Very impressed with the character development and complex plot. I'm very excited to read the sequel!
A Novel of the Golden City
Penguin Publishing Group
|Number of Pages|
J. Kathleen Cheney
|Assembled Product Dimensions (L x W x H)|
8.01 x 5.32 x 0.79 Inches
This was a fainting book I could put down. Set in an alternate version of 1902 Portugal, it contains steampunk aspects, mystery, adventure, mermaids, selkies and a variety of different creatures.I can't wait to dive into the second book!! And I want see more of Oriana & Duilo!!
Set in a convincing alternate-history world, the Golden City of Kathleen Cheney's novel offers a wealth of history and politics and a convincing society of humanity and seafolk. Of course, the twain should never meet, each banished from the other's lands. But there are always spies. There's twisted magic too in this fascinating novel, and there's a pleasing mix of romance, mystery, suspense and curiosity. The tale flows swift and smooth as the tide, and the reader's soon caught up in plot and counterplot; a lonely old woman longs for the sea; an eager young woman meets a cruel demise; officious politicians thwart police investigation; and a coolly convincing flavor of history pervades it all. The author succeeds in creating romantic tension without twisting the tale to its needs, balancing plot and emotion beautifully, and creating characters who ring convincingly true, whether they're human, sereia or selkie, rich or poor, devious or kind (or both at once). In fact, the author creates a whole city of characters, and keeps them clear to the reader throughout the whole of the complex tale. The novel ends with hints of more to come, and is clearly part of a series. But the plot's complete and readers who prefer standalone tales won't be disappointed. A masterful tale, this one is highly recommended. Disclosure: I was lucky enough to win a copy and I offer my honest review.
I won a copy of this book in a GR giveaway. 3.5. This is one of those circumstances in which I really wish GR actually allowed half stars. I have to decide if I'm gonna round up or down. The book is better than others I've given 3 stars to, but I didn't like it 4 stars worth...Anyhow, I'm pretty 'meh' about The Golden City. I liked the writing. The editing was fine. Finding it set in Portugal was a change from the regular US/UK based fiction one normally finds (though I've seen others comment it wasn't accurate, I don't know one way or another) and Selkie, Otterfolk and Seria were outside the norm magical creatures. I even liked Oriana and Duilio. But I found them dull. Really, they seemed to exist in parallel plots that they then occasionally talked about. And they were so bound by social convention that there seemed to be no passion in them at all. And Oriana has to be the worst spy in history.The mystery seemed shaky. Almost 50 people disappear and no one notices? I mean sure, employers might be oblivious, but did none of these people have families or friends that might report them missing? The great magic that was supposed to happen seemed questionable at best, though even the book admits that. And it all seemed to fall apart for no real reason at all. Oriana was still walking around as if no one was after her, and it didn't seem anyone was despite claims to the contrary. Sure, Duilio dodged assassination attempts, but it's Oriana that's supposed to be in danger, but I never once felt that. And I was distinctly dissatisfied with the ending. It's not a solid HEA, which I don't always have to have, but it felt like something had been left incomplete. In fact, what it felt very much like was an obvious tie-in for a sequel, which irks me. All in all, I would call this OK, not great but not wholly bad either. I'd read a sequel if I came across it for free or could borrow it. But I doubt I'd spend money on it.
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