Books Young Adult Fiction Mystic City (Mystic City #1)

Mystic City (Mystic City #1) Featured

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4.8 (3)
 
4.1 (7)
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Author(s)
Genre(s)
Age Range
12+
Release Date
October 09, 2012
ISBN
9780385741606
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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.

Editor reviews

Average editor rating from: 3 user(s)

Overall rating 
 
4.8
Plot 
 
4.7  (3)
Characters 
 
5.0  (3)
Writing Style 
 
4.7  (3)

Ooh, love futuristic stories that have a Romeo and Juliet feel to them! Aria Rose wakes up and finds she's engaged to marry Thomas, son of the rival Foster family. No matter how much she tries to believe she 'loves' him, everything feels wrong. Then she stumbles into Hunter and something awakes inside of her. Even though she knows it's wrong, she continues to seek Hunter out. Even if it destroys her.

There are lots of twists and turns in this dystopian tale. I was hooked from the very beginning and couldn't put this part X-men, part futuristic Romeo and Juliet tale down. The feuding families in this case try to 'cover' up a truth and Aria continues to try to find out what really happened to her memories.

There's a hot new romance between Hunter and Aria. At first he comes off as arrogant but later readers find out how much he's hiding too. What Aria's father does to her is kind of like the Mafia meets Total Recall. And how the futuristic NYC is being run is horrific and chilling. There's lots of deception around Aria and deadly secrets.

A great new series!
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Kim Baccellia, Editor Reviewed by Kim Baccellia, Editor December 31, 2012
Last updated: January 02, 2013
Top 10 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (380)

Winning Tale

Ooh, love futuristic stories that have a Romeo and Juliet feel to them! Aria Rose wakes up and finds she's engaged to marry Thomas, son of the rival Foster family. No matter how much she tries to believe she 'loves' him, everything feels wrong. Then she stumbles into Hunter and something awakes inside of her. Even though she knows it's wrong, she continues to seek Hunter out. Even if it destroys her.

There are lots of twists and turns in this dystopian tale. I was hooked from the very beginning and couldn't put this part X-men, part futuristic Romeo and Juliet tale down. The feuding families in this case try to 'cover' up a truth and Aria continues to try to find out what really happened to her memories.

There's a hot new romance between Hunter and Aria. At first he comes off as arrogant but later readers find out how much he's hiding too. What Aria's father does to her is kind of like the Mafia meets Total Recall. And how the futuristic NYC is being run is horrific and chilling. There's lots of deception around Aria and deadly secrets.

A great new series!

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Words cannot even begin to explain how wonderful this debut novel is! I could not put this book down. Taking place in the futuristic Manhattan, it weaves in the tale of Romeo and Juliet with all the romance and deception and mixes it with a bit of the mystical powers of X-Men.

Not being a huge fan of romance in YA novels, this plot line kept me hooked from the very beginning. The world is well detailed and Theo Lawrence paints a vivid picture that is easy to understand. There is love,loss, political unrest, rebellion, and of course magic. The plot twists are great and makes you want to keep the pages turning well into the dark hours of the night.

I have already recommended this book to a few of my students and friends and the book is a big hit. The only problem is waiting to find out what happens next!
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Joanne, Editor Reviewed by Joanne, Editor November 20, 2012
Top 50 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (96)

Absolutely Loved

Words cannot even begin to explain how wonderful this debut novel is! I could not put this book down. Taking place in the futuristic Manhattan, it weaves in the tale of Romeo and Juliet with all the romance and deception and mixes it with a bit of the mystical powers of X-Men.

Not being a huge fan of romance in YA novels, this plot line kept me hooked from the very beginning. The world is well detailed and Theo Lawrence paints a vivid picture that is easy to understand. There is love,loss, political unrest, rebellion, and of course magic. The plot twists are great and makes you want to keep the pages turning well into the dark hours of the night.

I have already recommended this book to a few of my students and friends and the book is a big hit. The only problem is waiting to find out what happens next!

Was this review helpful to you? 
What do you get when you take a Romeo and Juliette-esque tale, a mysterious locket, unexplained memory loss and some flashing green lights? Mystic City; a riveting story of romance, deception, political war and choosing the greater good regardless of the sacrifice.

This book sucked me in right from the start and left me feeling like my heart would literally burst out of my chest before it ended. Aria, having suffered a significant memory loss doesn't know what or who she can trust. Everyone tells her she's madly in love with Thomas, the son of her family's political enemy but she can't remember loving him and worse, she doesn't feel like they're in love. She does her best to move forward but when flashes of memories start to creep in and contradict what she's been told, she begins to question everything.

With the help of a mysterious locket and a cryptic note left inside, Aria goes in search of answers but what she finds is Hunter, a beautiful mystic boy from the Depths whose everything Aria's been warned against. Mystics are dangerous and those who still have their powers are illegals. Aria knows she should keep her distance from Hunter especially with her impending nuptials to Thomas but she can't.

As the political tensions come to a head, Aria is caught in the middle and faced with the impossible choice of saving those she loves or doing what's best for her city. Neither decision is easy and both will require great sacrifice while leaving a trail of devastating loss in it's wake.

The world building is enticing and detailed, making you feel as if you were walking through the heat and humidity right along with Aria. The romance is sweet, intense and yet completely heartbreaking at the same time. I can't imagine not being able to remember the person I loved OR being the person whose been forgotten. *cries*

I enjoyed these characters but Hunter was my favorite. He's not only good looking but he's strong, selfless and funny. Aria shows great strength in her refusal to just keep the status-quo especially once she learns the truth about the mystics and Thomas is stoic in his efforts to keep the peace between the families. Turk and Davida are the kinds of friends anyone would be lucky to have.
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Jen, Editor Reviewed by Jen, Editor August 29, 2012
Top 10 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (408)

Fantastic Debut!

What do you get when you take a Romeo and Juliette-esque tale, a mysterious locket, unexplained memory loss and some flashing green lights? Mystic City; a riveting story of romance, deception, political war and choosing the greater good regardless of the sacrifice.

