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Dark Metropolis by Jaclyn Dolomore
Series: Dark Metropolis #1
Published: June 17th, 2014
304 pages (e-ARC)
Genre: Young adult paranormal/dystopia/horror
Acquired this book: From the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
Warning: May contain spoilers
Sixteen-year-old Thea Holder's mother is cursed with a spell that's driving her mad, and whenever they touch, Thea is chilled by the magic, too. With no one else to contribute, Thea must make a living for both of them in a sinister city, where danger lurks and greed rules.
Thea spends her nights waitressing at the decadent Telephone Club attending to the glitzy clientele. But when her best friend, Nan, vanishes, Thea is compelled to find her. She meets Freddy, a young, magnetic patron at the club, and he agrees to help her uncover the city's secrets-even while he hides secrets of his own.
Together, they find a whole new side of the city. Unrest is brewing behind closed doors as whispers of a gruesome magic spread. And if they're not careful, the heartless masterminds behind the growing disappearances will be after them, too.
Dark Metropolis was not what I was expecting, but in a (mostly) good way. It was original, fast-paced, and wonderfully creepy.
The synopsis makes it seem like the book is Thea’s story, but Thea was only one of three main characters, the others being Nan and Freddy. Each of them had a major role to play in Dark Metropolis, and the story was told from all three of their perspectives. I thought this would get confusing, but it never did, and I actually enjoyed getting to see things from each of their points of view. While I liked all three characters, I never really connected to any of them, which made it hard to connect to or invest emotionally in the story at times.
While parts of the story felt like they were glossed over - world building and some plot points - the plot was overall very original. It was fascinating and horrifying at the same time. I liked the different magical elements and the consequences of the magic. We were thrown into the story without much back-story or world building; it had a 1930s feel to it, and yet at times it felt futuristic. The lack of world building didn’t affect my overall enjoyment of the book because the plot was strong enough to make up for it, but I did find myself asking questions throughout the story and never really getting answers to some of them.
Dark Metropolis is full of twists, surprises, and magic. It was gruesome at times, and had an overall feeling of something sinister lurking on the next page, ready to jump out at you from the dark. I think it could have stood on its own as a standalone, but apparently it’s the first in a series. I’m curious to see what happens to Nan, Freddy, and Thea next.
Jaclyn Dolamore was homeschooled in a hippie sort of way and spent her childhood reading as many books as her skinny nerd-body could lug from the library and playing elaborate pretend games with her sister Kate. She skipped college and spent eight years drudging through retail jobs, developing her thrifty cooking skills and pursuing a lifelong writing dream. She has a passion for history, thrift stores, vintage dresses, David Bowie, drawing, and organic food. She lives with her partner and plot-sounding-board, Dade, and two black tabbies who have ruined her carpeting.
Have you read Dark Metropolis? What did you think? If you haven't read it, do you plan to?