I loved the originality of Dark Metropolis; whilst it is mysteri

    I loved the originality of Dark Metropolis; whilst it is mysterious and thrilling, Jaclyn Dolamore also tells a tender story which enchants the reader.
    The ambiguity of Dark Metropolis' location and timing makes it more unsettling as we question whether these are events which could happen in the future, or could have happened historically.
    The novel has not two, but three main characters whose lives all interlink, magically and emotionally, with surprising consequences. Thea works as a waitress at the high-class Telephone Club and also cares for her mother who is suffering from bound-sickness after the loss of Thea's father in the war. Using magic to bind yourself to another person is frowned upon in Thea's society, as it is linked to arranged marriages, but in this case it is the reader's first clue that those thought dead may not stay that way.
    Freddie is the silver-haired stranger who Thea meets whilst waitressing. Though there ia an initial connection between the two, we soon learn that all may not be as it seems. Freddie is capable of reanimating the dead, forced to do so by his adopted Uncles to create a workforce. Thea is supposed to be chosen to provide a magical heir, but instead these two explore the possibility of love, despite the direness of the world around them.
    Nan is Thea's best friend whose story unravels as the novel progresses. She is a much more complicated and interesting character than we first presume, and it is through her eyes that we see the reality of the underground operation. Nan's existence becomes defined by her ability to retain memories and her immortality. Yet she also finds comfort and love in Sigi, and this is a relationship I look forward to being explored further.
    Jaclyn Dolamore's imaginary world is frightening and harsh, yet she also provides us hope in the audacious characters she creates. Dark Metropolis is a book which quickly consumes its reader and I definitely recommend it.
    I received this as a complimentary review copy, but this has had no influence on my opinion.

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  • Posted August 17, 2014

    If you enjoy magical-realism and/or the paranormal set within th

    If you enjoy magical-realism and/or the paranormal set within the realms of everyday life, then I highly suggest you pick up this novel. It reminded me just a touch of the movie Sin City based on the graphic novel by Frank Miller, with the spells and abilities replacing superpowers and villains, though I wouldn’t say Dark Metropolis is nearly as gruesome or action packed. Secrets abound, magic flies, and as the novel unfolds, Dolamore does a great job foreshadowing what’s to come, nudging readers in the right direction as they attempt to figure out just what is at work in the depths of the city.

    I enojyed the characterization and the surprise at the end, and am interested to see what happens next in this surreal world full of danger and magic. Told from the perspective of multiple characters, a writing style that I just adore, I think many will enjoy this series.

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  • Posted July 29, 2014

    Dark Metropolis is in many ways unlike any kind of story I've re

    Dark Metropolis is in many ways unlike any kind of story I've read before: it's set in a very distinct world and even the plot is unique. Unfortunately while I appreciated Dark Metropolis as an innovative read, the characters and story fell flat for me.




    Reason to Read:




    1. A curious setting:




    Jaclyn borrows from history (think "1927 Berlin") and blends it with her own imagination for a world that is both familiar and strange compared to ours. It's so unusual and creative that I was utterly fascinated by it; I wanted to learn as much about the world in Dark Metropolis as I could. The magic and its system is unlike any type I have ever read about, and Jaclyn is clearly a very innovative writer with plenty of new ideas. Some parts are so dark and disturbing which lend a very eerie sense to the whole book and I particularly enjoyed that.




    It seems to be hinted at that there is a strong class struggle happening, but that aspect of the plot felt rather undeveloped to me. The brief mentions and allusions to this conflict weren't enough to satisfy my own curiousity or provide much background information which I felt was crucial to establish the story. The rules and politics in Dark Metropolis were completely unfamiliar to me, so I failed to recognize the importance of certain actions and ideas.