This book sucked me in right from the start and left me feeling like my heart would literally burst out of my chest before it ended. Aria, having suffered a significant memory loss doesn't know what or who she can trust. Everyone tells her she's madly in love with Thomas, the son of her family's political enemy but she can't remember loving him and worse, she doesn't feel like they're in love. She does her best to move forward but when flashes of memories start to creep in and contradict what she's been told, she begins to question everything.

With the help of a mysterious locket and a cryptic note left inside, Aria goes in search of answers but what she finds is Hunter, a beautiful mystic boy from the Depths whose everything Aria's been warned against. Mystics are dangerous and those who still have their powers are illegals. Aria knows she should keep her distance from Hunter especially with her impending nuptials to Thomas but she can't.

As the political tensions come to a head, Aria is caught in the middle and faced with the impossible choice of saving those she loves or doing what's best for her city. Neither decision is easy and both will require great sacrifice while leaving a trail of devastating loss in it's wake.

The world building is enticing and detailed, making you feel as if you were walking through the heat and humidity right along with Aria. The romance is sweet, intense and yet completely heartbreaking at the same time. I can't imagine not being able to remember the person I loved OR being the person whose been forgotten. *cries*

I enjoyed these characters but Hunter was my favorite. He's not only good looking but he's strong, selfless and funny. Aria shows great strength in her refusal to just keep the status-quo especially once she learns the truth about the mystics and Thomas is stoic in his efforts to keep the peace between the families. Turk and Davida are the kinds of friends anyone would be lucky to have.

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Overall rating 
 
4.1
Plot 
 
4.6  (7)
Characters 
 
3.6  (7)
Writing Style 
 
4.2  (7)
Background: Aria Rose is the daughter of a popular politician. Her family has been at war with the Fosters for generations, and Aria awakes one day to find that she is missing memories and that she is engaged to Thomas Foster, her sworn enemy. Her parents have told her that she overdosed on drugs and Aria is almost positive that she would never even try them, let alone OD on them. Mystic City follows Aria through her attempts to find her lost memory.

Review: I heart this book. It was a mix of a retelling of Romeo and Juliet, the dystopian genre, fantasy, and futuristic society. Enemies become lovers, there are mystics-people with power, Manhattan has flooded and the mystics and their families must live in the flooded portions while the rich and normal live above the city, in modern skyscrapers. The setting of this plot was amazing, taking a modern well-known area and creating a dystipian society as well as a futuristic one, was a fun spin on things.

The plot much like the setting was very well pieced together, you are always left questioning things and wanting to read more. Aria's family are troubled and headstrong with power, while she is just trying to get through life. Aria is the gentle of her family, still ignorant to the outside world because of a filtered life, but she has compassion for other beings. She was a pleasure to follow through her story.

What I think works so well in this book is that from the beginning Aria questions her place, however even while questioning she does try to follow her parents orders. I think that in most teen stories the teens can be overly defiant, Aria on the other hand is more realistic, in that she would like to rebel, but wants more answers before she does. I really liked that about her.

As the story proceeds you learn more about Thomas and Aria’s engagement and previous secret romance and the pieces slowly come together.

I really enjoyed this book, the action and suspense is fun and leaves you full of anxiety. Can't wait for more
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Stephanie Reviewed by Stephanie February 25, 2013
Top 100 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (34)

A fun retelling

Background: Aria Rose is the daughter of a popular politician. Her family has been at war with the Fosters for generations, and Aria awakes one day to find that she is missing memories and that she is engaged to Thomas Foster, her sworn enemy. Her parents have told her that she overdosed on drugs and Aria is almost positive that she would never even try them, let alone OD on them. Mystic City follows Aria through her attempts to find her lost memory.

Review: I heart this book. It was a mix of a retelling of Romeo and Juliet, the dystopian genre, fantasy, and futuristic society. Enemies become lovers, there are mystics-people with power, Manhattan has flooded and the mystics and their families must live in the flooded portions while the rich and normal live above the city, in modern skyscrapers. The setting of this plot was amazing, taking a modern well-known area and creating a dystipian society as well as a futuristic one, was a fun spin on things.

The plot much like the setting was very well pieced together, you are always left questioning things and wanting to read more. Aria's family are troubled and headstrong with power, while she is just trying to get through life. Aria is the gentle of her family, still ignorant to the outside world because of a filtered life, but she has compassion for other beings. She was a pleasure to follow through her story.

What I think works so well in this book is that from the beginning Aria questions her place, however even while questioning she does try to follow her parents orders. I think that in most teen stories the teens can be overly defiant, Aria on the other hand is more realistic, in that she would like to rebel, but wants more answers before she does. I really liked that about her.

As the story proceeds you learn more about Thomas and Aria’s engagement and previous secret romance and the pieces slowly come together.

I really enjoyed this book, the action and suspense is fun and leaves you full of anxiety. Can't wait for more

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Manhattan lies underwater (one of the only good features of this book).
The corrupt rulers of this new city live high above the flood and survive by channelling the energy of 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 fiance 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 the course of her life for ever.

I was drawn in by the shiny and sparkly cover, and I'm sad to say that is one of the few things that will help its sales. The book is like any other of its type, cheesy and dry. It has that classic mistake of putting in an explanation moment in the middle of one of the major danger times. The romance was strange, and the characters were way to boring, all in set positions with hardly any emotions for anyone. The only character I believe in the whole thing was Davida, and she was hardly an important character in the grand scheme of things.

I think that there was a massive problem with how things were running in this future city of Manhattan. If the Mystics had so much power in the first place, why weren't they ruling from the start? I know that it says that there are not many of them, but they way the book describes how they were treated, you'd think that they were monsters of horrifying power.

