Mystic City

Mystic City

4.0 44
by Theo Lawrence
     
 

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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

Overview

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.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
USA Today, "Happily Ever After" (blog), October 9, 2012:
"The characters themselves, especially Aria, are what drive this book. I love deep and complex stuff, I love the cover, I love Theo's writing and the Mystic City world...This novel is for fans of mind games, rebels, heartache and intrigue."

Kirkus Reviews
, May 15, 2012:
"A gripping Romeo-and-Juliet exploration of deception, espionage, revolution, the greater good and love conquering all—with the aid of magical green lights and a peculiar little locket."

Publishers Weekly, September 3, 2012:
"Debut author Lawrence’s writing is assured."

School Library Journal, January 2013:
"This book marries a fast-paced plot with likable, developed characters, set in a future Manhattan that is all too believable...The plot takes other twists and turns as the protagonist learns about the Mystics and the scope of her own family’s power. Hand this book to fans of Gabrielle Zevin’s All These Things I’ve Done and other urban dystopias with strong female characters."

Publishers Weekly
Several generations into climate change, parts of Manhattan are 30 feet underwater, and class divisions are progressing rapidly down the path H.G. Wells envisioned. The air-conditioned heights of the Aeries are havens of thuggish privilege, while in the swampy Depths are the poor and the mystics, a strictly controlled class of magicians whose powers are drained to keep them in check. Aria Rose is the only daughter of a city powerbroker and has lost weeks of her memory to a recreational drug overdose. In that lost time, she had a whirlwind romance with the scion of a rival family—or so her parents tell her. A dynastic marriage has been arranged in the name of “true love.” But if Aria was so in love with Thomas Foster, why is she obsessed with a rogue mystic who haunts her movements and her dreams? Debut author Lawrence’s writing is assured, though pacing and characterization take second place to the milieu. Aria is surrounded by gorgeous yet bland secondary characters, and it takes a while to warm up to her predicament. Ages 12–up. Agents: Michael Stearns and Ted Malawer, the Inkhouse. (Oct.)
VOYA - Cheryl Clark
Global warming has flooded the streets of New York City, leaving only the poor and an oppressed group with mystic powers to live at the water’s edge. High above the city live the rich and powerful. Aria Rose is one of the privileged few; her family controls half the city. After an overdose, Aria has lost a large chunk of her memory. She does not remember falling in love with Thomas Foster, the son of her family’s nemesis, or becoming engaged to him and thus ending the feud between their families. Even more mysterious is the rebel mystic named Hunter who seems to be there every time she is in danger. Why does she feel so attracted to him when she is supposed to be in love with Thomas, and why does she only feel the most superficial feelings toward Thomas himself? Seeking the answers will change her relationship with her family and may permanently alter the balance of power in the city itself. Mystic City is another example of the new sub-genre of dystopian romances that has sprung up recently. The novel adds nothing to the conversation, but may attract fans of books like Condie’s Matched (Dutton, 2010/Voya December 2010) and DeStefano’s Wither (Simon & Schuster, 2011/Voya April 2011). The book’s main weakness is its predictability. Readers will doubtless figure out many of the plot’s mysteries long before they are revealed. Furthermore, the supposedly intense romance between Aria and Hunter is lackluster; readers will be bored by the absence of sparks. In the end, although readable, the book is not particularly interesting. Ages 12 to 18.
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—In this dystopian fantasy, Aria Rose wakes up one morning missing her memories. She is told that she is engaged to Thomas Foster, son of a rival family. Theirs is a Romeo and Juliet story that has captivated New York society. Why, then, can Aria not remember any details of her romantic history? In search of answers, she travels to forbidden parts of the city, where the poor masses and the oppressed Mystics live. There, she meets Hunter, a boy who is entirely wrong for her, but who sparks her interest in ways that she is sure Thomas never has. Moreover, Hunter might be able to help her find the key to her past. What the two discover will have far-reaching consequences for their families and friends, and for the city of New York. This book marries a fast-paced plot with likable, developed characters, set in a future Manhattan that is all too believable. Readers may pick up on what has happened to Aria's memories long before she does, but the plot takes other twists and turns as the protagonist learns about the Mystics and the scope of her own family's power. Hand this book to fans of Gabrielle Zevin's All These Things I've Done (Farrar, 2011) and other urban dystopias with strong female characters.—Misti Tidman, Licking County Library, Newark, OH
Kirkus Reviews
Marriage is a lesson in self-discovery, particularly if your fiancé is the golden son of a rival political family you've been bred to hate. Such is the ground floor of the high-rise adventure where 18-year-old Aria Rose, the socialite daughter of a wealthy and crooked family, begins. She seeks to recapture her memory (lost after an apparent drug overdose) and uncover the dark deeds her parents perpetuate to gain ultimate power. In this futuristic Manhattan (think Blade Runner), strict class structures segregate mystics and non-mystics. Mystics, once hailed for their magic, are now second-class citizens literally drained of their power and thrust, weakened, into the decaying underbelly of the city while Aria's family and the other elite rule from plush penthouses. Aria relates, at a believable pace, her evolution from the fragile puppet of her manipulative family to a defiant, independent young woman intent on recapturing her lost memories and finding her true love. Though there are occasional forays into lovesick melodrama, the story is rooted in its dedication to showcasing Aria's transformation from a clueless, privileged princess into a selfless revolutionary, as she realizes that what is family and what is right are sometimes polar opposites. A gripping Romeo-and-Juliet exploration of deception, espionage, revolution, the greater good and love conquering all--with the aid of magical green lights and a peculiar little locket. (Urban fantasy/science fiction. 14 & up)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780385741613
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
04/08/2014
Series:
Mystic City Trilogy Series
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
416
Sales rank:
1,103,226
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range:
12 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
USA Today, "Happily Ever After" (blog), October 9, 2012:
"The characters themselves, especially Aria, are what drive this book. I love deep and complex stuff, I love the cover, I love Theo's writing and the Mystic City world...This novel is for fans of mind games, rebels, heartache and intrigue."