    But most importantly, I felt completely disconnected from the characters. It's written in a third person narrative, and jumps around from focusing on a few different characters. This failed to ground me with any one of the characters and because I felt like I had landed in the middle of a story already taking place, their concerns failed to resonate with me. For example, there was very little attention paid to the development of Thea and Nan's relationship and Nan goes missing so quickly in the book that they're separated nearly from the very start. As a result it was difficult for me to identify with Thea's determination and struggle to find Nan.




    While yes, this is a deeply imaginative story with some very thoughtful ideas and inspirations it never really felt complete to me. My relationship with characters is paramount to how much I enjoy a book and my failure to identify with the characters in Dark Metropolis means that this story just didn't work for me.




    ARC received from HBG Canada for review; no other compensation was received.

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  • Posted July 21, 2014

      Dark Metropolis is the first in the series, and follows Thea,

     
    Dark Metropolis is the first in the series, and follows Thea, a 16 year old who is trying to hold her family together. Her mother has a sickness cause from magic, and now has to go to work to help out. But when her friend that she works with goes missing, she has to find her and at the same time find out why people are just disappearing.
     
    Thea was such a strong girl for having gone through all she did. She is working, trying to take of her “ill” mother, and just trying to be a 16 year old. None this is easy for her. But the determination she has to find out what is going on was what drew me to her and wanted to succeed. Freddy was a little on the creepy side at first, and I wasn’t sure what to make of him. Why was so interested in Thea? Was he a creep or what? AS the story progressed I got the answers that I needed and I ended up really liking him. And I like that there is a hint or spark between him and Thea.
     
    Nan is the friend of Thea’s that went missing, she is a fiesty one, and then there is Sigi, who happens to be the daughter of one of the main people in the revolutionaries. The same revolutionaries who seem to have a few different ideas of how to stop the magic and tear apart the government. Uncle Gerick, Freddy’s creepy and obsessive uncle and Valkenrath is just plain scary.
     
    The story center around Thea and Freddy and the search for their friend, and what is happening to those around them. Through the different POV’s it gave a full view of what was going on, and the alternate 1920′s/1930′s setting is a big bonus. The people that are running the city from underground are basically zombies. People who have died, but they aren’t thought of as being zombies. There is a twist to their existence, and it is a pretty clever one. The necromancy, and all the rest of the magic was fascinating. I wanted to understand why they used it. And what happened to Nan? The romance was minimal, and these things kept me reading and wanting more. The ending was a satisfying one, but left some unanswered questions that I am looking forward to find out the answers.
     
    If I was to have one complaint it would be that I would have liked to learn a little about what happened before all the necromancy came about. But there was enough information that scattered through out, that at the end it didn’t really bother me all that much. I enjoyed this one, and now to wait for the next installment.
     
    If you are looking for a fast paced fantasy type read, with magic, intriguing characters and a setting that will pull you in, pick this one up.
     

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  • Posted June 18, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    I'd like to thank Disney Hyperion and Net Galley for supplying m

    I'd like to thank Disney Hyperion and Net Galley for supplying me with an early ecopy of this book to read and give an honest review. Receiving this book for free has in no way influenced my review or opinion.




    Blurb from Goodreads:
    Cabaret meets Cassandra Clare-a haunting magical thriller set in a riveting 1930s-esque world.
    Sixteen-year-old Thea Holder's mother is cursed with a spell that's driving her mad, and whenever they touch, Thea is chilled by the magic, too. With no one else to contribute, Thea must make a living for both of them in a sinister city, where danger lurks and greed rules.
    Thea spends her nights waitressing at the decadent Telephone Club attending to the glitzy clientele. But when her best friend, Nan, vanishes, Thea is compelled to find her. She meets Freddy, a young, magnetic patron at the club, and he agrees to help her uncover the city's secrets-even while he hides secrets of his own.
    Together, they find a whole new side of the city. Unrest is brewing behind closed doors as whispers of a gruesome magic spread. And if they're not careful, the heartless masterminds behind the growing disappearances will be after them, too.
    Perfect for fans of Cassandra Clare, this is a chilling thriller with a touch of magic where the dead don't always seem to stay that way.