There was also a major issue with the explanation moment for this book, as it was in a much more dangerous setting than any other book. They had 10 minutes to get out before armed men attacked, but instead Aria vomits, Hunter cleans it up slowly, and then they sit down and talk to each other like they weren't about to die or anything, someone please bring the milk and cookies out!

I also thought that Aria was WAY to gullible. It would of been ok if she was slightly gullible, but not this much. She took in every lie that they fed her, even the most obvious of ones. It was so clear that she wasn't in love with Thomas, even without the 'memories', anyone could see that. Her friends were awful, and yet she thought that they were marvelous and amazing, even if they called Mystics scum, and money was everything. It was all well and good that she got a job, but they helped no one, and dragged the plot back instead of pushing it forward. And when she did go out and do something, mostly just wandering aimlessly through streets looking for clues about her past, she wound up in the wrong place, and the only thing that kept her from being robbed or dying in a corner was pure luck. Even thought the book was told in her point of view, all we got were descriptions of what she was doing, with no reasonings, and we hardly got to find out what she felt half the time, her emotions hidden away so no one could find them. She was a pretty bad protagonist.

There was a lot irrelevant things happen in the book. Like dinner scenes that had no point or purpose, and decisions that were stupid and not thought out. There was way to much description of the clothes instead of the people, so we hardly got to learn anything about everything.

The story was so predictable. It was obvious her mind hap been wiped in the first few books, even in the starting pages, but Aria took more than half the book to realise half the truth. And what's with the prologue. I wasn't sure if that was the first time her and Hunter were split up, or just a glimpse of what happened in the future. Either way, it was kinda uncalled for.

I'm not excitedly looking forward to what comes next in the series, but I'm willing to give it a try, only to see if the author has taken it upon themselves to try harder.
Overall rating 
 
3.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
2.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0
Casog Reviewed by Casog December 25, 2012
Top 50 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (261)

A nice book, but was a bit dry.

Manhattan lies underwater (one of the only good features of this book).
The corrupt rulers of this new city live high above the flood and survive by channelling the energy of 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 fiance 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 the course of her life for ever.

I was drawn in by the shiny and sparkly cover, and I'm sad to say that is one of the few things that will help its sales. The book is like any other of its type, cheesy and dry. It has that classic mistake of putting in an explanation moment in the middle of one of the major danger times. The romance was strange, and the characters were way to boring, all in set positions with hardly any emotions for anyone. The only character I believe in the whole thing was Davida, and she was hardly an important character in the grand scheme of things.

I think that there was a massive problem with how things were running in this future city of Manhattan. If the Mystics had so much power in the first place, why weren't they ruling from the start? I know that it says that there are not many of them, but they way the book describes how they were treated, you'd think that they were monsters of horrifying power.

There was also a major issue with the explanation moment for this book, as it was in a much more dangerous setting than any other book. They had 10 minutes to get out before armed men attacked, but instead Aria vomits, Hunter cleans it up slowly, and then they sit down and talk to each other like they weren't about to die or anything, someone please bring the milk and cookies out!

I also thought that Aria was WAY to gullible. It would of been ok if she was slightly gullible, but not this much. She took in every lie that they fed her, even the most obvious of ones. It was so clear that she wasn't in love with Thomas, even without the 'memories', anyone could see that. Her friends were awful, and yet she thought that they were marvelous and amazing, even if they called Mystics scum, and money was everything. It was all well and good that she got a job, but they helped no one, and dragged the plot back instead of pushing it forward. And when she did go out and do something, mostly just wandering aimlessly through streets looking for clues about her past, she wound up in the wrong place, and the only thing that kept her from being robbed or dying in a corner was pure luck. Even thought the book was told in her point of view, all we got were descriptions of what she was doing, with no reasonings, and we hardly got to find out what she felt half the time, her emotions hidden away so no one could find them. She was a pretty bad protagonist.

There was a lot irrelevant things happen in the book. Like dinner scenes that had no point or purpose, and decisions that were stupid and not thought out. There was way to much description of the clothes instead of the people, so we hardly got to learn anything about everything.

The story was so predictable. It was obvious her mind hap been wiped in the first few books, even in the starting pages, but Aria took more than half the book to realise half the truth. And what's with the prologue. I wasn't sure if that was the first time her and Hunter were split up, or just a glimpse of what happened in the future. Either way, it was kinda uncalled for.

I'm not excitedly looking forward to what comes next in the series, but I'm willing to give it a try, only to see if the author has taken it upon themselves to try harder.

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I need to stop being lured in by blurbs that mention The Hunger Games and sparkly covers (though it is one of most enchanting covers I’ve seen in a while.) A much more accurate blurb would be: a Romeo and Juliet retelling with magical people who are nowhere as cool as X-men. I didn’t go into this book with high expectations, but I was expecting a lot more action (that wasn’t made up of aimless running around) and a lot less love proclamations. I couldn’t get past the extremely predictable plot, flat characters, and the main character’s stupidity.

This Couple Has OCD Issues:
On two occasions, Aria finds these secretive letters in her house, then instead of stuffing it in her pocket or locking doors before anyone sees her reading them, SHE ORGANIZES THEM BY DATE. WHUT?
Aria’s lover, Hunter isn’t much better. When Aria and Hunter have minutes before the vicious, armed bodyguards barge into the room where they are having their secret rendezvous, instead of escaping, they proceed to sit around and talk…and talk…and talk some more. And then Hunter cleans up vomit. Y U NO RUN AWAY OR DEVISE SOME PLAN? They get caught. All because they were too busy talking and cleaning up vomit. *facepalm*


Extraneous Writing:
I often wonder if Lawrence forgot to remove his notes from the story since I kept coming across these jarring, filler moments.
On one occasion, Lawrence dedicates an entire paragraph to telling us how Aria takes a bunch of clothes into her room, take the letters from her missing friend’s clothes, then runs back to put the clothes back. Ummmm, girl, you could’ve just kept the clothes in your room and said you wanted to keep some clothes in memory of your friend…or you could even say the clothes would be a great addition to your closet instead of running back and forth between rooms suspiciously. I get it, you found these top-secret letters, NOW TELL ME WHAT THEY SAY. I don’t care about the itty bitty details about you covering your tracks.

