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Review of Mystic City by Theo Lawrence

Mystic City is a fantasy set in a city much like the Manhattan we know but also entirely different. In this Manhattan there are people who have ‘mystic’ abilities. These abilities manifest into different traits such as being able to walk through walls or conjure fire. The non-mystic humans of this town are in power and want to stay that way so they milk the power from the mystics to make sure they stay weak. They use the power they steal for all kinds of technology including electricity. There are of course rebels who refuse to have their powers drained and so they stay hidden. This Manhattan has an area that is called The Depths where the lowest classes of people live including most of the mystics. The rebel mystics have their base there but it is well hidden and humans are unable to enter the tunnel that leads to it. The affluent non-mystic humans live in the skyscrapers that rise above The Depths called The Aeries. The Aeries has two families who until recently have been at war much like the Capulets and the Montagues of Shakespear’s Romeo and Juliet. This fantasy has several similarities to Romeo and Juliet, including some tears at the end.

The families at war in this Manhattan are the Roses and the Fosters; both have political and mob ties. The main character, Aria Rose, wakes up to find out she’s engaged to marry Thomas Foster and learns that she has had a bad reaction to an overdose of a drug made from the powers of the mystics. She is skeptical but trusts her family when they tell her this. She remembers nothing and wants to be the ‘in love’ person they all expect her to be but it just doesn’t feel right to her. The union of the two families would be beneficial at this time because there is an up and coming Mystic woman who is running for governor of the city and wants to change the rights of the mystics and take better care of the poor. She is gaining favor and the rulers of the city do not like that. One day Aria follows her friend and servant into the depths to see what she’s up to, basically to spy on her and is attacked. She is saved (of course) by a tall dark and handsome (of course) boy from the depths who just happens to be a rebel mystic who has full strength of his powers. He is at once familiar to her for some reason even though he is reluctant to even tell her his name. He sends her home with a friend of his and she can’t seem to get him out of her mind. His name is Hunter and after their initial meeting she tries to find him again, and again, gets into trouble. The two have good chemistry and the story is very well done. I enjoyed reading it and have ordered it for my library. Give this one to fantasy lovers who like a bit of romance and intrigue in their fantasies. It is a bit predictable but it doesn’t take away from the story.