Mystic City by Theo Lawrence

Mystic City by Theo Lawrence
Mystic City #1
Release Date: October 9, 2012
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Source: NetGalley
Goodreads Stars: 4
Rating: Essential

Aria Rose, youngest scion of one of Mystic City’s two ruling rival families, finds herself betrothed to Thomas Foster, the son of her parents’ sworn enemies. The union of the two will end the generations-long political feud—and unite all those living in the Aeries, the privileged upper reaches of the city, against the banished mystics who dwell below in the Depths. But Aria doesn’t remember falling in love with Thomas; in fact, she wakes one day with huge gaps in her memory. And she can’t conceive why her parents would have agreed to unite with the Fosters in the first place. Only when Aria meets Hunter, a gorgeous rebel mystic from the Depths, does she start to have glimmers of recollection—and to understand that he holds the key to unlocking her past. The choices she makes can save or doom the city—including herself. – Goodreads

On the whole, I was pleasantly surprised by Mystic City. I had heard that it was pretty average before going into it, and I put it off for two months before finally picking it up. I want to slap myself, because Mystic City was AWESOME. I couldn’t believe how much I ended up enjoying it!

The main character, Aria, is pretty awesome. She’s awfully judgemental in the very beginning, but I think it works well with her character development. She comes from a rich and powerful family, so of course she’s been conditioned to think that the poor folk are beneath her. She changed a lot throughout the novel, and her personal journey was one that I loved reading about. I liked how she didn’t know anything that was going on around her, and her family were the ones that were really pulling the strings. Reading about Aria discovering what her family were up to, and what the world was really like was fantastic.

I also really liked Hunter, the love interest. I mean, he was cheesy and came out with the silliest things, but he was protective and powerful and still great. And the fact that he had powers was like the cherry on the perfectly iced cake, because OH MY GAWD I love people with powers!

Another character I really liked was Aria’s dad. He was probably my third favourite, next to Aria and Hunter. He was sly, dominating, threatening and just… an awesome character. He was totally horrible, but that doesn’t mean I can’t like him.

The world building was… wow. I adored the city, and the different sections to it. The fact that mystics had to be drained to keep them from becoming more powerful than the regular humans was really interesting, and I found myself hoping for a giant rebellion. Which, by the way, I do believe is coming in the next book/s in the series. The mystics were by far my favourite things to read about. Each mystic has different powers, although almost all of them can heal and… kind of manipulate energy? Or something. I don’t know how to explain it.

The action scenes were amazing. Shivers everywhere. I feel the need to point out how much I love reading about/watching people with some sort of superhuman ability. It makes for great entertainment, and it gives me goosebumps when it’s written well, like it was in Mystic City. When the characters fought using their abilities, or just simply used them in an exciting scene and not necessarily on anyone, I got really excited. I LOVE IT SDHFLSHDGLIR *keyboard smash* Seriously, my heart was racing as I read some of the scenes, particularly the final action scene.

Okay, there were two things that I didn’t like about this book. Seriously, only two things. The first is that Mystic City was very predictable. Now, I’m not sure if it was just me, but I knew what twists were coming before they actually did. Nothing shocked me. I felt like I was just waiting for my theories to be proven right. I would normally say that this might be because I read so many books, and have learnt to read the signs, but I just finished another book (Variant by Robison Wells, in case you were wondering) and I didn’t know what was going to happen in that AT ALL. So yeah, it’s predictable.

And the second thing I hated was the cheesy love letters. NOOOOPE. Aria and Thomas exchanged love letters before she lost her memory, and while I was reading them I felt really uncomfortable because they were just so… awkward. And they also called themselves Romeo and Juliet to keep their identities a secret. I hate it when people romanticise Romeo and Juliet, and so when I saw they were using that couple as code names in love letters I was rolling my eyes.