    I have to say that my initial draw to this book was the core. It is supremely gorgeous. Dark and mysterious and the font, I love it! So it's no surprise when I saw there would be a blog tour I rushed to sign up for it. I was excited to get picked!




    I usually start with the characters of a book, but in this case I really have to start with the setting. The blurb describes it as 1930s-esque world and it certainly has that tone to it. However, I also got the feeling that it's set in the future, in a world riddled by war. And I can tell you that I read the blurb but had forgotten that magic was actually included as part of the book. So it was kind of a surprise to me when it came up. But it really worked quite well. I think the most interesting thing is the book is told in third person. Often I am annoyed by this, but it really worked with this book. It definitely reminded me of Cassandra Clare's Infernal Devices in that way.




    Thea is a sixteen year old girl who has been forced to quit school so she can work to support herself and her mother. Her mother is sick, and just continues to get sicker, since her father disappeared. So Thea has really had to grow up fast since her father has been missing for eight years of her life. I can say that I would have liked a little more in depth perusal of Thea's character. I feel we really only just scratched the surface of who she is. She obviously loves her mother and father and would do anything for them, but what would she do for herself? I did love that her character was not whiney and full of angst. She was actually quite mature.




    Freddie is also very mature for his age. Having had to grow up rather quickly when he's taken from his family because of the power he holds. I didn't find him particularly swoon worthy. For me, he was just an ok romantic interest for Thea. I am guessing this is because the romance is not really at the forefront of the story. We certainly see his attraction to Thea in the fact that he refuses to do what he is tasked to do. 




    Nan, Thea's best friend, is a really strong character. At first, I thought she was in her twenties. But later on we find out she, like Thea, is sixteen. Nan is different, though I won't tell you how or why, as it's revealed a bit later in the book.




    The pacing of this book varied. At times it was full of action and interesting things that happened to keep it moving. At other times the pace was a bit slower, leading to a build up of what would happen next. Over all I read through it fairly quickly and it held my interest. I really wanted to know what the secrets were that the different characters held. I also found the concept intriguing, it's always fun to see what an author will do with magic in a book. 




    If you're thinking Harry Potter than think again. The magic is more dark and mysterious in this book. I will say that they story line was much darker than I had originally anticipated, and I liked that it was. I didn't find myself particularly attached to any one character. They were all done fairly well, but I did feel like they could have been developed just a bit more. I needed to feel empathy for them in some way and I found that hard to do with this book.




    My favorite part of this story was that it did not revolve around the romance. Oh, there is romance in there, but it's very subtle. And there's more than one, which was nice. I liked that the book could stand up all on it's own merit with it's interesting magical plot line and dark undertones.




    The ending is rather neat and tidy. I know there is a second book planned so I'm curious as to where the author might go with it, seeing as these characters had their arc compete. I would have liked to see a bit more world building, historical background, to this book. I was a little confused as to where it was taking place and if the time period was actually in the 30s or in the futures. Overall I really enjoyed this read and would recommended it to anyone who likes a dark mystery with magical undertones. Definitely for fans of

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  • Posted June 17, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    ***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog*** Dark Metropo

    ***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***




    Dark Metropolis by Jaclyn Dolamore
    Book One of the Dark Metropolis series
    Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
    Publication Date: June 17, 2014
    Rating: 4 stars
    Source: ARC sent by the publisher




    Summary (from Goodreads):




    Cabaret meets Cassandra Clare-a haunting magical thriller set in a riveting 1930s-esque world.




    Sixteen-year-old Thea Holder's mother is cursed with a spell that's driving her mad, and whenever they touch, Thea is chilled by the magic, too. With no one else to contribute, Thea must make a living for both of them in a sinister city, where danger lurks and greed rules.




