City of a Thousand Dolls

Featured
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
2567 0
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

Definitely Unique
Overall rating 
 
3.7
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
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.
Report this review Comments (1) | Was this review helpful to you? 1 0

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

Dealing in Dreams
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Outsiders meets Mad Max: Fury Road in this fast-paced...
Girls With Sharp Sticks (Girls With Sharp Sticks, #1)
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Some of the prettiest flowers have the sharpest thorns. ...
The Secret Key (Agatha Oddly)
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Meet thirteen-year-old Agatha Oddly – a bold, determined heroine, and...
Skipping Forward
 
3.8
 
0.0 (0)
What if you could skip forward in time, but...
The Hand on the Wall (Truly Devious, #3)
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
New York Times bestselling author Maureen Johnson delivers the...
Finding Mr. Better-Than-You
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
A heartbroken teen, with the help of her best...
Golden Chains
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Never fall in love with the enemy. If only...
Wardens of Eternity
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
Magic and magical creatures. Immortal gods and goddesses. History...
Tweet Cute
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Meet Pepper, swim team captain, chronic overachiever, and all-around...
Jack Kerouac is Dead to Me
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Fifteen-year-old JL Markham's life used to be filled with carnival...
The Lost Legends
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
All her life, Princess Adalina heard tales of the legendary,...
We Are All His Creatures: Tales of P. T. Barnum, the Greatest Showman
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
In a series of interwoven fictionalized stories, Deborah Noyes gives...
In the Hall with the Knife
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
A murderer could be around every corner in this thrilling...
Birthday
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Boyhood meets The Sun Is Also a Star in this...
A Betrayal Exposed (Not Every Girl Book 3)
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Olivia Davenport’s life is finally going smoothly, until if falls...
Freaky in Fresno
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
Influencers. Movie nerds. Beauty queens. And one pink convertible. Have...

Latest Member Reviews

The Secret Key (Agatha Oddly)
 
4.0
"Agatha loves the work of Detective Hercule Poirot. He's actually her imaginary friend and she uses his work to influence..."
Starfell: Willow Moss & the Lost Day (Starfell, #1)
 
4.0
"STARFELL is a charming and magic-filled middle grade fantasy that sweeps young readers away into another world. Willow Moss seemed..."
Journey of the Pale Bear
 
5.0
"What an adventure I just had! From the moment, I opened the book, I was transported to the 13th century..."
Hey Grandude!
 
4.5
"'Hey Grandude!' by Paul McCartney, illustrated by Kathryn Durst, is a fun, colorful, and exciting adventure. The illustrations enhance the..."
The Peacock Detectives
 
4.0
"THE PEACOCK DETECTIVES is a story told by a young narrator, who is in Grade 6 but reads at a..."
Big Nate: Back to Back Hits: On a Roll and Goes for Broke
 
5.0
"This is a combination of two Big Nate novels; Big Nate on a Roll and Big Nate Goes For Broke...."
The Fowl Twins (The Fowl Twins, #1)
 
5.0
"I have never read the original Artemis Fowl books but now I absolutely intend to. The Fowl Twins is highly..."
Amelia Bedelia & Friends: Beat the Clock
 
5.0
"Brilliant. This was the perfect book to read with my five year old niece. It's every bit as..."
Amelia Bedelia & Friends: The Cat's Meow
 
5.0
"Cute and Fun There's no end to the adorableness of Amelia Bedelia and this book is no different. Amelia..."
The Monster Hypothesis
 
5.0
"THE MONSTER HYPOTHESIS is a really fun middle grade investigative mystery. Kick is living with her grandmother, a fake psychic..."
Carnevil (Monsterstreet #3)
 
5.0
"Ren and Kip aren't sure what to expect when they visit their Aunt for Halloween. She works at an Old..."
Stuffed
 
4.0
"STUFFED follows Clark and Foon. Clark is a boy who loves stuffed animals and feels that they keep him safe...."