On the other hand, she reads these secret letters she finds…then she eats dinner for a few paragraphs, then goes back to reading letters. No idea why that dinner scene had to be there unless, eating stewed rabbit was a major turning point.

Flat Characters:
This was the main fault of Mystic City. I just wasn’t compelled by the main characters, who were all conveniently “gorgeous.” (Gorgeous must be Lawrence’s favorite word.) Lawrence is much more concerned with describing clothes than people (you’d be surprised how many times he talks about flowing dresses and stylish clothes). There are no shades of gray in this story; all the “evil” people were all irrevocably evil, or suspiciously treacly. Everyone in this story LOVES to over-react and be drama queens. And Aria was the most gullible person ever, she never came to her own conclusions, instead she listened to people around her for confirmation. The only character I felt mild interest to was Davida, Aria’s servant, and would’ve preferred the story from her point of view.

They Also Don’t Know How To Write Letters.
Aria happens to find these love letters in her room which sound like they are written by an insecure, over-dramatic creep. The most hilarious one reads:

“I have nothing to say tonight but thank you.”

If you have nothing to say, why are you writing a letter??

Or the letters are so blatantly unnatural that makes me wince. On another note, if you want to keep your letters a secret, you should burn them. If your friend can find them in less than five minutes, you probably weren’t doing a good enough job hiding them.

WHY IS IT SO PREDICTABLE?:
Anyone would have guessed what happened to Aria in the first few chapters. The most frustrating part was how long it took for Aria to figure it out. Part of it was because the story is in first-person, so she’s giving us all these hints that something is awry, but ironically, she’s still completely oblivious. The plot twists were once again VERY PREDICTABLE. The foreshadowing basically handed us everything on a sliver platter (from who were the evil people and what those mysterious gloves are capable of.)

Action?
With X-Men, Bey Blade, and The Hunger Games in the blurb, I was expecting ACTION. And while stuff happened, it was mostly Aria running around aimlessly in dark alleys, trying to find clues to her past, but still ends up clueless…then SHE GOES TO WORK where she serves coffee and arranges files in a cubicle. *yawn* She doesn’t need a job, she needs to get to school so she can learn some critical thinking.

Finally in the last few chapters, I get the action I wanted…except it suddenly turned into horror scene with decapitated people and body parts slewed around. Well that was unexpected, especially when the story was lovey-dovey up until that point.

Romance
Lawrence avoids “instalove” by maintaining the couple had a history before Aria’s memory loss…but it just felt unconvincing.

Book Trailer:
One of the cheesiest things I’ve ever watched. Why do both guys have douchebag hair? And why do none of them look like teenagers?

World-building:
Although I felt the story was lacking, the world-building is lovely (and maybe that cover had something to do with it.) A mystical city amongst the clouds–that’s some lovely stuff.

Not sure if I’m having bad luck or I turned into nitpicker, but I’ve been on a roll with mehhhhh reads lately. If you want a sweet romance about a girl getting amnesia and waking up to a perfect life, read Sophie Kinsella’s Remember Me instead. I don’t know if I will be picking up the sequel next year; while I am mildly curious about the story, I just don’t care about these flat characters.

Rating: C
Overall rating 
 
2.3
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
1.0
Writing Style 
 
2.0
Lilian Cheng Reviewed by Lilian Cheng November 24, 2012
Top 1000 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (1)

A Romeo & Juliet Retelling, Nice Worldbuilding, But Flat Characters

I need to stop being lured in by blurbs that mention The Hunger Games and sparkly covers (though it is one of most enchanting covers I’ve seen in a while.) A much more accurate blurb would be: a Romeo and Juliet retelling with magical people who are nowhere as cool as X-men. I didn’t go into this book with high expectations, but I was expecting a lot more action (that wasn’t made up of aimless running around) and a lot less love proclamations. I couldn’t get past the extremely predictable plot, flat characters, and the main character’s stupidity.

This Couple Has OCD Issues:
On two occasions, Aria finds these secretive letters in her house, then instead of stuffing it in her pocket or locking doors before anyone sees her reading them, SHE ORGANIZES THEM BY DATE. WHUT?
Aria’s lover, Hunter isn’t much better. When Aria and Hunter have minutes before the vicious, armed bodyguards barge into the room where they are having their secret rendezvous, instead of escaping, they proceed to sit around and talk…and talk…and talk some more. And then Hunter cleans up vomit. Y U NO RUN AWAY OR DEVISE SOME PLAN? They get caught. All because they were too busy talking and cleaning up vomit. *facepalm*


Extraneous Writing:
I often wonder if Lawrence forgot to remove his notes from the story since I kept coming across these jarring, filler moments.
On one occasion, Lawrence dedicates an entire paragraph to telling us how Aria takes a bunch of clothes into her room, take the letters from her missing friend’s clothes, then runs back to put the clothes back. Ummmm, girl, you could’ve just kept the clothes in your room and said you wanted to keep some clothes in memory of your friend…or you could even say the clothes would be a great addition to your closet instead of running back and forth between rooms suspiciously. I get it, you found these top-secret letters, NOW TELL ME WHAT THEY SAY. I don’t care about the itty bitty details about you covering your tracks.

On the other hand, she reads these secret letters she finds…then she eats dinner for a few paragraphs, then goes back to reading letters. No idea why that dinner scene had to be there unless, eating stewed rabbit was a major turning point.

Flat Characters:
This was the main fault of Mystic City. I just wasn’t compelled by the main characters, who were all conveniently “gorgeous.” (Gorgeous must be Lawrence’s favorite word.) Lawrence is much more concerned with describing clothes than people (you’d be surprised how many times he talks about flowing dresses and stylish clothes). There are no shades of gray in this story; all the “evil” people were all irrevocably evil, or suspiciously treacly. Everyone in this story LOVES to over-react and be drama queens. And Aria was the most gullible person ever, she never came to her own conclusions, instead she listened to people around her for confirmation. The only character I felt mild interest to was Davida, Aria’s servant, and would’ve preferred the story from her point of view.

