City of Light by Keri Arthur Book #1 in Outcast
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publication Date: January 5th 2016
ARC Provided by Signet and Netgalley
Review – 4 Skulls – B
Christal: Having read some of Keri Arthur’s Riley Jenson series, I wasn’t sure what to expect from this more science fiction driven series. I have to say that City of Light felt very different, in a good way, and I can’t wait to read more about this world!
Wendy: This was my first Keri Arthur read, so I had no basis for comparison. I was a little nervous when I started City of Light, though. It wasn’t even that it felt like an info-dump, it was almost the opposite. It felt as though I should already know the world and understand the terminology. It was a little off-putting.
Christal: I agree! Keri Arthur started us off deep in the world and filled in the blanks while the story went along. I feel satisfied with the world building we received in this debut, but I do have more questions that I would like to see answered in future installments. I would especially like to get more information about the world before the war and what led to the humans and shifters fighting.
Wendy: Definitely. I do feel satisfied with the world building, but only just. By the end I felt like I grasped everything that had been introduced, but my head was slightly spinning. I think more back story about the world before the war would really help with that. I do think we will get more information going forward, now that the characters are all getting to know each other.
Christal: I found Tig to be a wonderful lead character. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to connect to her at first because she came off very cold and closed-off, but Keri Arthur really developed her character and gave her wonderful dimension. I would love to learn more about her back story, but what we got was pretty amazing. I thought the story behind the déchets, lab-created super soldiers made of a human, shifter, and vampire DNA mix, was nicely done and believable within this world. I wouldn’t mind a few more flashbacks from Tig’s time in the war though, so that we can see the types of things she had to go through and how it shaped her character.
Wendy: I liked Tig too. There were some aspects of the world and the lore that reminded me, loosely, of Kate Daniels, but still feeling authentic.
I really loved Cat and Bear. Tig’s back story with Cat and Bear broke my heart, but the love between them now and the childlike feel of the ghosts really added a lot of heart to the story. That connection made it easy to understand why Tig was so protective.
Christal: Cat and Bear were the absolute best and very unique characters to boot. I thought they added a softness that the story needed and helped us as readers connect to Tig through what happened to them. I have to say that I got nervous every time they went out on their own; I would already be wrecked, even this early in the series, if something happened to them.
Wendy: Me too! Tig’s explanation for why they didn’t stay out all night, being that they’re only children, was exactly how I felt reading the story. Knowing that things could steal their energy and snuff them made me so nervous.
What about Jonas? Slow developing relationships in a series are my favorite, and City of Light definitely left me looking forward to everything that’s coming up.
Christal: I didn’t like Jonas at first, but he was okay by the end. Trying to avoid spoilers here — I understand why he reacted the way he did at the end of City of Light and I know that Tig overreacted as well, but I really did sympathize with her. I hope Jonas won’t let her go so easily and that we see him fighting for Tig in the future books. They obviously have a lot of chemistry, but now he needs to prove his trust in her. One thing that kind of turned me off about the author’s other series, Riley Jenson, was the overabundance of sex, so I appreciated that it was kept pretty mild here — even with Tig’s previous “profession.”
Wendy: When I got to the first sex scene, which felt a little early to me, I was nervous that the book would be too sexual for an UF. I prefer my UF’s to be heavy on the world and plot and light on the sex. I read romances and erotica’s for that, haha. Happily though, there wasn’t too much and what was felt appropriate.
Christal: I wasn’t crazy about Jonas’ group of mercenaries and I especially came to hate Nuri by the end of City of Light. I started the book thinking she would be a wise, almost motherly character that, while wary of Tig’s déchet nature, would serve as a bridge for Tig to become more involved with the world. Yeah, that didn’t happen. I know she had to do what she thought was best for her people, but she turned out to be a ruthless, vile woman and I kind of hope Tig gets to beat the crap out of her some time.
Wendy: I’m on the fence with Nuri. I also thought she would become more of a friend to Tig. I suppose I just try to look on both sides of the coin. I feel like we’re all capable of ruthlessness to protect our children. For now the jury’s still out on Nuri until I read another book or two. I have a feeling that a deeper understanding might happen between the two of them. (Though, if Tig does get to beat her once for revenge I wouldn’t be opposed.)
Christal: I did feel like the story of the Others and the kidnapped children got buried a bit underneath all the world building and character drama. I don’t feel like I have a handle on who the Others are, why these children were being kidnapped, or what is being done to them. Everything still feels very up-in-the-air at this point and the way the book ended didn’t help. I don’t see this being a series where the installments can stand alone; each one will probably build upon the previous to create one big, overarching story instead of self-contained conflicts in each book.
Wendy: That is exactly how I felt coming to the end of the story. I feel like I have a good basic knowledge of Tig and her little world in the bunker. I can follow her history, where she came from, and where she stands with Shifters/Jonas. It’s the actual plot, the vampires, The wraiths, The Others… why the children were needed. What the false rifts actually create… that all still feels just out of reach. Hopefully we get more answers in the next installment.
Christal: Overall, I was very satisfied with City of Light and I am looking forward to more from this world. Keri Arthur has created an intriguing world and sympathetic characters, so I am definitely along for the ride.
Thank you to Signet and Netgalley for providing an ARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!
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