Daughter of the Burning City Audio CD – July 25 2017
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Audible Audiobook, Unabridged
|Audio CD, July 25 2017||
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- Publisher : Blackstone Audio, Inc.; Unabridged AUDIO edition (July 25 2017)
- Language : English
- Audio CD : 1 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1538429926
- ISBN-13 : 978-1538429921
- Item weight : 249 g
- Customer Reviews:
''Wow! A dark and dangerous tale, a world like no other and heroism of the weirdest kind!'' -New York Times bestselling author Tamora Pierce
''Utterly original. Amanda Foody has a wicked imagination. If you enjoy your fantasy on the darker side, then you will love Gomorrah!'' --Stephanie Garber, New York Times bestselling author of Caraval
About the Author
Amanda Foody has always considered imagination to be our best attempt at magic. When she is not writing young adult fantasy about spectacle, extravagance, and prestige, she is figuring out this whole ''adult'' thing. A recent graduate from the College of William and Mary, she now lives near Philadelphia with her many siblings and many books. Daughter of the Burning City is her first novel.
Top reviews from Canada
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Though not every side character gets a lot of time in the spotlight, the most compelling relationships with main character Sorina were Luca, her sister and mother, and of course her father figure (I'm writing this review at 1am so the names are escaping me). Each relationship was different from the next. Luca in particular was interesting as he created a romantic situation with Sorina.
I truly loved the magic and lore brought to this world, and the strength of Sorina. I found her easy to relate to and was constantly rooting for her. Yes she made mistakes but I never doubted her intelligence and her desire for love and to fit in. She is a great hero and I adored her.
This wasn't my usual fare, but I enjoyed it immensely and would recommend it for anyone who loves romantic mysteries with unique characters and carnivals!
As I chose this book I wanted something a little different than my recent reads which have been shifter, and dystopian books. I am also quite fascinated with old style travelling circus theme.
I've seen two covers for this book and have described them below in my Cover Compare feature. I love the purple colour that is featured on both covers which represents the fog and smog smoke from the constant magical burning in and around the moving city that is the Gomorrah Festival. I think just based on the colour alone, this book would catch my eye enough to it pick up and learn more about it from the blurb.
The main character is Sorina who is just sixteen years old, she was adopted by the proprietor of the Gomarrah Festival, Villiam. Life within the travelling city of Gomorrah is all Sorina has known. Sorina, along with some of the other performers in the carnival/festival have what is described as Jynx-work. Sorina is a lonely character and even within the festival she doesn't know or talk to many people. The festival has been banned from certain places for around three years then suddenly Villiam has been told that the festival is once again welcome on those areas. Sorina has her own tent which is entitled the "Freak Show" which consists of her, "The Girl Who See's Without Eyes". At first I thought Sorina was a puppeteer which I suppose she is in a way except the strings to her illusions are invisible. The book begins with a nervous Sorina peeking through the heavy velvet curtains. One by one her illusions perform, then for the finale Sorina is "The Girl Who See's Without Eyes". Sorina doesn't think of her illusions as a freak show act. Sorina feels all her illusions are their own persons and her family, there's Gill the troutman who can breathe in water who is like an Uncle to Sorina, Blister who is the baby that breathes fire and the two twin younger brothers which are Unu and Du who share a body but have their own heads and opinions that they don't mind sharing and arguing with each other. The problems begin when one of the illusions is killed. If illusions aren't really a living human how can they be murdered/killed? That is the puzzle that Sorina and a newer member of the festival called Luca who says he is a gossip worker which means he hears a lot about what is going on in Gomorrah.
I struggled to begin with and at one point actually thought I won't be able to finish read this one. Then suddenly the pace and intrigue picked up and I felt more drawn into the book with the intriguing details of the 'freaks' created by Sorina and their individual acts in the Gomorrah Festival. It certainly had me asking questions quite early on in the book too. Why after over three years is the festival suddenly being allowed? Why has the 10pm Menagerie show been cancelled?
Who killed Gill? And why? Who is the important up mountain man that has gone missing that provoked such an uncivilised and fierce reaction from the local up mountainers? Why did Jaifu not turn up to the usual place he meets up with Sorina to split the proceeds of his thefts do she can pay for Kahina's medication."
I absolutely had to continue reading as I wanted to know what was going on, who was doing the killings, why are they killing those closet to Sorina? Why is the festival suddenly allowed to visit cities it had previously been barred from for the past 3 years?
As I said I founder the very early part of this book slower paced than I usually like but by about half way through I was glad I had to persevered.