Kirkus Reviews
, May 15, 2012:
"A gripping Romeo-and-Juliet exploration of deception, espionage, revolution, the greater good and love conquering all—with the aid of magical green lights and a peculiar little locket."

Publishers Weekly, September 3, 2012:
"Debut author Lawrence’s writing is assured."

Meet the Author

Theo Lawrence is a graduate of Columbia University, the Juilliard School, and Fordham University, where he recently completed his master’s degree in English literature. A Presidential Scholar in the Arts, he has performed at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center, as well as Off-Broadway and at 54 Below.

Mystic City—which Kirkus Reviews called “a gripping Romeo-and-Juliet exploration of deception, espionage, revolution, the greater good and love conquering all”—has been translated into over ten languages and was an ALA-YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults nominee. Theo splits his time between Manhattan and Rhinebeck, New York.

Customer Reviews

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The Mystic City 4 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 44 reviews.
jenababy13 More than 1 year ago
This is one of those books that grab your attention right in the first chapter. One of the books that has a heroic protagonist with a sexy love interest and a set of secondary characters that you cannot help but feel something for. Plus, the cover for this book is absolutely stunning... totally does it justice. Overall, Mystic City is a magical and thrilling book that will rouse all of your emotions. Aria Rose awakens one day and is told that she overdosed on a drug called Stic, which is pulled from mystic energy. She is told that she is engaged to Thomas Foster, the son of her parent's political rivals. Aria doesn't remember being engaged to Thomas nor does she remember being in love with him or her parents and the Fosters uniting. As much as she tries to remember her memories before her "overdose" she can't seem to grasp them and the ones that do slip forward don't seem quite right. The night is about to confront Thomas about it, she is attacked and saved by a rebel mystic. Hunter is built, blonde-haired blue-eyed and feels like someone Aria can trust. As she starts to see more of Hunter and learn more about the world around her she soon understands that Hunter may be key to unlocking her lost memories and that she can't trust everyone around her... a war just may be coming. I really loved this book. I absolutely love the magical feel of the world of mystics. It quite beautiful actually. The unfortunate side of the city is the political feud that keeps the city under lock. All the Roses and Fosters are, are power hungry animals. All but one... Aria. Aria is the type of protagonist you root for. The one who is the "black sheep" of the family, yet her heart is in the right place and she fights for what she believes is right. As Aria grew to hate her family and the people around her, I did as well. It's truly amazing what people, who you think love you, will do for power. And despite almost everything going against Aria she constantly prevails and fights and I absolutely adored her for it. Other than our protagonists though, we have people like Kiki who I loved her funny outgoing personality, yet sometimes I wanted to slap her for her naivety around Aria and what was going on. Also people like Benedict and Davida who you need and end up loving by the end of the story. There's also Turk who is probably one of my favorite secondary characters in Mystic City. Hellloooo sexy mohawk boy with powers. Turk is the funny, outgoing best friend who always seems to be in the right place at the right time. A boy with a golden heart who I just wanted to hug. Then finally there is Hunter. Oh Hunter, I want you. First, I love his name. Second, blonde hair blue eyes and built. Third... he has a heart of gold and the mind of a warrior. I just could not get enough of him. He always tried to do the right thing for himself and Aria. His protective side and the way he could sacrifice himself just because it's the right thing... just killed me. Definitely a new book boyfriend. Overall, this is one of those books that has the adventure, romance, and thrilling moments I live for. There were so many parts that I just couldn't put the book down and so many parts where I was nervous to see what was coming next. Completely loved Mystic City and cannot wait until I can get more of this world.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fun & fast-paced. Great love story & a creative world.
ImaginaryReads More than 1 year ago
I really wanted to like this novel. Romeo and Juliet meets dystopic world with paranormal elements...? That already sounds tantalizing. Girl can't remember anything? Mysterious and intriguing. Plus, my friends all know that I have a thing for sparkles and shinies, and the cover of this book is drop-dead gorgeous. If I lived in Aria's world, I might become a collector of Stic, not for the high but just to look at the pretties. Mystic City gave me too many details when I didn't want them and too little when I needed more. I didn't need to see Aria run down to dinner in the middle of reading Davida's notes, for example. I just needed to learn more about Davida. Other times, Aria does things without explaining why she does them. There's also Hunter who tells Aria to stay far away from him and then goes and does the opposite himself. It felt as though I was reading a running commentary on the events that take place instead of living them with Aria, and