City of a Thousand Dolls

City of a Thousand Dolls

Featured
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
2114   0
Write Review
City of a Thousand Dolls
Publisher
Genre(s)
Age Range
14+
Release Date
February 05, 2013
ISBN
0062121308
Buy This Book
      
The girl with no past, and no future, may be the only one who can save their lives.

Nisha was abandoned at the gates of the City of a Thousand Dolls when she was just a child. Now sixteen, she lives on the grounds of the isolated estate, where orphan girls apprentice as musicians, healers, courtesans, and, if the rumors are true, assassins. Nisha makes her way as Matron’s assistant, her closest companions the mysterious cats that trail her shadow. Only when she begins a forbidden flirtation with the city’s handsome young courier does she let herself imagine a life outside the walls. Until one by one, girls around her start to die.

Before she becomes the next victim, Nisha decides to uncover the secrets that surround the girls’ deaths. But by getting involved, Nisha jeopardizes not only her own future in the City of a Thousand Dolls—but her own life.

Editor reviews

1 reviews

Overall rating 
 
3.7
Plot 
 
3.0  (1)
Characters 
 
4.0  (1)
Writing Style 
 
4.0  (1)
Overall rating 
 
3.7
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0

Definitely Unique

What I Loved:

This story is set in a fantasy world that strongly reminds me of China, which is one of my favorite settings. The Empire, the caste system, the two child law and the abandonment of girls, the refusal to acknowledge the worth of anyone with a physical imperfection, the customs and outfits ... it all said China with maybe a dash of Japan to me. I really enjoyed the world. The author brings a fresh voice and setting to the YA fantasy genre, and she handles her world building with ease. I was fully immersed in Nisha's world from the first page.

I also enjoyed Nisha herself. She's a strong, resilient heroine who takes action when she needs to. I liked seeing her character arc develop as the story progressed. She questioned things that I would question, and the author didn't give any easy answers.

The violence in the story is handled discreetly (most of it is off-page), and Nisha's voice sounds younger than many YA heroines (perhaps aided by the fact that she spends most of her time mind-talking with a herd of cats), and I don't think that's a bad thing. I would feel comfortable handing this book to a younger YA reader or a middle grade reader ready to take on something with a bit more meat on its bones. I think older YA readers might have trouble connecting with Nisha because of this, but there's certainly a need for YA heroines that can reach a younger audience.

What Left Me Wanting More:

While I enjoyed the idea of the murder mystery, the execution left me wanting more. Many times Nisha had a revelation, and I couldn't follow along with her because I hadn't been given enough information, or the information I had didn't show me why that revelation was significant. I also sometimes had difficulty buying into Nisha's motivation for continuing to solve the mystery, although the author pulled it off quite nicely at the end. And I was gratified to be surprised by the real villain.

While I loved the world building, I struggled with the secrets surrounding Nisha. So much is kept from her, and sometimes the cats simply fall back on a "we promised and we can't break our promise" to continue to hold secrets from her. As a reader, this frustrated me because it felt like the author was simply trying to drag the revelation out to the very end, rather than the revelation being unattainable because of difficult obstacles.

I also didn't connect with the romance. It felt more like an afterthought, and I didn't see any chemistry between Nisha and Devan when they were together.

However, the light romance, the secrets held out of reach, and the murder mystery did feel very appropriate for the younger YA reader, so take this criticism with a grain of salt. While this book might not ring all the bells for an older YA fantasy reader, this might be just the book to introduce newer readers to the genre.

Final Verdict:

With stellar world building, a resourceful heroine, and a few surprises up its sleeve, CITY OF A THOUSAND DOLLS is a unique fantasy story perfect for younger YA readers.

Was this review helpful to you? 

