Review. Daughter of the Burning City

Title. Daughter of the Burning City
Author. Amanda Foody
Publisher. Harlequin Teen
Release Date. July 25th 2017
Standalone/Series. Standalone
Genre. YA, Fantasy, Mystery

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.

I received this one in the FairyLoot box of July and was very curious about it. I have seen it come by a lot recently with mixed reactions and I was very eager to find out on which side I would end up.

Also, I've been trying for the last couple of months to keep my FairyLoot reads up to date (as in finish the book before I receive the new book), and so far I'm doing great this whole year !! Still have some from last year on my TBR..  XD But I'm straying..

So yeah, I was burning with curiosity (hihi) to get into the magical world of Gomorrah and get to know it's residents. Especially since this is a standalone, which can be kind of refreshing from all the series in YA (so don't make this in a series all of the sudden Madame Foody !!). So let's get into the list !

Gomorrah. I really liked how visual she made the world. It did feel like I was in Gomorrah and I could see it all around me. It had a great atmosphere.

The plot (part one). I have my likes and dislikes about the plot, but about the positive side of it: I did not guess all of the plot twists. Most of the book it kept me trying to figure out what was going on and I was  re-thinking all kinds of theories. I really enjoy it when a writer makes me do that.
Even though you can definitely call it a Fantasy, I would also describe it as a mystery. Lots of murder and putting pieces together in this one.

I really enjoyed the unique and weird world she created. How did she come up with some of the characters ?! They were very different from what we normally read in YA and I loved the originality of it.

Also one of my favorites in these kind of books: the romance did not overrule the plot. I really dislike it when that happens, and I was very pleased that the romance barely made it to the surface for most of the book.

Finally, I would also like to mention that I enjoyed the drawings in the book. It made for a nice change even though they were kind of dark and creepy.

The pace, I had a lot of trouble staying into this one. It is not that I didn't like it, but I had a hard time keeping my interest focused on this novel. A couple of times I wanted to dive into another book... but I knew that if I would have let myself to get into other books I would not finish this one. Which is not a good sign.. but I carried on and finished it in a week. For me, this is longer then I usably take, and to make the point clear: It was not a page-turner for me.

Even though I liked the world she writer created with Gomorrah, I also felt like she threw too much information at me sometimes. I felt a bit overwhelmed. The world building was a bit messy because of that and it got me confused at certain points that I did not understand what was happening.

On that thought, I also had some issues with the magic system. I did not really get how it all worked, and some things seemed too complicated to make it work good in this story. When I thought I got it , things would happen that changed the rules I thought were earlier on established.  Confusing.

The plot (part two). Even though it had one or two plot twists I did not see coming.. most of them were predictable. I had some bad feelings with certain persons from the beginning on, which only got stronger along the way, so most of the plot twists did not surprise me.

Even though she had a lot of unique and special (though not in the annoying way) characters, I felt like we missed a lot on them. They did not really get enough attention in my opinion and I would have liked to know more about them.

Even though it was not much of a page-turner for me and it had its flaws, I did like the atmosphere in this book. It was odd and unique, full of mystery and plot twists. For a debut novel, this is most certainly promising and I can't wait to see how she will develop as a writer.

Rating 3.5


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