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!