it's an inconsistent commentary with Aria's mind flititng from one idea to another. I couldn't relate to her or any of the characters. They're flat and strongly rooted in good or evil. I had a hard time feeling the underlying motivation for their beliefs and actions, including the big romance of the book. While I can see why Aria would be instantly attracted to Hunter, I had a hard time believing it. Aria is a sheltered princess. She grew up in a rich family and doesn't know how to protect herself. She goes into the Depths without thinking about what she'd do if someone jumps her--she doesn't think about the dangers. Many times, she'd be dead if there weren't people looking out for her. She's also an idealist, which isn't bad in itself, but she doesn't have the power to change things. At the end, it seems as though she's finally found her path. However, it took far too long for her to figure out everything and assert her position. The book is recommended for fans of Matched, The Hunger Games, X-Men, and Blade Runner. However, don't get your hopes up if you liked these. There is far less action and character development in this book than you'd be expecting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I cannot wait for the sequel! Definitely mystifying ^_^
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It took me awhile to finally finish reading this book. I kept getting interrupted by other books but I am soo glad I finally did finish it! It was great. There was a futuristic romance fantasy adventure sort of feel. Good suspense... Mystic City kept me guessing! I can't believe book 2 won't be out til fall 2014! I want to know what happens next! I will say I felt the characters were believable in their actions and that the story played through well. There were not really any slow bits which I loved. Romance storyline played out well. All in all another great ya read! Check it out!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book pulled me right in. You should definatly read this book youll love it! :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love this book can't wait for the second one!
Falln2books More than 1 year ago
Mystic City is a unique dystopian novel that is set in post-global warming New York. This book captivated me, and after the first few pages, I was hooked. The characters are amazing and, for the most part, well-developed. The world-building is done fairly well, and the concept itself is extremely unique. If you're a fan of dystopian fantasy, this is one book you do not want to miss! Aria is an excellent leading character. There were times that I wanted to smack her, but overall, she was strong and intelligent. Her friends, however, were anything but. Kiki is obnoxious and such a cookie cutter character that I couldn't stand to read about her. Bennie is okay, but nothing terrific. Thomas is a jerk, and I can't stand him. I adore Hunter and Turk, though! Also, some of the secondary characters, such as Elissa and Benedict are extremely interesting. The Roses and the Fosters are both terrifying, and I could not believe the awful things that they do in the name of power.  The plot is unique and captivating. I had the mystery figured out with Aria pretty early on, but I still couldn't put the book down. I had to know when she'd figure it out and who else knew what was going on. I also had to know what else was going to happen before she figured everything out. That being said, there still were plenty of surprises! Some of the events really shocked me, and it was all I could do not to flip to the end to see how things end up. Needless to say, this novel is extremely suspenseful. I was kept on the edge of my seat the entire time. Lawrence definitely kept me guessing, and that's a good thing! The world-building is okay, but sometimes I felt that there was so much description that the author was showing more than telling. For the most part, things are pretty balanced, though, and a lot of the descriptions may be edited out before the final version is released. The pacing is pretty spot-on, though it does drag a little bit in the beginning. I would have liked for things to come together more quickly. For the most part, though, I have no complaints. The ending is excellent. It ties up a lot of the loose ends, but leaves room for the sequel.  Overall, I'd recommend this book to anyone who loves dystopian fantasies. You will not be disappointed!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thats the one thing thay came to mind when i read this. I found myself guessing everything that was going to happen. It was interesting at times and a good quick read but i just felt like it lacked depth for me. I finished the book and had no urge to read the next one, though i will i just wasnt as interested in this world. All in all it was a good start hopefully the next book will be better.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Set in a futuristic society full of magic and mafia type families, unlike anything out right now. Ended as a stand alone, but with enough open ends for another (which i would love).
violetalyss More than 1 year ago
Theo Lawrence did a good job of making this story have mystery elements that didn't let me put the book down. I loved it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Its fast paced and very good.
Goldenfurproductions More than 1 year ago
