Book Review: Diamond City (Diamond City #1)

DIAMOND CITYTitle: Diamond City (Diamond City #1)

Author: Francesca Flores

Pub. Date: January 28, 2020

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

Good things don’t happen to girls who come from nothing…unless they risk everything.

Fierce and ambitious, Aina Solís as sharp as her blade and as mysterious as the blood magic she protects. After the murder of her parents, Aina takes a job as an assassin to survive and finds a new family in those like her: the unwanted and forgotten.

Her boss is brutal and cold, with a questionable sense of morality, but he provides a place for people with nowhere else to go. And makes sure they stay there.

DIAMOND CITY: built by magic, ruled by tyrants, and in desperate need of saving. It is a world full of dark forces and hidden agendas, old rivalries and lethal new enemies.

To claim a future for herself in a world that doesn’t want her to survive, Aina will have to win a game of murder and conspiracy—and risk losing everything.

This will be a spoiler free review.

I’ve finally finished my first book of 2020…9 days into the year. I’m slacking I know. Overall, I did enjoy this book, even though it took like 150 pages for me to really get into it. Besides it taking me awhile to get into it, my only other complaint is that I felt like I’d read this story before.

It felt super familiar and I think that is part of the reason it took me time to get invested. Even then, I never got this feeling of “ohmygod, I need to find out what happens next”. I definitely liked that the pacing picked up halfway through the book and I suddenly found myself speeding through it, but it shouldn’t take anyone roughly half the book to truly become invested.

I think another issue – if you want to call it that, I am for lack of a better word not coming to mind – is the hype surrounding this book.

Now, this isn’t the first time I’ve condemned “hype” on this blog, but everything I heard about this book was that “it’s sooooo good. You’ll love it”. Or “you won’t want to miss this book”. If I’ve learned anything from my last 6 months of reading upcoming releases and blogging – this is almost nearly a death sentence for a book. At least in my experience – yours very well might be different.

I’ve already said this, but I feel like I’ve read this book before. It has some uniqueness – as all YA stories do, but I fear we’re reaching the cookie cutter stage of YA again. I enjoyed the characters, but they were pretty obvious and I kind of figured out a lot of the reveals early on. They felt a bit flat and while I rooted for the good people and appreciated that the MC’s were flawed and not inherently good characters.

I also struggled a bit with the world – there were quite a few info dumps, and time jumps – Aina suddenly remembering something from her past. I kept having to reread pages because I wasn’t sure if I’d missed something. One moment she’d be sitting on roof, and then suddenly, she’d be with other people reliving scenes from her past. I get why those scenes are important to her character and her backstory, but they had me rereading scenes to find out when they’d changed over.

Quick backtrack to my world issue, I don’t know if the finished copy is going to have map, but as a visual person – I wouldn’t object. I just had a hard time picturing everything, which meant I had kind of a hard time caring.

As for it being the start of a multiple book series (trilogy?) I don’t think it was particularly bad. I might have had a few issues, but I can see why people like this book. It’s fast-paced (for the most part), with action, and likeable characters. There’s a subtle hint of romance and it’s about figuring out who you are, what you deserve, what you’re worth and standing up for yourself. I’m definitely interested in seeing how Aina’s story unfolds and what’s going to come next.

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