2 out of 5 stars.
I received an ARC of this work.
This is a rewrite of Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities. I never liked the original much and this did not change my mind. I really didn’t get a lot from this novel, despite liking some of her other stuff.
Lucie lives in a city divided between Dark and Light. People in the light have richness and privilege, while the Dark has violence and poverty. Lucie is one of the few people to ever make the transition from Dark to Light, and now lives a life of luxury, engaged to the son of the man who controls the city. Her position allows her to care for her aging father and gives her a life free from the threat of violence that rules the dark side of the city. Events in her childhood made her something of a celebrity in the Dark city, and all her new father-in-law asks in return for so much is her help in preventing rebellion. As long as Lucie is prepared to keep the status quo stable by not fomenting rebellion, she has everything she needs.
When her boyfriend Ethan is accused of a crime, it is revealed he has a doppleganger, Carwyn. Since those are only created when someone illegally saves a child’s life using dark magic, the ruling family now has a dark secret to keep. Lucie is pulled in to help control the damage and starts to get to know Carwyn when she realizes that maybe dopplegangers aren’t the evil beings she has been led to believe.
This novel only concentrates on the developing relationship between Lucie and Carwyn and nothing else. There is a cool universe here with plenty of room for wonderful stories, but the only thing of importance seems to be Lucie and Carwyn. The plot is nothing but the old “antagonism leading to romance”, “will they won’t they?” plot that has been done and redone numerous times. Lucie falls for Carwyn in a very weird way, since she is supposed to be completely in love with Ethan, and Carwyn is basically a worse version of Ethan. The immediate temptation she seems to feel makes her seem like a very flimsy and easily manipulated character. Ethan is too generically good, and Carwyn is one of those bad boys that silly girls seem to fall for too quickly.
Everything in the book seems to revolve around Lucie and Carwyn, and that became boring very quickly. I wanted to see how the rebellion and dark and light magic would effect all of society, not just two people, neither of whom are especially interesting or likeable.
This book was boring. None of the characters are interesting and the world in not explored. Please read something else.