They Also Don’t Know How To Write Letters.
Aria happens to find these love letters in her room which sound like they are written by an insecure, over-dramatic creep. The most hilarious one reads:

“I have nothing to say tonight but thank you.”

If you have nothing to say, why are you writing a letter??

Or the letters are so blatantly unnatural that makes me wince. On another note, if you want to keep your letters a secret, you should burn them. If your friend can find them in less than five minutes, you probably weren’t doing a good enough job hiding them.

WHY IS IT SO PREDICTABLE?:
Anyone would have guessed what happened to Aria in the first few chapters. The most frustrating part was how long it took for Aria to figure it out. Part of it was because the story is in first-person, so she’s giving us all these hints that something is awry, but ironically, she’s still completely oblivious. The plot twists were once again VERY PREDICTABLE. The foreshadowing basically handed us everything on a sliver platter (from who were the evil people and what those mysterious gloves are capable of.)

Action?
With X-Men, Bey Blade, and The Hunger Games in the blurb, I was expecting ACTION. And while stuff happened, it was mostly Aria running around aimlessly in dark alleys, trying to find clues to her past, but still ends up clueless…then SHE GOES TO WORK where she serves coffee and arranges files in a cubicle. *yawn* She doesn’t need a job, she needs to get to school so she can learn some critical thinking.

Finally in the last few chapters, I get the action I wanted…except it suddenly turned into horror scene with decapitated people and body parts slewed around. Well that was unexpected, especially when the story was lovey-dovey up until that point.

Romance
Lawrence avoids “instalove” by maintaining the couple had a history before Aria’s memory loss…but it just felt unconvincing.

Book Trailer:
One of the cheesiest things I’ve ever watched. Why do both guys have douchebag hair? And why do none of them look like teenagers?

World-building:
Although I felt the story was lacking, the world-building is lovely (and maybe that cover had something to do with it.) A mystical city amongst the clouds–that’s some lovely stuff.

Not sure if I’m having bad luck or I turned into nitpicker, but I’ve been on a roll with mehhhhh reads lately. If you want a sweet romance about a girl getting amnesia and waking up to a perfect life, read Sophie Kinsella’s Remember Me instead. I don’t know if I will be picking up the sequel next year; while I am mildly curious about the story, I just don’t care about these flat characters.

Rating: C

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This an amazingly well written futuristic retelling of Romeo and Juliet!
There really is no other way for me to describe it...

This story takes place in a an apocalyptic-Manhattan known as Aeries, where the upper elite live in apartment buildings built on high stilts above the Depths, which is what the city used to be and is now drowning and decaying, where the poor and outcasts live. Just like in the original Romeo and Juliet drama, Mystic City has two feuding families - the Rose family and the Foster family... but wait, there's more! A third party is trying to join in the war of who will rule the city - the Mystics. But more on them in a bit.

Aria Rose wakes up one day, and has no idea what is going on and how she got into her current situation. Confused, she doesn't remember what caused her "accident", why she doesn't remember anything and most of all, she has a fiance?! And to make things even more complicated, her fiance is Thomas Foster! Wouldn't she remember having a secret love affair with their family's nemesis! And how is it that both families have taken to their deceit and love affair so easily and quickly. And how is it that she can remember everything except for the last week of her life, and him - things just don't add up...
Aria is desperate to make a connection with Thomas - shouldn't she be able to feel her love for him even if she can't remember anything? When he looks at her, or even touches her arm - shouldn't that touch burn through her and remind her of what they had? or have? She decides that if she did it once before, she can do it again - she must sneak over and speak to Thomas in private. Maybe then, going through what she has supposedly done may times before, will help her regain her memories.
As she's trying to sneak through the city by going through the Depths and tries to remember what paths she would have traveled to get to Thomas, where they must have hidden and met, she gets into some trouble... and then she meets Hunter - a rebel Mystic.
Mystics are humans with magical powers - they have been outcast-ed as dangerous and uncaring, the government has forced them to register and their abilities are drained and used to power the city.
Aria has been taught in school that these people are menacing, dangerous and to be feared. But when she meets Hunter, and others, she sees for herself that the things that she has been told since the day she was born has all been a lie... and why does Hunter intrigue her so much? Why is it that every time he touches her, it burns right through her? Is it because of his powers...

I have to admit, I was a teeny bit disappointed in the love story here. Led to believe that there would be a love triangle of some sort, no, no there isn't. So for those of you who hate love triangle, rejoice!
There was so many clues as to what really happened to Aria and who her true love is - and she failed miserably so many times to realize any of it. Could it possibly be that she buried her head in denial, unable to accept what her family is capable of? Perhaps. But, there was just too many instances and it made me really frustrated with her... I would have liked to have seen more passion in the end. I was a bit disappointed with their "undying love" moment. BUT, I do have to admit, that after all is said and done, Aria does come into her own and completely owns up to everything. From the beginning she was determined to discover everything on her own, and now that things have changed, she is determined to face what has happened and take on full responsibility.

I am SO looking forward to the next book in this series! Overall, Theo Lawrence did a fabulous job - I really enjoyed the storytelling and world building he did here. And the gorgeous cover really does have an impact and represents Mystic City perfectly. Can't wait to find out what will happen to Aria, Hunter and their families.
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Margie Cortina Reviewed by Margie Cortina October 26, 2012
Top 50 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (61)

An amazing and well-written retelling of Romeo and Juliet!!!

This an amazingly well written futuristic retelling of Romeo and Juliet!
There really is no other way for me to describe it...

