A massive thanks to NetGalley for sending me an eARC of Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody. I heard about this book from my friend and decided to give it a try (mostly because it’s circus-themed). Without further ado – let’s get on with my spoiler-free review!
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.
My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Publication Date: Jul 25 2017
RRP: $19.99 AUD
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy, Paranormal, Mystery
To buy: Harlequin Teen
When I first read the blurb, I was enraptured by the idea of “a murder mystery in the setting of a travelling circus”. The fantasy and paranormal aspects were enjoyable in a refreshing way as I’ve never read anything quite like it! It’s freaky, bold and different. And I have to say I am surprised by this book in a very good way (and also how fast I finished it).
At the beginning, we are introduced to Sorina’s Freak Show, and her family of ‘illusions’. Sorina, daughter of the proprietor of the infamous Gomorrah Festival, is an illusionist – who can create illusions so real that, well, they are real in all possible ways. There were quite a lot of characters and it was easy to lose track at the start – but do not worry! The names will stick with you very soon as you head further into the book. There are also illustrations which I found awesome!
The writing is imaginative, succinct, and a pleasure to read. Techniques of imagery, metaphors and personifications were cleverly employed which further enrich the storyline and my reading experience.
For me, the murder mystery itself was the highlight of the book. I simply was not expecting the ending to be anything like it at all! I was swayed from here and there when I (poorly) attempted to determine the identity of the culprit/s (I guess watching seasons and seasons of crime shows doesn’t teach you everything). The entire journey to solving the mystery was decently paced, at no point I found it slow or too-fast. I was so hooked into the story that I couldn’t stop reading!
ANOTHER GREAT THING about this book is the DIVERSITY!!! Daughter of the Burning City has got bi rep, lesbian rep and asexual demiromantic rep! It’s great to see these representations!
All in all, this book gave me all the circus vibes: the music, the lighting, the colours, the mood and the FOOD (omg)! If you’re up for some funky surprises, funny dialogues, a unique whodunit and freaky vibes – definitely check this one out! Thanks for reading my review! Happy Reading! xx