Friday, April 1, 2016

Me on Tell the Wind and Fire

Title: Tell the Wind and Fire
Author: Sarah Rees Brennan
Release Date: April 5, 2016
Publisher: Clarion Books (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt imprint)

In a city divided between opulent luxury in the Light and fierce privations in the Dark, a determined young woman survives by guarding her secrets. Lucie Manette was born in the Dark half of the city, but careful manipulations won her a home in the Light, celebrity status, and a rich, loving boyfriend. Now she just wants to keep her head down, but her boyfriend has a dark secret of his own—one involving an apparent stranger who is destitute and despised. Lucie alone knows the young men's deadly connection, and even as the knowledge leads her to make a grave mistake, she can trust no one with the truth. Blood and secrets alike spill out when revolution erupts. With both halves of the city burning, and mercy nowhere to be found, can Lucie save either boy—or herself?

Tell the Wind and Fire is a battle between the light and the dark, the privileged and the downtrodden. This is the story of a girl struggling with what she knows and wondering how strong she'll have to be in order to save those she loves.

Lucie is a girl living a lie, living the high life in the Light after leaving behind a childhood in the Dark. But is she really better off? She knows bits and pieces of the truths that hide on both sides, that because of lies and omissions she was able to leave the Dark for the Light, that she has Light magic in her. The only nice piece of her life is her boyfriend Ethan, the affection and the support he gives her. But then circumstances change, then someone appears who both throws a wrench into plans and saves the day for a short time. Then everything changes and Lucie is left questioning, worrying, scrambling. By the end, she's running and risking her life, ready to face off against anyone who would try and stop her.

Not having read A Tale of Two Cities but knowing the basic storyline, I could see the similarities. The ideas carried through both books. There's a lot said about the divide between the rich and the poor, emphasized by the creation of the Light magic and the Dark magic. Of the mistakes made by some and the secrets held by Lucie's boyfriend, the events that have created and impacted the stranger that suddenly appears in their lives. I was intrigued by this magical world created in the guise of New York City, the Light and the Dark parts that rose up and split it in two.

This book takes some turns, some complicated and confusing turns, and then some dark turns that I wasn't expecting. I thought this would be similar to the author's previous books but it's far more serious. Far more deadly. I was intrigued, yes, as to where it would go. How similar it would be to Dickens' original work. It started off a bit slow, a bit confusing as there's some surprising plot before some backstory, but the pace really picked up in the later half. If you were already interested in reading this, then go right ahead, but if you were expecting the quirky humour of the author's previous series, then know that this book is far more serious. But then how could it not be when we're talking about an uprising?

(I received an e-galley of this title to review from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt through NetGalley.)

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