City of Dark Magic
Penguin Group USA
Pub Date: Nov 27 2012
Sarah is summoned to Prague to help finish a museum collection of Beethoven’s works. But while staying in the castle in which the collection will be displayed, Sarah starts to notice certain things that seem odd. Soon she is in over her head in what turns out to be a big mystery which ends up claiming casualties. What is happening and more importantly why?
To me the title, the book cover and the synopsis made me very excited. Apparently too excited because I was severely disappointed in this book. For me there was just a little too much history, not enough magic and I just didn’t have a real connection to the characters. for me it was mostly the writing that let me down in this book. There was a very unsteady flow and awkward and unnatural dialogue.
For a book that has the word magic in the title, it doesn’t have a lot of magic in the story. That was a first let down for me. In the begin they keep mentioning this hell portal that opens up in Prague and the first thing I was thinking about was just demons roaming the town, or anything like that. I was very disappointed. The main plotline revolving around Sarah just seemed to hop around instead of just sticking to one direction. And any surprises Sarah happened upon were usually accidental and not at all surprising to the reader because we had found this out through the second plotline revolving around the American senator, Charlotte Yates.
I had no connection to Sarah and I didn’t really like her either. She just didn’t convince me, especially not in the sleuthing department. She always found things out by accident or by being in the right place at the right time. There wasn’t really a time when she just figured something out, she just kept stumbling upon this very interesting and helpful information. Max wasn’t really brought into the picture all that much and he didn’t feel very real. Add to that the insta-love Sarah felt after having seen him only twice, and rarely even spoken to him; I was not convinced. The other scholars working in the museum clearly had no other role than being part of the smart people in the museum and people to have dinner scenes with.
The writing just didn’t do it for me, there was so much history, and seeing as this is a fantasy novel I never really knew which parts were true. The unsteady flow of the book really slowed me down and if I’m honest I did struggle through this one. The last thirty pages felt as if the writer had suddenly remember what he had mentioned all the way in the beginning and decided to use that to finish with a bang. For me it was a rather big letdown. At times something rather interesting would pop up in the book and sadly the writer just let that pass by without delving into the subject any further.
From just looking at the book and reading the synopsis I really thought that it would be good. It wasn’t, in my opinion. I also really don’t know why this is in the category Fantasy, Fiction would have been just fine.