If “Mystic” Means “Cheesy and Exaggerated”…

Mystic City by Theo Lawrence


First Look:

Well, it’s a city.  What’s with her hair?  I don’t know.  It’s attractive, though I think The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms‘ cover did this much more effectively.

Jacket Copy:

For fans of Matched, The Hunger Games, X-Men, and Blade Runner comes a tale of a magical city divided, a political rebellion ignited, and a love that was meant to last forever. Book One of the Mystic City Novels.

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.


Next volume is due out next year.

Worth Reading?

kissing book

Okay, so you know that I’m not against romance, but I rarely read a book of which romance is the entire focus.  Although there was some cool worldbuilding, you will probably only like this book if you like books that are only focused on romance, and even then, if you don’t mind very cheesy, overwrought romance.

Notable Things:


Everyone in this book trusts far too easily.  The heroine is daughter of one of the ruling families of this dystopia, and the hero is a rebel in the underclass.  He starts telling her everything after having known her a few weeks (in whatever time she can slip away).  Also the double agents in her family’s organization reveal themselves pretty easily.


Cool Worldbuilding!  Lawrence made a cool dystopian world that was pretty well thought-out.


Mustache-twirling caricature villains.  They were just bad, through and through, despite the fact that one of them was the heroine’s father.


You may have gathered that I wasn’t very fond of this book.  It was just too much–too cheesy in the romance department (their letters…well, let’s just say I’d believe that they were actually written by a 14-year-old), too quick entering the rebellion, too unabashedly evil on the villains’ part.  In addition, two tiny other things bugged me a lot.  The hero pulls a Titanic (“I won’t lose you!” then gives himself up immediately after), which will always look ridiculous, even if it makes sense.  And at one point, these two personality traits are mentioned as opposite: personable vs. introvert.  As an introvert who is often personable, I take umbrage at that.


Borrowed from work.


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