Despite those two things, I adored Mystic City. I wish I could rate it as All Time Favourite, but the damn love letters (curse you, R & J) and the predictability are holding me back. Definitely pick this up if you like books about people with powers, light dystopia, crime families, and the Elemental series by Brigid Kemmerer :) I’m gonna be buying the paperback so I can bookmark my favourite parts!

The Mystic City series: 
1. Mystic City
2. Renegade Heart

19 comments on “Mystic City by Theo Lawrence

  1. Little Miss Becky December 20, 2012 8:10 am

    You know, I’d heard some iffy reviews of this one, too, but your review makes me want to read it NOW. I love great characters and awesome action scenes. Definitely reading this soon now. Glad you loved it!

    • Amber (Books of Amber) December 20, 2012 8:48 am

      Yayayay! Action scenes are a must for me in these types of novels, so I’m glad this got my heart racing. I hope you enjoy it!

  2. Judith December 20, 2012 10:48 am

    OH I SO WANT TO READ THIS NOW! Seriously, the character development, the world building, the action scenes, everything sounds so good! I don’t really like cheesiness, but oh well. Definitely picking it up soon. Awesome review! :)

    • Amber (Books of Amber) December 20, 2012 2:16 pm

      Thank you! AND YESSSSSS, GO BUY IT 😀 Ah, the cheese. I think when I reread it I’m just going to pretend it isn’t there. Ignorance is bliss XD

  3. Maja (The Nocturnal Library) December 20, 2012 1:02 pm

    Aria sounds like a great character, certainy not one-dimensional! And Hunter sounds fabulous too. I’m glad this was a pleasant surprise for you, Amber! Hopefully I’ll like it just as much as you did.
    Btw, I’m reading Falling Kingdoms too! So good.

    • Amber (Books of Amber) December 20, 2012 2:18 pm

      I’m glad you’re enjoying it! I still don’t like Cleo, and the incest story is a bit weird to me, but I’m really liking FK as well 😀

  4. Mel@Thedailyprophecy. December 20, 2012 1:13 pm

    Isn’t it great when a book totally surprises you? :) I’m happy that you liked it so much, because I wasn’t sure if I wanted to pick it up after the mixed reviews. Now, I think I will give it a try! Despite the cheesy Romeo and Juliet letters (I also hate it when people romanticize this story), I like the sound from the world-building and the character development :) Nice review!


    • Amber (Books of Amber) December 20, 2012 2:19 pm

      It’s the best! 😀 And *high five* for the Romeo and Juliet thing. I’m glad someone is on the same wavelength as I am. Great minds!


  5. Jenny December 20, 2012 3:15 pm

    Yay Amber! I absolutely loved this book as well! Yes, it was a bit predictable in places, but I loved Aria and Hunter as you did, and her dad was just such a great villainous character. I’m really looking forward to the next book in the series! Fantastic review:)

    • Amber (Books of Amber) December 21, 2012 8:36 am

      Thank you, Jenny! I can’t wait for the sequel, I want to see more of Aria, Hunter and the mystics!

  6. Clover December 21, 2012 11:51 am

    I heard so many mixed reviews of this book before I picked it up too and then I thought it was wonderful!

  7. Kimberly @ On the Wings of Books December 21, 2012 2:51 pm

    I’ve heard a lot of mixed reviews about Mystic City, I plan on reading it and finding out for myself. Glad you liked it (R&J letters aside)!

  8. Sirtsu December 22, 2012 10:38 am

    Oh, Amber! I’m dying to read this book and your review got me all excited now! I’m a bit disturbed by the fact that it was predictable, I pretty much hate it when books are that way, because I want to be surprised, but just as you said, when we do read that many books, we end up reading clues and knowing things beforehand. Also, I’ve heard that those letters bothered most of the people who’ve read this book, so I don’t know about that. BUT what I do know, is that I’m dying to read it and hopefully I’ll enjoy it:) Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

    Siiri @ Little Pieces of Imagination

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