Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Me on Dark Metropolis

Title: Dark Metropolis
Author: Jaclyn Dolamore
Release Date: June 17, 2014
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Sixteen-year-old Thea Holder's mother is cursed with a spell that's driving her mad, and whenever they touch, Thea is chilled by the magic, too. With no one else to contribute, Thea must make a living for both of them in a sinister city, where danger lurks and greed rules. Thea spends her nights waitressing at the decadent Telephone Club attending to the glitzy clientele. But when her best friend, Nan, vanishes, Thea is compelled to find her. She meets Freddy, a young, magnetic patron at the club, and he agrees to help her uncover the city's secrets-even while he hides secrets of his own. Together, they find a whole new side of the city. Unrest is brewing behind closed doors as whispers of a gruesome magic spread. And if they're not careful, the heartless masterminds behind the growing disappearances will be after them, too.

Dark Metropolis is a mysterious, enchanting, and engrossing story. In a post-war world, people are rebuilding, recovering, but the city sits on top of a secret, a rather dangerous and seemingly impossible one, and discovering it could be treacherous.

I wasn't expecting this book to be told in third person, to follow more than one character through, and under, the city, but it works. Each character followed provides a different piece of the story, it wouldn't be enough if just one character was followed. Thea has her worries, her mission to find Nan and rescue her mother, her concern for other people and not necessarily for herself. Freddy has secrets, more secrets than one would think possible, a curious ability, and in some way he is connected to the biggest secret of all. Nan has her past and her present, her unknown whereabouts coming together with her returning memories. In the end, one way or another, they all come together.

There's a 1920's glamour feel to the setting. It seems to be set in a different world but everything feels a bit old-fashioned, gleaming, sparkling in the night, like the night clubs of the 1920's and 30's. There's a vague sense of optimism in the city as everyone is moving on from a war only recently over, as well as a growing dislike of magic and a growing rebellion against the few who are in charge. As intriguing as the setting, not much is explained about it. The book does seem to be focused more on plot, on the characters, on the present of the story, and not so much the past or any origins.

The author herself has said that the book has zombies, so I don't think that saying there are zombies is a spoiler. It's more about the secret behind their existence, the reason for them being in this world, in the city. They're a different sort of zombie, not a gruesome horror version but one more rooted in magic and unexplainable abilities.

As the story went on I was constantly curious as to what would happen next, what piece of the secret would be revealed next. The pacing was good, it slowed down and sped up but never to the point that I felt bored or rushed. I found the ending satisfying, I didn't feel like I'd been left hanging, annoyed at the prospect of a wait. Knowing there is a second book makes me curious, it makes me wonder what could be coming next.

(I received an e-galley of this title to review from Disney-Hyperion through NetGalley.)

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