Dark Metropolis by Jaclyn Dolamore

Dark Metropolis by Jaclyn DolamoreDark Metropolis (Dark Metropolis #1) by Jaclyn Dolamore
Published: Disney-Hyperion (2014), ARC, 304pg
Source: ALA 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, GLBTQ, Sci-fi

Sixteen-year-old Thea Holder's mother is cursed with a spell that's driving her mad, and whenever they touch, Thea is chilled by the magic, too. With no one else to contribute, Thea must make a living for both of them in a sinister city, where danger lurks and greed rules.
Thea spends her nights waitressing at the decadent Telephone Club attending to the glitzy clientele. But when her best friend, Nan, vanishes, Thea is compelled to find her. She meets Freddy, a young, magnetic patron at the club, and he agrees to help her uncover the city's secrets-even while he hides secrets of his own.

Together, they find a whole new side of the city. Unrest is brewing behind closed doors as whispers of a gruesome magic spread. And if they're not careful, the heartless masterminds behind the growing disappearances will be after them, too.

Perfect for fans of Cassandra Clare, this is a chilling thriller with a touch of magic where the dead don't always seem to stay that way.

This was the first book I read coming back from ALA Annual, and YAY! It was so good!

First, it has flappers. Stick a flapper in a book and I will read immediately want to read it, no questions asked.1 Because Dark Metropolis is a fantasy-land/dystopian mix, there’s less glitz and glamour than you’d expect from a pseudo-1920s book, but it totally works. It’s a dark metropolis, gritty and hazy with broken promises; these are dark flappers, like if Siouxsie Sioux had a baby with a disco ball.

So that’s the tone of the book, and the thing that first drew me to it. The thing(s) that kept me reading it, though, was the characters and the story! Which brings me to

Second, the world of Dark Metropolis is so amazing. It’s depressing! People keep disappearing, the government is super scary, there’s magic and mayhem, and on top of it all is this layer of shiny stuff– like love and friendship. The world building was expertly done, too! We get plenty of details about how the DM world works, but it never felt like overkill. Yay, balance!

Thirdly, the characters were SO great. There’s all this personal growth happening alongside a very sweet romance (between two couples, including a lesbian set), and I loved following all of them through their story. They’re heroes! But in a (mostly) quiet sort of way, where the heroics come from emotions rather than shooting guns.

Do you like stories about flappers and love and family and friendship and magic? Then you DEFINITELY need to pick up Dark Metropolis ASAP.

Read: June 30, 2014

Side note: I read Jaclyn Dolamore’s first book four years ago and wasn’t wowed with it. Between then and now she’s upped her writing game by like ten. If you were also iffy about MUG, I’d still recommend giving Dark Metropolis a try to see how far she’s come.

  1. See also: sea adventures and space exploration.

2 thoughts on “Dark Metropolis by Jaclyn Dolamore”

  1. It is THE BEST thing when a writer levels up. I felt that same way about Holly Black when I read The Coldest Girl in Coldtown recently — I just thought it was head and shoulders above the earlier book of hers I read a few years ago.

    FLAPPERS. Yes please.

    1. Ooo, that’s great about Holly Black! I hated Tithe so much that I haven’t read anything of her’s since, but I’ve got White Cat on my TBR list since that got some good reviews when it first came out. Did you ever read that series?

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