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Mystic City

Mystic City is a YA romance-oriented futuristic fantasy novel by Theo Lawrence.

In the future, Manhattan has been affected by environmental issues and has been essentially held up by mystics, people with special powers and abilities that have come out of hiding. They have assisted in creating the skyscrapers called the Aeries where the rich and powerful live.

Like Aria Rose and her influential, political family.

Yet thought the mystics provide the energy to keep the city pulsing, after a terrorist attack concocted by their kind many years back they have been drained of their powers on a regular basis, and regulated to the Depths, the squalor where the poor live.

All of this is common knowledge to Aria, but on her mind are other things. Such as the fact that she is wildly in love with Thomas Foster, the son of her father’s long held political rival. Such as the fact that their families have shockingly embraced their union and they are now engaged to be married.

Such as the fact that she has no memory of any of it.

They all tell her she overdosed on a mystic drug that has messed with her memory, but no one is giving her a chance to remember Thomas before their wedding day. Their Romeo & Juliet love affair is going to help get the family the votes they need to stay in power in the upcoming election.

But when Aria is with Thomas she feels… nothing. Shouldn’t there be some remnant of her love for him, if she was willing to risk the wrath of her family to be with him?

Then she meets Hunter. Attractive and dangerously rebellious, he’s a mystic that has not been drained of his magical abilities. In him, she has feelings she doesn’t come close to with Thomas.

It’s time to search for the truth…

Shall we all agree that the cover of Mystic City is gorgeous? The shimmering loveliness evokes a grace, mystery; fantasy and romanticism that makes me just want to stare at it! Very nice.

From the get-go, my opinion of the contents behind that dazzling cover, though, were messy. On the one hand, the environment seemed interesting and visually exquisite – despite being, I felt, a bit confusing and jumbled.

Writing wise, a lot of it was telling not showing, at least for the first half. Yet I was constantly intrigued. Aria as our main characters often came across as bland and too familiar-feeling when compared to other girls in YA today, yet there was an addictive air to Mystic City I could not deny.

You see my problem?

I kept feeling pulled in two directions, on the one hand my brain kept telling me that Mystic City had too many recognizable plotlines that trumped the parts of it that were unique, that the novel was unimpressive even as it was weirdly absorbing, and that I couldn’t stop reading it despite my increasing frustration over Aria’s blindness to plot twists that were obvious to me.

Oh, I’m so torn! Obviously, Theo Lawrence did a good job at the romance aspect of it – just in the fact that while part of me was consistently saying “meh” or “blah”, another part of me just HAD to know what was going to happen next.

Maybe there’s a hopeless romantic in me that was swept away by the sweeping forbidden love story aspect? Maybe.

My arguments are moot, because at this point I really do need to read the next book.

How about you?


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