This story takes place in a an apocalyptic-Manhattan known as Aeries, where the upper elite live in apartment buildings built on high stilts above the Depths, which is what the city used to be and is now drowning and decaying, where the poor and outcasts live. Just like in the original Romeo and Juliet drama, Mystic City has two feuding families - the Rose family and the Foster family... but wait, there's more! A third party is trying to join in the war of who will rule the city - the Mystics. But more on them in a bit.

Aria Rose wakes up one day, and has no idea what is going on and how she got into her current situation. Confused, she doesn't remember what caused her "accident", why she doesn't remember anything and most of all, she has a fiance?! And to make things even more complicated, her fiance is Thomas Foster! Wouldn't she remember having a secret love affair with their family's nemesis! And how is it that both families have taken to their deceit and love affair so easily and quickly. And how is it that she can remember everything except for the last week of her life, and him - things just don't add up...
Aria is desperate to make a connection with Thomas - shouldn't she be able to feel her love for him even if she can't remember anything? When he looks at her, or even touches her arm - shouldn't that touch burn through her and remind her of what they had? or have? She decides that if she did it once before, she can do it again - she must sneak over and speak to Thomas in private. Maybe then, going through what she has supposedly done may times before, will help her regain her memories.
As she's trying to sneak through the city by going through the Depths and tries to remember what paths she would have traveled to get to Thomas, where they must have hidden and met, she gets into some trouble... and then she meets Hunter - a rebel Mystic.
Mystics are humans with magical powers - they have been outcast-ed as dangerous and uncaring, the government has forced them to register and their abilities are drained and used to power the city.
Aria has been taught in school that these people are menacing, dangerous and to be feared. But when she meets Hunter, and others, she sees for herself that the things that she has been told since the day she was born has all been a lie... and why does Hunter intrigue her so much? Why is it that every time he touches her, it burns right through her? Is it because of his powers...

I have to admit, I was a teeny bit disappointed in the love story here. Led to believe that there would be a love triangle of some sort, no, no there isn't. So for those of you who hate love triangle, rejoice!
There was so many clues as to what really happened to Aria and who her true love is - and she failed miserably so many times to realize any of it. Could it possibly be that she buried her head in denial, unable to accept what her family is capable of? Perhaps. But, there was just too many instances and it made me really frustrated with her... I would have liked to have seen more passion in the end. I was a bit disappointed with their "undying love" moment. BUT, I do have to admit, that after all is said and done, Aria does come into her own and completely owns up to everything. From the beginning she was determined to discover everything on her own, and now that things have changed, she is determined to face what has happened and take on full responsibility.

I am SO looking forward to the next book in this series! Overall, Theo Lawrence did a fabulous job - I really enjoyed the storytelling and world building he did here. And the gorgeous cover really does have an impact and represents Mystic City perfectly. Can't wait to find out what will happen to Aria, Hunter and their families.

Was this review helpful to you? 
Review also posted at my blog: http://perrytheplatypus1102-3daydreamer3.blogspot.com/2012/10/book-review-mystic-city-by-theo-lawrence.html

**I received a finished paperback copy of this book from Random House U.K in exchange for an honest review.**

So long story short,Mystic City is sort of like a dystopian spin-off of Romeo & Juliet,excepting the fact that Juliet got waay too many bumps on her head so now she can't remember anything about her precious Romeo.Boo-hoo! :(

No but seriously,the romance in Mystic City is kind of cheesy but in a good way,one which made me smile.I finished Mystic City in one sitting and enjoyed every minute of it,from the cheesy romance on the first page till the cheesy romance on the very last page.I actually found myself reacting strongly to every scene of the story.To be honest,I even found myself CRYING at one point for poor Aria and her tragic life and repetitive amnesia. If it weren't for everything else,I would've just considered Mystic City as plain cheesy but it has a perfect combination of everything.The entire story was wonderfully plotted,the characters were perfectly put in their roles and most of all,the author swept me off my feet with his magical play upon words.(My very own prince charming!**giggles**)And I'm sure that it's really difficult for a male to write a story from a female's point of view since both genders have different psychologies,or in other words,different ways of thinking.But Theo Lawrence mastered it all and Aria's voice throughout the story turned out to be vibrant, colourful and convincing.It was Aria's voice that helped me imagine her version of New York clearly.And to me,reading a story is not fun until I manage to get myself dragged into the story-world.In the case of Mystic City,that was not a problem.And to let everyone in on a secret,the cover contributed to my imagination as well.I am so glad that I was not tricked by the cover this time!Hehe!

But there's more to Mystic City than just dystopia and romance.It also comprises of fantasy,sci-fi and a bit of para normalcy as well.The mystics are a beautiful race and I hated the way how they were treated with injustice.The best way to describe them is magical,like the characters in the bed-time stories we cherished when we were younger,except that in this case, the mystics are here to replace those characters which we have outgrown.

Recommended to fans of Dystopia,Romance,Fantasy and Paranormal novels,Mystic City is an emotional thrill ride and a battle for love which you do not want to miss!!
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Nobonita Chowdhury Reviewed by Nobonita Chowdhury October 23, 2012
Last updated: October 23, 2012
Top 100 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (31)

A compelling and magical debut!!!

Review also posted at my blog: http://perrytheplatypus1102-3daydreamer3.blogspot.com/2012/10/book-review-mystic-city-by-theo-lawrence.html

**I received a finished paperback copy of this book from Random House U.K in exchange for an honest review.**

So long story short,Mystic City is sort of like a dystopian spin-off of Romeo & Juliet,excepting the fact that Juliet got waay too many bumps on her head so now she can't remember anything about her precious Romeo.Boo-hoo! :(

No but seriously,the romance in Mystic City is kind of cheesy but in a good way,one which made me smile.I finished Mystic City in one sitting and enjoyed every minute of it,from the cheesy romance on the first page till the cheesy romance on the very last page.I actually found myself reacting strongly to every scene of the story.To be honest,I even found myself CRYING at one point for poor Aria and her tragic life and repetitive amnesia. If it weren't for everything else,I would've just considered Mystic City as plain cheesy but it has a perfect combination of everything.The entire story was wonderfully plotted,the characters were perfectly put in their roles and most of all,the author swept me off my feet with his magical play upon words.(My very own prince charming!**giggles**)And I'm sure that it's really difficult for a male to write a story from a female's point of view since both genders have different psychologies,or in other words,different ways of thinking.But Theo Lawrence mastered it all and Aria's voice throughout the story turned out to be vibrant, colourful and convincing.It was Aria's voice that helped me imagine her version of New York clearly.And to me,reading a story is not fun until I manage to get myself dragged into the story-world.In the case of Mystic City,that was not a problem.And to let everyone in on a secret,the cover contributed to my imagination as well.I am so glad that I was not tricked by the cover this time!Hehe!