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Restore Me (Shatter Me #4)
Juliette Ferrars thought she'd won. She took over Sector 45,...
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Dark_Flowers_C_Brooke_FC_01.jpg
DARK FLOWERS is the multi award-winning novel by Caytlyn Brooke...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Samantha Spinner and the Super-Secret Plans
Get ready for round-the-world adventure with Sam Spinner and her...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
And She Was
Dara’s lived a sheltered life with her single mom, Mellie....
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
Lifeline
Popular high school senior Eli Ross has the perfect...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Brightly Burning
Stella Ainsley leaves poverty behind when she quits her...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
A Pain Less Ordinary
Becca's life is anything but ordinary. At fifteen, she's...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Fatal Throne: The Wives of Henry VIII Tell All
The tragic lives of Henry VIII and his six...
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Junction 2020 Book 1: The Portal
New Year's Eve, 2019. Mari Stratton attends a New...
 
3.5
 
0.0 (0)
Summer Constellations
Julia Ducharme is ready for a fresh start. Her...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race
Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Christine Darden were...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Shaking Things Up: 14 Young Women Who Changed the World
"Well-behaved women seldom make history." —Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, Pulitzer Prize-winning...
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Begin a fantastic journey with our hero, the Warrior from...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Fairy Mom and Me
From the bestselling author of the Shopaholic series and the...
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Picture Us in the Light
Danny Cheng has always known his parents have secrets. But...
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Time Tracers
Twelve-year-old Taj Carter is on a high-stakes mission to track...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)

Latest Member Reviews

Restore Me (Shatter Me #4)
 
4.7
"This book picks up shortly after where Ignite Me ended. Juliette is having trouble adjusting to the demands of her..."
Samantha Spinner and the Super-Secret Plans
 
5.0
"SAMANTHA SPINNER AND THE SUPER SECRET PLANS takes you on a historical adventure as Sam and her brother Nipper search..."
True Born
 
3.7
"TRUE BORN follows Lucy and her twin Margot as they deal with the drama and politics of a post-apocalyptic world...."
And She Was
 
3.0
"If the authors intention was to help non-transgendered peoples understand transgendered people, I think that was accomplished. I..."
Sky in the Deep
 
5.0
"No comment."
Abhorsen (Abhorsen #3)
 
4.0
"Picking up right where book #2’s cliffhangery ending left off, Garth Nix brings us the satisfying conclusion to his Abhorsen..."
Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race
 
4.3
"“… with hard work, perseverance, and a love of math, anything was possible.” Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson,..."
Shaking Things Up: 14 Young Women Who Changed the World
 
4.7
"“Women and girls have been sharing things up for a long time, resisting those who would box them in.” ..."
The Queen Of The Tearling (The Tearling Trilogy, #1)
 
4.0
"An exceptional middle-fantasy debut, keyed to a New Adult audience. Kelsea is an unremarkable orphaned girl, long kept..."
The Selection
 
5.0
" The Selection by Kiera Cass is unlike any book I’ve ever read. Reminiscent of The Bachelor in setup, but..."
Fairy Mom and Me
 
4.5
"Ella has the coolest mom ever because she's a fairy. Magic and all. The best part? Ella will be a..."
Picture Us in the Light
 
4.7
"Danny Cheng appears to have it all--a tight-knit group of friends, a full ride to his school of choice, artistic..."
Oshun Rising: Trinity Forest Book 2
 
4.0
"The story: Ember Trouve, missing for three years in Trinity Forest, has been “rebirthed”, in the form of a..."
Time Tracers
 
5.0
"Taj is confused when he wakes up to what's supposed to be the first day of summer break, but instead,..."
Screenshot
 
3.3
"Asha, Emma, and Skye have been best friends for years, but things have been different lately. Skye is only worried..."
Better Together (Heartwood Hotel, #3)
 
5.0
"When Mr. Heartwood takes a break, Mona the maid feels like she needs to step up to make sure nothing..."
Stealing Liberty
 
5.0
"This is a book that you wish you could just sit down and read without interruption! Keeps you..."
Same But Different: Teen Life on the Autism Express
 
4.3
"SAME BUT DIFFERENT by twins Ryan Elizabeth Peete & RJ Peete is told in alternating narratives and loosely based on..."
The Worst Fairy Godmother Ever!
 
4.0
"Isabelle is a fairy-godmother-in-training and is so nervous that she's going to wind up being terrible like her mother was...."
Drum Roll, Please
 
4.0
"Even though Melly was forced to go to Camp Rockaway, it's just the escape she needs. Her parents are getting..."