Mystic City

Mystic City

3.9 44
by Theo Lawrence
     
 

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Manhattan lies underwater.



The corrupt rulers of this new city live high above the flood and survive by channelling energy from the mystics - a magic wielding underclass who are forced to live amongst the poor in the squalor of the Depths.


High in the Aeries, Aria Rose's fiancé has promised that their

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Overview

Manhattan lies underwater.



The corrupt rulers of this new city live high above the flood and survive by channelling energy from the mystics - a magic wielding underclass who are forced to live amongst the poor in the squalor of the Depths.


High in the Aeries, Aria Rose's fiancé has promised that their marriage will unite two of the city's ruling dynasties. But the gaps in Aria's memory tell her that this romance isn't all it seems - and the appearance of Hunter, a gorgeous rebel mystic and passionate revolutionary, is about to change her life for ever.

Editorial Reviews

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
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.)
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."

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.
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)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780375986420
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
10/09/2012
Series:
Mystic City Trilogy
Sold by:
Random House
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
65,336
File size:
3 MB
Age Range:
12 Years

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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."

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