But there's more to Mystic City than just dystopia and romance.It also comprises of fantasy,sci-fi and a bit of para normalcy as well.The mystics are a beautiful race and I hated the way how they were treated with injustice.The best way to describe them is magical,like the characters in the bed-time stories we cherished when we were younger,except that in this case, the mystics are here to replace those characters which we have outgrown.

Recommended to fans of Dystopia,Romance,Fantasy and Paranormal novels,Mystic City is an emotional thrill ride and a battle for love which you do not want to miss!!

Was this review helpful to you? 
Mystery, romance, political intrigue and magic - Mystic City has a little bit of everything! Immediately capturing my attention with Aria's suspicious memory loss, I was hooked from the start. While Aria definitely took too long to realize the truth, her journey of discovery was fascinating. Pair that with vivid images of a futuristic Manhattan, mostly underwater due to global warming, and you've got all the ingredients for a great story!

Lawrence's vision of a futuristic Manhattan was so vivid and described so clearly, I could easily picture the Aeries' towering skyscrapers, interspersed with seemingly floating catwalks and speeding air-trains, its clean lines and bright lights and Aria's skyward apartment. The Aeries stood in such stark contrast to the Depths, where everything was murky water, sludge and shadows, that the dichotomy Lawrence was trying to create was easily accomplished. The mythology behind the Mystics' abilities could have been better explained, since I wasn't sure if this was supposed to be a future Earth or an alternate Earth where Mystics have always existed, but when it came time for them to show their true powers, I didn't care how they had them only that they were awesome!

Aria was an interesting protagonist. I loved her determination and her courage, but her naiveté was slightly tiring. Wishing only for the burning passion that she assumed would accompany true love, she quickly begins to question her feelings she has been told she has for Thomas. With her head and her heart at war - her head telling her that she loves Thomas while her heart says something is wrong - it was easy to see why she would be so confused. But as the evidence piled up, and her memories refused to put Thomas' face on her lover's body, I couldn't help but tire of her dogged refusal to see the truth. With a girl as smart as Aria, it really surprised me when it took her the entire book to figure out what I had known for more than half of Mystic City.

The plot is what I truly loved about Mystic City. It would have been enough that Aria was uncertain about whom to trust, considering her memories were completely absent. But the addition of her family's struggle to overcome a new-found political opponent, a registered Mystic from the Depths, added a level of suspense that was tangible. The twists and turns, the uncovered secrets and Aria's realization that her father would go as far as it took in order to secure his family's future in the Aeries was captivating! I was on edge, waiting to uncover more of her family's lies and to learn about the buried truth that many hoped had been forgotten.

While some of the twists were overly predictable, others had me grasping my Kindle a little harder in anticipation of what it would mean for Aria. With a heartwarming romance (that I'm not going to touch on for fear of getting too spoilery), mafia-style political wars, and a constant shroud of mystery due to Aria's missing memories, Mystic City is a must-read!
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Kelly Goodwin Reviewed by Kelly Goodwin October 08, 2012
Top 50 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (151)

Mystery, Romance, Political Intrigue AND Magic!

Mystery, romance, political intrigue and magic - Mystic City has a little bit of everything! Immediately capturing my attention with Aria's suspicious memory loss, I was hooked from the start. While Aria definitely took too long to realize the truth, her journey of discovery was fascinating. Pair that with vivid images of a futuristic Manhattan, mostly underwater due to global warming, and you've got all the ingredients for a great story!

Lawrence's vision of a futuristic Manhattan was so vivid and described so clearly, I could easily picture the Aeries' towering skyscrapers, interspersed with seemingly floating catwalks and speeding air-trains, its clean lines and bright lights and Aria's skyward apartment. The Aeries stood in such stark contrast to the Depths, where everything was murky water, sludge and shadows, that the dichotomy Lawrence was trying to create was easily accomplished. The mythology behind the Mystics' abilities could have been better explained, since I wasn't sure if this was supposed to be a future Earth or an alternate Earth where Mystics have always existed, but when it came time for them to show their true powers, I didn't care how they had them only that they were awesome!

Aria was an interesting protagonist. I loved her determination and her courage, but her naiveté was slightly tiring. Wishing only for the burning passion that she assumed would accompany true love, she quickly begins to question her feelings she has been told she has for Thomas. With her head and her heart at war - her head telling her that she loves Thomas while her heart says something is wrong - it was easy to see why she would be so confused. But as the evidence piled up, and her memories refused to put Thomas' face on her lover's body, I couldn't help but tire of her dogged refusal to see the truth. With a girl as smart as Aria, it really surprised me when it took her the entire book to figure out what I had known for more than half of Mystic City.

The plot is what I truly loved about Mystic City. It would have been enough that Aria was uncertain about whom to trust, considering her memories were completely absent. But the addition of her family's struggle to overcome a new-found political opponent, a registered Mystic from the Depths, added a level of suspense that was tangible. The twists and turns, the uncovered secrets and Aria's realization that her father would go as far as it took in order to secure his family's future in the Aeries was captivating! I was on edge, waiting to uncover more of her family's lies and to learn about the buried truth that many hoped had been forgotten.

