11 July, 2017

{ ARC Review } Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody

about the book }

Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody
Standalone Novel
Publishes July 25, 2017 by Harlequin Teen
e-ARC provided by Netgalley
A darkly irresistible new fantasy set in the infamous Gomorrah Festival, a traveling carnival of debauchery that caters to the strangest of dreams and desires.

Sixteen-year-old Sorina has spent most of her life within the smoldering borders of the Gomorrah Festival. Yet even among the many unusual members of the traveling circus-city, Sorina stands apart as the only illusion-worker born in hundreds of years. This rare talent allows her to create illusions that others can see, feel and touch, with personalities all their own. Her creations are her family, and together they make up the cast of the Festival’s Freak Show.

But no matter how lifelike they may seem, her illusions are still just that—illusions, and not truly real. Or so she always believed…until one of them is murdered.

Desperate to protect her family, Sorina must track down the culprit and determine how they killed a person who doesn’t actually exist. Her search for answers leads her to the self-proclaimed gossip-worker Luca, and their investigation sends them through a haze of political turmoil and forbidden romance, and into the most sinister corners of the Festival. But as the killer continues murdering Sorina’s illusions one by one, she must unravel the horrifying truth before all of her loved ones disappear.


my review }

♫ ♫ ♫ 

I am tooooooooooorn. I had more o's added to this but for the sake of something, I took out like four of them.

But anyway. I did like this book. Especially in the beginning—the writing was great, the characters were amazing, the main character, Sorina, was relatable and likable. Then I got to the second half and I don't know what happened. Did my interest in this dim? I think it did but honestly, it felt like a struggle to get through.

The book was magical and I found it to be a unique kind. The main character is an illusion-worker, and she's able to trick minds into seeing things that aren't there for her freak show. But what was interesting is that she was able to use her magic to create people. Sorina's creations are her family and I found that so cool. They shouldn't be tangible since they're part of her illusions, yet they sleep, eat, and breathe like real people. 

I found them to be an interesting cast of characters. They were all vastly different and able to do different things, but that wasn't what made them notable. Foody was quite inclusive with them and reading about them definitely made the book more fun and more interesting.

At its heart, the book is a mystery and I thought it was a great one! It took nearly the entire novel for me to put the pieces together, and even then, it had to happen because the author did a great job of bringing up new twists to confuse her readers. The whole murder-mystery thing did kind of make me sad considering it was Sorina's family that was being targeted.

I loved Sorina. Amanda Foody did a spectacular job with her and I really enjoyed reading the story through her eyes. Even though she was hurting, she was determined throughout the book to find the killer and bring justice for her beloved family members. Despite all the challenges in her way, Sorina was ready to anything, both to protect them and to get rid of the person targeting her family like this. It was both interesting and great seeing her grow into herself by the end of the novel!

The setting of the novel was quite weird but in a good way. I liked the circus setting and the Gommorah Festival was definitely a weird circus. It was full of dangerous acts as well as the mesmerising ones; full of enticing foods and people and magic. The way Foody describes it makes it come off as both sinister and out of this world. I love books that take place in circuses and this one didn't disappoint in that regard.

I guess my problem would start with the dialogue. As interesting as many of the characters were, the dialogue felt so flat. It got to a point where I just couldn't read it—it felt so lifeless and dull. Reading Sorina's musings were great but there was no life behind the actual talking, if that makes sense.

The romance was okay but I guess I just wasn't the biggest fan. It doesn't really impact my opinion for the book itself, but I felt a bit disconnected from it, I guess. I absolutely loved the love interest though, and he's asexual! I've never come across an ace character in a book, let alone someone who's the love interest so that was so great to see!

I thought the ending was a little uneventful. It actually came across as a bit flat. It's far from a happy ending, but I was hoping for a little more to happen. 

Overall, I would still recommend this book, especially if you're looking for a dark fantasy with an intriguing murder mystery. The ARC didn't have any of the pictures, so that's definitely something to look forward to when the time comes! 3.5 stars.

buy the book }

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about the author }

Amanda Foody has always considered imagination to be our best attempt at magic. After spending her childhood longing to attend Hogwarts, she now loves to write about immersive settings and characters grappling with insurmountable destinies. She holds a Masters in Accountancy from Villanova University, and a Bachelors of Arts in English Literature from the College of William and Mary. Currently, she works as a tax accountant in Philadelphia, PA, surrounded by her many siblings and many books.

Daughter of the Burning City, her first novel, will be published by Harlequin TEEN on July 25, 2017. Her second, Ace of Shades, will follow in April 2018.

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