Review: “Daughter of the Burning City” by Amanda Foody

I debated about whether or not I wanted to post a review for this book on my blog. I post almost all of my reviews on Goodreads, too, but I just felt so meh about this book that I didn’t really care. So, this review might be short and sweet.

Daughter of the Burning CityTitle: Daughter of the Burning City
Author: Amanda Foody
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release date: July 25, 2017
Genre: Young adult, fantasy, mystery
Length: 384 pages (hardcover)
Synopsis: (via Goodreads) “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.”

new one and a half star

new my thoughts

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Initially I was interested in this book due to the carnival-esque atmosphere of it. I definitely forgot it was a murder mystery book, which really threw me off as I started listening the audiobook. The unfortunate part is that I simply didn’t care for much of anything in this book. I did like the world-building, and thought it was well-thought out. But other than that… Everything else was just meh, and I can’t figure out if I feel this way because of the audiobook. I wasn’t too fond of the narrator and the way she voiced the characters. However, I wasn’t able to figure out the mystery, and I definitely didn’t think anything would play out the way that it did. When the true perpetrator was revealed and the whole story around that I simply thought, “How did Sorina not know despite A, B, and C?” This led me to believe I didn’t pay as much attention to the story as I should have or that there are plot holes.

I’m sad to say I didn’t care for any of the characters. I liked the diversity of Sorina, who is bisexual, and Luca, who is asexual. But I didn’t like Sorina as a person. It was hard to believe she was only 16; she seemed older. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing at all. Because of the way she looked, she was in a depression of some kind, unable to believe that people liked her or loved her, and she wallowed in her feelings throughout the book. She definitely has strong emotions in regard to her family, which was admirable. I liked Luca well enough, along with Sorina’s illusions, but I simply didn’t grasp the romantic feelings he and Sorina shared.

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Nothing remarkable to say here, I have to be honest. It was a well-written book, and like I said earlier, the world-building was fine. But this book simply wasn’t for me.

Check out these other reviews:

  • Ariel at Postcards for Ariel said this book grew on her.
  • Sophie at Sophie’s Lost in Books gave this book 5 stars!
  • Jamieson wrote an in-depth review and really enjoyed the romance.

You can purchase this book from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Book Depository (U.K. edition), or from your local indie through IndieBound.

2 thoughts on “Review: “Daughter of the Burning City” by Amanda Foody

  1. Veronika @ Wordy and Whimsical says:

    I’m very hesitant about this novel – on the one hand, so many people love it and it’s a fantasy standalone, which is so rare. But on the other hand, I’ve seen quite a few negative reviews, and I have this feeling I wouldn’t like it. 😐 I do own it, so I’ll likely get to it one of these days, though. It’s sad that neither the plot, nor the characters impressed you – I’m especially bummed about the characters because they really make or break a story for me. Anyway, this was a great review!


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