by: Theo Lawrence
Aria and Thomas are the perfect star-crossed lovers. They met in secret – down in the dangerous underworld where revolutions are hinted at – and kept all knowledge of their relationships from their warring, ruling families. But, due to their cannot-be-parted lives, they became engaged and put an end to decades worth of fighting and political maneuvering. Truly, a tale for the centuries.
Except Aria is having memory problems. Huge gaps, actually. And, for being so much in love, she doesn’t seem to be able to stand Thomas for long periods of time. And she keeps seeing a mysterious stranger…
Read in one sitting. Late into the night. And that description? It didn’t even get into the fact MAGIC is involved. Yeah.
So, clearly, there’s a lot going on. We’ve got a dystopian society. Within the society there’s the warring between families and the rebellion of the underworld (read: magic) people. We’ve got an interesting take on magic (and fancy gadgets!). Some memory issues. Lies. Deception. Hot dudes. Girl fights. Etc. Etc. Like I said, a lot. Going. On.
Which isn’t a bad thing – the plot moves at a quick pace and manages to mostly keep everything in order. There were a few twists and turns (esp. at the end) that probably weren’t necessary, but it wasn’t enough of a wrench to really throw me off the storyline.
It’s always interesting to merge a dystopian society with magic elements. Which technically means it’s really not a dystopian – unless magic was discovered between now and the time of the book. But, that’s really neither here nor there. Just know there are elements of present day society (and it’s theoretical eventual ruin) reflected in this book in addition to supernatural elements. And, if I’m being honest, I wish the world building had been a bit stronger towards the beginning.
Lawrence dives right into the intrigue – which totally works! – but because the world is kind of…presented as we go, some of the elements can be seen as convenient rather that a restraint of the new world.
I liked all the main characters. I thought some of the secondary characters (Thomas, specifically, and all of Aria’s friends) were a bit thin and stereotypical. I also want my villains to be robust and I was left wanting in that category.
But, as I mentioned above, this is a very fast book. Action ALL OVER THE PLACE. And quite a thriller. I’m very, very interested to see what happens in the second book. I just hope a lot of these sort of sloppy elements are cleaned up a bit.
Oh, and as a note, I’m not particularly on board with the comparison blurbs to The Hunger Games. Aside from a fast plot, a teen girl protag and being set in a possible future, nothing else is similar. And there are A LOT of books that have those same elements. I get wanting to make that connection, but no. It’s a bad one. Shrugs.