    Thea spends her nights waitressing at the decadent Telephone Club attending to the glitzy clientele. But when her best friend, Nan, vanishes, Thea is compelled to find her. She meets Freddy, a young, magnetic patron at the club, and he agrees to help her uncover the city's secrets-even while he hides secrets of his own.




    Together, they find a whole new side of the city. Unrest is brewing behind closed doors as whispers of a gruesome magic spread. And if they're not careful, the heartless masterminds behind the growing disappearances will be after them, too.




    Perfect for fans of Cassandra Clare, this is a chilling thriller with a touch of magic where the dead don't always seem to stay that way.




    What I Liked:




    Quite an intriguing novel we have here. I was super thrilled to have the chance to read this book, because it's marketed as a historical fiction novel with a heavy dose of magic - what a cool combination! "Chilling thriller", I suppose, I'm not convinced on the thriller part, but I could see how the "chilling" part might be chilling. Unfortunately, I just read a book with aspects similar to those that are "chilling" in this book, but that's okay. Anyway.




    Thea's mother has been taken away from her, because her mother is going crazy, missing her husband (it's a little more complicated than that). Then Thea's friend Nan disappears, and Thea is alone. Around the same time, she meets Freddy, and Gerik. Unbeknownst to Thea, Freddy is basically a necromancer (although the word necromancer is never used) - a sorcerer? Freddy has been resurrecting dead people for quite some time now, for his uncle Gerik, but Freddy has no idea that Gerik has been taking these people to wipe their memories, and make them work in factories. What a mess!




    It took a bit for me to get into this book, but once it was going, I was interested in what was going on. Where were the people going? What was happening to Nan? What was that serum? I didn't know what was going on, and I wanted to know. Dolamore has an interesting writing style, and the structure of this book is different. I'm not sure how to describe it - it's all in the present, but not everything is revealed all at once. Mysteries are cool!




    This book is told from several points-of-view. We have Thea's, Freddy's, and Nan's. Each character is equally important, because each off them play a significant role in the plot of the story. Well, honestly, Thea is probably the "least" important of the three, though I like her the most. I couldn't quite figure out her role in this book, so maybe she has a bigger role in the series in general. 




    The romance is very minimal in this book - I'm not sure if that's a Dolamore thing, or if that's something for this particular series. It *seems* like Freddy and Thea's relationship is really important and instant from the beginning, but as the book goes on, you see that things are developing between the two of them. I can't even say they're "in love" by the end of this book. I like where they are though. Progression is good. There is also another romance in this book, which was interesting. I'm a bit confused as to what happened to Sigi in the end of the book, but I think that's just a ME thing - I need to re-read that part.




    Overall, I liked this book! I didn't love it, but I definitely enjoyed it, and I'll be waiting for the sequel. And it doesn't hurt that the cover of this book is gorgeous!




    What I Did Not Like:




    I wanted more from the historical fiction aspect of this novel. It is set in the 1930s - post-World-War-I era (except the physical setting of the novel isn't specified), during the Great Depression, and so on. However, the actual place isn't specified, or I didn't pick up on it. I think it might be in a country like the United States, during the 1930s? But I'm not sure. I guess that's another "negative" - I'm not sure of the place. Perhaps it's straight-up fantasy, with no relation to the "real world". I'm curious now.




    I'm still confused on the magic aspect, to be honest. I don't completely understand Nan's relation to magic, or how that works, or how Thea has magic. I'm not entirely sure what the extent of Freddy's powers is. Perhaps these things will be explained throughout the books in the series. 




    Would I Recommend It:




    I definitely think fans of magical-realism-type novels will enjoy this novel! There is a very cool paranormal aspect to this book, and the romance is pretty light. I wanted a little more from the historical side of things, but eh, the whole novel was pretty great. If you have his one for review, definitely give it a chance!




    Rating:




    3.5 stars -> rounded up to 4 stars. An interesting start to a new series! I've never read anything by this author before this book, but I'm definitely intrigued by her work. I hope to catch the sequel next year!

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