MY THOUGHTS I've been wanting to read this book for awhile, so I felt like I hit the jackpot when I found this book and it's sequel at my local used bookstore! Overall, this book did not disappoint! This book take place in a futuristic/dystopian New York City. There are two ruling families, the Roses and the Fosters, and everyone in the city has to choose sides between them. Aria has just 'recovered' after ODing off of Stix (a drug) and is now to marry Thomas Foster, whom she supposedly loves and had a great affair with. The problem is that she has no memory of being with Thomas and has no love for him. She ends of meeting Hunter, a mysterious illegal mystic (has magical abilities). She knows that with he she will be able to recall her memories, but what she will unlock will change everything. This entire plot was just so interesting! I like the whole idea behind the two families and the mystics. It's horrible how they treat the mystics, they drain their powers, but I thought the idea of adding magical elements to a dystopian society very unique. This book has the common theme of everything I was told is a lie, but it's so well done. The element of memory loss is not something you see entirely too often with that idea either.  As for plot,some parts of this book were very predictable. I was able to figure most of the plot early on, though I won't hate on Aria for taking so long to figure things out, as it probably comes from reading so many dystopian novels. Even though, I still very thrown by a few plot twists near the end! The pacing of the book was also fast-paced. You wouldn't expect that with a book featuring memory loss, but there were always things happening and Aria did not just wait around for her memories to come back! The romance was very different, in some ways. It seems like there would be a love triangle in this book, but there really isn't, since Aria doesn't really love one of them. If you are one of those people who avoids books with two guy names in the synopsis, expecting the dreaded triangle, you'll be safe reading this book! As for everything else in the romance, I liked it, though it didn't wow me.  IN CONCLUSION This is a great read with a very interesting premise and it's done very well! It's a bit predictable at times, but I didn't let that stop my enjoyment of the book and there were still some surprises along the way! I recommend this book to those who would like to read a dystopian with a hint of fantasy, meanwhile, I'll be reading the next book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I didn't like this book at all. For starters, this girl is probably one of the wimpiest characters I've known about since i started reading. Although the background story is okay and it has the potential to be interesting, the author depicts the female as needy and unhelpful. Not only that, the author's sentences are strung together poorly and makes me want to slam my head into a wall. The love story is rushed and unrealistic; totally not worth the read.
Cai-C More than 1 year ago
It is a really good book. This book is a combination of romance, fantasy and science fiction. It’s about a teenage girl named Aria Rose who the daughter of one of the most powerful political families. The setting takes place in future Manhattan. One day Aria wakes up with a gap in her memory. She finds out she is engaged Thomas Foster who is a handsome son of another political family. Without much time she has to find out how she fell in love with Thomas or how they met. One day Aria goes out and she meets Hunter Brooks who is a rebel mystic. She realizes she thinks Hunter is cute but she can’t like him because she is engaged to Thomas and her family is against rebel mystics. Even though she knows this, she goes to meet him secretly. Over time she recovers her memories and finds out her family corrupt. Problems begin to arise in the book and everything is a mess. There is still another book to this so I am planning to read the second book. For those of you who wanted to find a second book, it is called Toxic Heart. I would recommend it to my friends.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Couldn't put it down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this book so much recommended for loversof the legend trilogy
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It sounds exactley like matched. I dont to read it just for that reason. I mean like.. plagarism much? Sure it has differences.. that sound exactly like divergance and a few other books. Yeah no. ;-;
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Am amazing book. Worth every penny!! Cant wait for the next one
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
KimballSK More than 1 year ago
Mystic City is a fun fast paced mystery that takes us into a beautiful and terrible version of our world. Aria comes from a life of privilege in a futuristic high society of New York City. She has possessions, comfort and power, but also is expected fulfill certain expectations. Thusly, she pays for her cushy lifestyle with her freedom. The story begins with Aria losing a chunk of her memory due to an accident and the rest of the story is spent figuring out the mystery of that missing section of her memory and determining who her friends really are. Love triangles, deceptions, battles and gained/lost love ensue (natch) and every plot twist keeps you peeking around the next page. I loved viewing Mystic City through Aria's perspective and the details were teased out in a way that kept me guessing. Some mysteries are solved easily, but many remain until the end. The characters, pacing and world-building were all exceptional. Lawrence definitely has a winner of a series on her hands.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago