MY FIRST EVER BLOG TOUR!!!
For lack of anything better to say, let me just welcome you to my blog and my tour stop for City of Shattered Light by Claire Winn and no, I am DEFINITELY NOT skipping the intro because I do not want to talk about how I’ve pretty much disappeared from the blogosphere for the past week or so. Thank you to the Author, Netgalley and TBR and Beyond Tours for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Author: Claire Winn
Genre: Science Fiction
Age Category: Young Adult
Page count: 400 pages
Published: October 19, 2021
Rating: 4/5 stars
Content Warnings: violence, death, blood, mild gore, emotional abuse/manipulation, mild bodyhorror (cybernetics), referencesto suicide, terminal illness, drug and alcohol references.
As darkness closes in on the city of shattered light, an heiress and an outlaw must decide whether to fend for themselves or fight for each other.
As heiress to a powerful tech empire, seventeen-year-old Asa Almeida strives to prove she’s more than her manipulative father’s shadow. But when he uploads her rebellious sister’s mind to an experimental brain, Asa will do anything to save her sister from reprogramming—including fleeing her predetermined future with her sister’s digitized mind in tow. With a bounty on her head and a rogue A.I. hunting her, Asa’s getaway ship crash-lands in the worst possible place: the neon-drenched outlaw paradise, Requiem.
Gun-slinging smuggler Riven Hawthorne is determined to claw her way up Requiem’s underworld hierarchy. A runaway rich girl is exactly the bounty Riven needs—until a nasty computer virus spreads in Asa’s wake, causing a citywide blackout and tech quarantine. To get the payout for Asa and save Requiem from the monster in its circuits, Riven must team up with her captive.
Riven breaks skulls the way Asa breaks circuits, but their opponent is unlike anything they’ve ever seen. The A.I. exploits the girls’ darkest memories and deepest secrets, threatening to shatter the fragile alliance they’re both depending on. As one of Requiem’s 154-hour nights grows darker, the girls must decide whether to fend for themselves or fight for each other before Riven’s city and Asa’s sister are snuffed out forever.
1. The Sibling Relationship – Asa is the heiress to a powerful tech empire, trying to please her manipulative father and trying to prove herself to the world. Rule-following and obedient, all she wants is for her father to love her. Kaya is the rebellious sister, and also the prime tester for a new and dangerous technology their father is developing – Project Winterdark. Asa struggles between her desire to help her sister and free her from their father’s clutches but she also wants to believe that he isn’t as bad as Kaya thinks. She wants to prove to him that she is more. She wants to gain his love and she’ll go to any extents to do that. But Kaya is the only person in the entire world who she truly loves – her sister, her best friend, and the only family she has. So when her father uploads Kaya’s mind to an experiomental brain to change her personality and make her more obedient, Asa has to choose between living according to her father’s wishes and the future that has already been planned for her, or saving her sister and bringing back the only friend she has ever had. Basically, Asa is Scarlet and Kaya is Tella. Need I say any more? I don’t think so.
“…built speeder, its chrome pipes breathing vapor into the night, colored lights trailing by in breakneck streaks. Their only taste of freedom, of a world beyond their father’s prison.
Maybe she and Kaya would still find that world.”
2. The World Building – I DO NOT KNOW WHERE TO BEGIN WITH THIS ONE! The world building is breathtakingly beautiful and UNIQUE. It is so well crafted, this intoxicatingly stunning and VIBRANT world, the descriptions and the imagery, the DETAILS and ugh, I just cannot imagine how much hardwork must have gone into creating this. The world building is so vivid and it’s so easy to get sucked up into the story. See, Sci-fi and me… We do not get along well with each other. Reading sci-fi requires precious brain cells, and considering that I don’t have any, I end up terribly confused half of the time because ~concentration~ but THIS BOOK IS JUST SPECIAL. And ohmigosh, all the technology, my soul has been blessed! Seriously, THE TECHNOLOGY! SO ADVANCED AND UNIQUE AND AMAZING
3. The Characters + Development – Even though I would have liked more development of the side characters (SAMIR AND DIEGO!) and also more development between Riven’s crew, Riven is Queen and Asa is amazing too. RIVEN IS A LIVING MARVEL AND SHE CAN SHOOT A TARGET WITHOUT EVER MISSING AND SHE’S SO BRAVE AND BADASS AND… JUST SO FULL OF LIFE. I worship her, okay? Asa, on the other hand, I love her development throughout the book, I love seeing her struggle between doing what her dad would approve of, and doing what she thinks is the right thing to do. Though she got on my nerves a couple of times, but I can understand her. AND SHE’S SO CLEVER, OH MY GOSH. I wish I had such presence of mind.
“When her time came, Riven would probably insult death itself and challenge it to a duel.”
4. The Action + Plot Twists – I loved how high the stakes were and all the tension at any given moment, I was kept at the very edge of my (shh, almost fell off the chair, but don’t tell anyone). Some parts of it were too violent, and at times I just could not. I love the action, but oh my God, I need to breathe, okay? I really would have liked at least a couple of scenes where we get to like breathe and also just… Peaceful? You know, scenes where the only thing that’s happening isn’t betrayal or… shooting? I do not make sense. I know. BUT that is just me being… me(?) ANYWAY, this is the type of book you will literally RUN through and I am not lying when I say you are not going to want to put it down.
5. The Writing – It is simple, to the point, but it is STRONG and amazing and it makes you picture EVERYTHING as its being told. It is so well written. YOU ARE GOING TO DEVOUR THOSE WORDS LIKE YOU’VE NEVER SEEN FOOD or words in this case BEFORE. And then there’s some phrases that are gorgeous so here –
– The remains of a civilization lost to time
– Time stretched, each second an eternity of raw solitude
– As breathtaking as the edge of space
And i do not know why I’m obsessed with these, but I just am.
- Stories with sibling relationships + manipulative father = Happy human
- This is THE sci-fi story I have been waiting for all my life.
- I am struck with amazement at just how much effort must have been put into the world building, but this is just –
- Asa’s character is so amazing, I feel for her. The constant struggle about how things could have been better if she’d just have made a different decision, thinking that she was disappointing everyone she loved, I relate too much!
- Also Kaya. No matter how cliche this sister combination becomes (one is the perfect daughter who listens to whatever her dad says + the rebellious one) i’ll never get tired of it. I WHOLEHEARTEDLY LOVE THIS BOOK RIGHT NOW!
- It is fast – paced (VERY fast paced), the ever present action, and the perfect world building (EPIC) is seriously A DREAM COME TRUE. And also how it’s described. I usually tend to get bored, but right now I am desperately hungry for MORE! I love the descriptions of Requiem’s landscapes and the world building is so vivid, I LOVE IT! Also I can’t imagine the amount of time and effort that went into creating this beyond amazing world, because it’s so so well done!
- AHHHHH, a world with more than 24 hours in a day, I need to live there! I DESPERATELY NEED TO LIVE THERE
- I am just a confused little bean right now, someone send help! I don’t know if it’s just me and the fact that my concentration isn’t the best right now (I am tired, okay?) but it’s taking me a minute to get everything that’s happening and I’m confused.
- Also can you see that gorgeous cover???? I CANNOT GET ENOUGH OF IT AHHHH!
- The entire story is all to the point and SO fast paced. Many books beat around the bush a lot, giving us information that does nothing in taking the story forward and just makes me confused, but this one doesn’t do it. The action is seriously never ending
- Oh but the stakes, driving me insane!
- I currently like Riven more than Asa. Like Asa just seems selfish to me and also too innocent and easily trusting? But I love Riven. She might be a bit cruel at times killing without mercy, but her past justifies it. I love how brave she is, and how she loves her crew. i am living for all her Emmett memories, okay?
- Ty is a sweet, innocent little kid and though I liked him, he just didn’t feel… very human? As in, maybe he was being a little too kind to Asa. Like, that girl was responsible for killing your brother, dude! Maybe the side characters should have been more developed because I would really have loved to see more of Samir and also Diego!!! I LOVE DIEGO TOO MUCH, OKAY!?!
- I change my mind. Riven is still queen and will always be, but I like Asa too. She is clever, and I got her wrong before, okay?
- But egh, I want more development between the crew, please?
- I do not ship Ty and Asa. But as for Riven and Asa, I keep changing my mind every chapter. ugh, ~stress~
- After being so badly injured all of them seem so completely fine somehow?? Did human civilization evolve to give us more pain-tolerance??
- But then again, every single fantasy/ sci-fi character apprently has that ability??? What is this world?
- i swear the HP characters should have died at least 20 times by the end of the series. HUMANS CANNOT SURVIVE A FULL-ON ATTACK BY THE WHOMPING WILLOW AND COME OUT COMPLETELY UNHURT, OKAY?!)
- OKAY. I NEED THE NEXT BOOK NOW. I AM FINE, OKAY? I AM PERFECTLY CALM. NOTHING WRONG *sob* WHYY?? DO??? BOOKS??? HAVE TO TORTURE SO MUCH??? That ending, I swear –
Claire Winn spends her time immersed in other worlds—through LARP, video games, books, nerdconventions, and her own stories. Since graduating fromNorthwestern University, she’s worked as alegal writer and freelance editor. Aside from writing, she builds cosplay props and armor, tears updance floors, and battles with boffer swords. City of Shattered Light is her first novel.