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 love carnival books. I adore circus books. Absolutely can't get enough of them. So when I first heard about DAUGHTER OF THE BURNING CITY, I was so ready for a new favorite to land in my lap for me to devour. Instead I got something that was a little bland and not quite what I wanted.
Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed Daughter of the Burning City. But it definitely was not the book I was hoping for.
My first issue, which also happens to be my biggest personal issue, is that I didn't get enough of the fantastical carnival feel that I was hoping for. Books like The Night Circus, Full Tilt, and Caraval showed me their carnivals and circuses, in gloriously magical detail. The Gomorrah Festival in this book is literally a whole city, but I didn't get to see much of it. It was apparently full of attractions and wonders, but they were always left of the page or mentioned in passing. The Freak Show was fun to read about, but I wanted more, and sadly I never got it.
My second issue was the plot. Oh boy. This book plodded on. The beginning was fun, the ending was fun, the middle 200+ pages... were boring. If I hadn't been participating in a readathon, this book would have taken me much longer than a day to finish, because I know I would have set it aside in favor of something with more action. For so long I felt like nothing was happening. There were two different murder investigations going on simultaneously and the went nowhere for the longest time!
This book wasn't all bad, I mean, I gave it three stars. So what was good about it? I loved the characters. They were all really fun to read, I connected with so many of them right off the bat. I was instantly drawn to Sorina's illusions, all of them. They were endearing, unique and so lovable. Sorina herself was a great lead character, young and a bit naive but determined and strong at the same time. The characters really saved this book for me.
The ending had a pretty big twist that I, unfortunately, was able to guess before it happen, but it was still fun to read. Would I recommend this book? Yes, if you're in the mood for something slow. Would I group it in with my beloved carnival books? Sadly, no. It just didn't hit the right notes for me in that area. And that may have hampered my joy a bit while reading. If I had known that it wasn't going to be as carnival-centered as I'd hoped going in, I might have liked it a bit more. But overall, I didn't hate it, I didn't love it, it just kind of fell somewhere in the middle for me. I'll definitely be checking out Amanda Foody's future books, I think she has a lot of potential as a writer, so I can't wait to see how she progresses in the future.
DAUGHTER OF THE BURNING CITY is out today! So if you think it's the book for you, order now from on of the following links:
Amazon | B&N | Book Depository