- Author: Victoria Ying
- Series: City of Secrets #1
- Genre: Mystery and Steampunk
- No. of pages: 256
- Dates read: 14.03.21 – 16.03.21
- Star Rating: 3.5 stars
- Challenge: Not a Novel Challenge
Plot: Ever Barnes is a shy orphan guarding a secret in an amazing puzzle box of a building. Most of the young women who work at the building’s Switchboard Operating Facility, which connects the whole city of Oskar, look the other way as Ever roams around in the shadows. But one of them, Lisa, keeps an eye on the boy. So does the head of the Switchboard, Madame Alexander . . . a rather sharp eye. Enter Hannah, the spunky daughter of the building’s owner. She thinks Ever needs a friend, even if he doesn’t know it yet. Good thing she does! Lisa and Madame Alexander are each clearly up to something. Ever is beset by a menacing band of rogues looking to unlock the secret he holds–at any cost. And whatever is hidden deep in the Switchboard building will determine all of their futures.
So, I actually saw this book being promoted on twitter where the author released a mini animated trailer for the book and it went viral. I knew instantly after I saw it I had to buy it.
So, for starters the art is beautiful. It was easy to understand, action-packed and had an aesthetic that reminded me a lot of the Professor Layton games if any of you played them. I felt the progression of the plot was a bit fast paced but as I am not the target audience, it wasn’t a major set back. The writing and the art did an amazing job of adding tension and making you feel emotional.
The plot itself was so interesting and so much fun. It was definitely the highlight of the book. It was mysterious, action-packed, tense and at times scary! While I would have like the mystery to have dragged on for longer I really enjoyed the set up for a sequel by hinting that the story isn’t really over. It makes me think that there is more than meets the eye for this series.
Ever Barnes was a super fun and intelligent character but my personal fave was Hannah. She was adventurous, kind and I think a great role model for younger kids. In general the women in this book are varied and written super well. Lisa and Madame Alexander couldn’t be more different and that’s what I enjoyed, the range of female characters.
I think the theme of trust really stuck out to me in this book. Having the ability to trust the people around you and in yourself is what will ultimately help you out in the future. Great relationships form based on trust and I think that is displayed really well in this book.
I cannot wait to read the next book, City of Illusion which should be out this year.
The next book I hope to review is still Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch. It is taking me a lot longer than I thought it would to read. It is a very slow-paced book! I am enjoying it though!