While some of the twists were overly predictable, others had me grasping my Kindle a little harder in anticipation of what it would mean for Aria. With a heartwarming romance (that I'm not going to touch on for fear of getting too spoilery), mafia-style political wars, and a constant shroud of mystery due to Aria's missing memories, Mystic City is a must-read!

Was this review helpful to you? 
**Note: I received e-ARC of Mystic City from the publisher via Net Galley, but that did not influence my review in any way.**

It’s like Romeo and Juliet with an even deeper, more hidden, more intense and magical Romeo and Juliet twist set in a dystopian world ransacked by global warming. For over a hundred years, Manhattan has been divided into East and West, run by two political feuding families, the Roses and the Fosters. The novel begin with us being introduced to Aria, the daughter of the power-driven and ruthless Mr. Rose, and her battling through a hazy fog set in place because of her recent memory loss. She was told by her family and doctors that it was due to an overdose on Stic (a drug created with Mystic energy). More surprising to her that she used Stic in the first place, and then managing to overdose on it, is that she is now engaged to the Foster’s son, Thomas. She feels guilty because she doesn’t remember their sordid love affair, but with encouragement from her family, she wants to try to at least fall back in love with him again, even if she never recovers her memory of how they fell in love in the first place.

At her engagement party, Aria goes out on a balcony to steal a few moments to herself. When she finds herself in a compromising position over the railing and nothing but thousands of feet of nothing and death below her, she’s quick to grab the hand of a stranger with a starburst tattoo on his wrist who pulls her to safety and then he disappears. Later in her room, she finds a locket and a cryptic note that reads “Remember.” Racked with questions, Aria goes in search of the only person she feels like could unlock all her secrets, Thomas. Traveling to the Depths, where the impoverished and Mystics live, is terrifying and even more so when she’s attacked. Coming to her rescue, is an attractive guy with magic-like abilities, a rebel Mystic, with a peculiar tattoo on his wrist. But something about him seems so familiar and Aria finds herself completely drawn to him.

Through a series of event, a nagging suspicion that she was never in love with Thomas, resurfacing memories, and time spent with Hunter (the rebel Mystic), Aria wonders if perhaps her parents aren’t harboring secrets of their own. In political warfare, where the union of Aria and Thomas means that the Foster and Rose families can unite against a common enemy, the Mystics and their political leader, not all is as it seems and layers of betrayal and ruthless corruption are lurking around every corner.

Overall, I’d say Aria was an okay character, but I’m definitely not bordering on any girl crushes. To be quite frank, she aggravated me. Her naivete and willingness to submit to her father’s demands had me downright furious in some parts. But by the end, I felt like she was ready to play hardball, so I’m excited to see how much she’ll grow in the next books.

Our hero, Hunter, was a different story. I thought he was charming and sweet, but also a bit cocky and strong. So, basically I thought he was delicious... except for the usage of pet names between he and Aria. (Girls like a bit fluff, but don’t smother us with it. We still like a heroes manly.)

The story was a bit slow-going at the beginning for me, but once I really got into it, I really got into it. It’s an incredibly unique plot and I’m really excited to see where this series goes from here.
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Christina Reviewed by Christina October 05, 2012
Top 100 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (21)

I really enjoyed this book!

**Note: I received e-ARC of Mystic City from the publisher via Net Galley, but that did not influence my review in any way.**

It’s like Romeo and Juliet with an even deeper, more hidden, more intense and magical Romeo and Juliet twist set in a dystopian world ransacked by global warming. For over a hundred years, Manhattan has been divided into East and West, run by two political feuding families, the Roses and the Fosters. The novel begin with us being introduced to Aria, the daughter of the power-driven and ruthless Mr. Rose, and her battling through a hazy fog set in place because of her recent memory loss. She was told by her family and doctors that it was due to an overdose on Stic (a drug created with Mystic energy). More surprising to her that she used Stic in the first place, and then managing to overdose on it, is that she is now engaged to the Foster’s son, Thomas. She feels guilty because she doesn’t remember their sordid love affair, but with encouragement from her family, she wants to try to at least fall back in love with him again, even if she never recovers her memory of how they fell in love in the first place.

At her engagement party, Aria goes out on a balcony to steal a few moments to herself. When she finds herself in a compromising position over the railing and nothing but thousands of feet of nothing and death below her, she’s quick to grab the hand of a stranger with a starburst tattoo on his wrist who pulls her to safety and then he disappears. Later in her room, she finds a locket and a cryptic note that reads “Remember.” Racked with questions, Aria goes in search of the only person she feels like could unlock all her secrets, Thomas. Traveling to the Depths, where the impoverished and Mystics live, is terrifying and even more so when she’s attacked. Coming to her rescue, is an attractive guy with magic-like abilities, a rebel Mystic, with a peculiar tattoo on his wrist. But something about him seems so familiar and Aria finds herself completely drawn to him.

Through a series of event, a nagging suspicion that she was never in love with Thomas, resurfacing memories, and time spent with Hunter (the rebel Mystic), Aria wonders if perhaps her parents aren’t harboring secrets of their own. In political warfare, where the union of Aria and Thomas means that the Foster and Rose families can unite against a common enemy, the Mystics and their political leader, not all is as it seems and layers of betrayal and ruthless corruption are lurking around every corner.

Overall, I’d say Aria was an okay character, but I’m definitely not bordering on any girl crushes. To be quite frank, she aggravated me. Her naivete and willingness to submit to her father’s demands had me downright furious in some parts. But by the end, I felt like she was ready to play hardball, so I’m excited to see how much she’ll grow in the next books.

Our hero, Hunter, was a different story. I thought he was charming and sweet, but also a bit cocky and strong. So, basically I thought he was delicious... except for the usage of pet names between he and Aria. (Girls like a bit fluff, but don’t smother us with it. We still like a heroes manly.)

The story was a bit slow-going at the beginning for me, but once I really got into it, I really got into it. It’s an incredibly unique plot and I’m really excited to see where this series goes from here.

Was this review helpful to you? 
 
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