I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Artful by Wilbert Stanton
Series: Shadows of the City #1
on May 27th 2014
Genres: Post-Apocalyptic, Young Adult
Source: the author
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New York City, 2025: Everything is changed. The city that never sleeps is now a land of death and decay. A rampant virus has taken over and the survivors have become carriers, quarantined from the rest of the world.
Twist and Dodger grew up in the streets, the sewers and underground tunnels – their playground. They aren’t heroes. They just like attention; and stealing meds from the rich and giving them to the poor is their golden ticket.
On their latest raid, they unknowingly steal a cure that puts them square between the ailing Emperor of Manhattan and the war hungry Governor of Brooklyn and forces them on a quest into the darkest shadows of their putrefying world.
Starting off, I had no clue what to expect. After reading a synopsis, I have this wonderful habit of forgetting all about it. Sure, my memory’s not great, but I’m not sure if it’s entirely accidental, because I love going into a book with an entirely fresh perspective. So, really, when I started off with the first chapter, I was a little confused. Was it post apocalyptic? Was it steampunk? It seemed like a strange combination of the two. What age range was it for? While the author keeps the language clean, there are some seriously mature topics being dealt with. But you know what? By the time I reached the end of the story, I was surprised to find that I was utterly addicted!
The characters! They’re awesome! The story was told from Twist’s perspective, and that surprised me at first. I mean, he wasn’t overly charismatic, and he seemed to mostly stand in the shadow of his friend Dodger. It just seemed to me that Dodger would have been the more obvious choice as a main protagonist. But that’s the beauty of it! Stanton handed us a character with an infinite amount of growing to do. I absolutely loved watching Twist’s transition throughout the course of the story! Beyond the key players, there are a few minor characters who were so intriguing and I’m desperate to read book two just to get to know them better.
This one is easy for me to recommend… but I’m still not sure who to recommend it to. Definitely some mature content; war, starvation, murder, teen alcohol consumption, prostitution, cannibalism, to name a few. The characters are mostly upper teens, but I think I might have preferred to have more swears. Not something I would usually ask for, but considering the way that these kids have been forced to mature at a young age, I would think that swearing would come with the territory. It didn’t feel natural that they didn’t.
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