Mystic City by Theo Lawrence

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. 

Set in a futuristic Manhattan, the book opens with Aria and her best friend Kiki attending Aria’s engagement party to Thomas, the son of one of her father’s biggest rivals, two weeks after a drug overdose that has left her with partial memory loss.  She cannot remember anything about him and this will be the first time she sees Thomas since before the accident.   She is told that she had a drug overdose of Stic, distilled mystic energy.  Mystics are people who have magical powers of various degrees and to “keep everyone safe” they are drained of these powers twice a year since an incident, wildly known as Mystic-organized, called the “Conflagration” ocurred 20 years ago resulting in a massive death toll.   Now as they are drained Mystic powers are used not only as a power source but as an illegal drug sold on the streets.

As Aria starts to remember things they are fuzzy and where Thomas should be it is jumbled; almost as if he shouldn’t be in her memories.  While looking into her memory loss and trying to get to know the fiancée she is supposed to be in love with she meets Hunter, an unregistered mystic.   Feeling a connection to him that she cannot explain she explores her memory loss further and starts to question not only her accident but just what are the motives of her family.

I finished a season two binge of Game of Thrones right before I read this one so I had a bit of trouble dissociating Aria in the book from Arya in the show. Crazy thing was that as I kept reading I pretty much pictured her (Maisie Williams) as this Aria as well which is kind of weird because I was thinking that she would be too young for this story.  After further wiki research I did find out that Maisie is 15 so I guess that’s better.  I think the point for this is made by Aria speaking up for herself but not is a crazy sassy way that you see from a lot of young adult characters.  There are several plot twists that I figured out a bit before but I don’t think that took away from the story at all.  I also love the hint of a love triangle but not any indecision on anyone’s part so that I wasn’t so angry that I wanted to throw a book.

I really enjoyed this one which surprised me because it was written by a male author.  I’m not trying to be at all sexist because they have great stories just as much as female authors but I generally have a harder time getting into the story or connecting with their characters .  There have been a few exceptions to my rule and I truly feel this is one of them.  It was a quick read and thankfully pulled me out of the reading slump I’ve been in.

I’m very interested to see where Mr. Lawrence goes with this series.

4/5

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