I feel I shouldn't go into much more detail as you need to read the book yourself. It has slow beginning and at times I thought it was a little odd but as the story develops it becomes more interesting and you feel yourself pulled deeper. The plot speeds up and there are so many suspects for the killings, you easily become more involved and it certainly keeps you guessing who the guilty party is. This book becomes more complex, and intriguing with every page. Just when you think you have worked certain characters or parts of the plot out there's another twist or turn!
I liked the character of the somewhat naive Sorina as well as Kahina, the one who is a mother figure to Sorina. Yet when Kahina contracts the dreaded snaking disease it is Sorina that has to use rather unscrupulous methods to obtain the money to pay for the procurment of the necessary medication. I was also intrigued as to how Sorina has created her own band of friends/family that perform in the freak show along with her. Another character I loved was Luca, a male gossip worker who was quite stand offish towards Sorina but ends up being an increasingly important person in her life. Sorina quickly develops a crush on Luca, but does he feel the same way about her? I thought Luca came across as a very innocent young man, which at first I thought suspicious but then later in the book there is a perfect explanation for his inexperience. When Luca is explained more in the book and certain things are revealed his reactions and behaviour all make sense. To be honest if I had to choose just one favourite character it would be Luca. I loved the descriptions of the outfits he wore, his whole terminology and how he spoke.
A character I thoroughly loved hating was the proprietor of the festival, Villiam. Villiam is the man who adopted Sorina all those years ago, who says one day she will take his place and be the proprietor, yet he seems reluctant to begin training her and revealing the secrets and harsh realities of the festival. At times he can be rather dismissive of Sorina. To me he became a little patronising of her, telling her only the bare minimum of what she needed to know. Then in my opinion when it suited him he actually used Sorina and her little family as part of a very dangerous plot for power.
So to finally sum up my final thoughts as I finished this book were, Wow! How on earth can I describe this book? . . . . .brilliantly weird, strange and compulsive reading. Amazingly different character within an olde worlde setting of a travelling festival/circus.
***We received an advance readers’ copy from HarlequinTEEN in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affects our opinions.***
If I had to describe this book in one word, it would be atmospheric. That’s the best part of this book–that you feel like you’re in the world, and with these characters, at every step.
This book is definitely weird. It is unlike anything I’ve ever read before. At first, it was a little jarring; but once I got a chapter or two in, I found myself really being able to see everything the author wanted me to. (Even if the main character didn’t have eyes.)
The mystery definitely gave the book its backbone. I especially can’t wait to see the illustrations of the characters in the final copy; I think it’ll give the book a magical touch. Though I did guess the killer kind of early on, it didn’t deter from my enjoyment of the novel.
I liked how this book touched on topics and themes like outsider-ness. What is it like to be considered a “freak”? What defines that? How can this be a good or bad thing, depending on one’s perspective? All of these questions played into the greater themes of family, love, and friendship.
I think my favourite of the siblings were Unu and Du (ahem, twins…). I appreciated the LGBTQIA+ rep, too, because there isn’t enough of that in fantasy, so to see it naturally incorporated into the book in a respectful way was a delight.
I don’t think this is always the most fast-paced novel, but I didn’t really have a problem with that. I thought the world-building for the Gomorrah Festival was on point, but it took some time to develop the rest of the world. Though, when we did get that information, I enjoyed what was given, and I never found it overly confusing (though I do wish there were a map!).
Overall, I rated this book 4.5/5*. I absolutely enjoyed this freak-show circus novel, and highly recommend you all pick this one up!
Top reviews from other countries
So let's start with plot stuff! It's super enjoyable and the world is interesting and well put together. I like how we see how little Sorina knows about both Gomorrah and the outside world, and how we learn along with her. I like all the characters of Gomorrah too. Sorina herself I am a little mixed about - she's a solid character with relatable angst, and I really liked how her having no eyes was dealt with! And her relationships with her family was lovely. But for me, while I liked her, I didn't love her. I wanted her to solve the mystery and sort her relationship but that's it.
Onto the mystery. I guessed the twists around Luca and Sorina about halfway through, but didn't the full aspect in terms of the mastermind. I felt a bit sad to be right, but that was more because I didn't want to be than disappointment in the storyline :)
I also love that the book is so inclusive - sexuality is casually irrelevant in many ways, a main character who is effectively disabled (though more in looks than ability, which I think does make it different).
And then finally, on to Luca. Who I need to mention for being special to me. 😍💙😍 I love everything about him except the twist (despite being a spoilers review I like to not completely ruin it!). Mostly the way he owns his approach to relationships, is honest about what he wants and while letting Sorina lead a bit, he also was good at stating boundaries (or lack of). And Sorina was respectful and understanding of him. And just 😍 everything about that was lovely, including Sorina coming to realise that he was moving from annoying to possibly cute lol! It made me super happy to see something different and supportive and inclusive and on it's own this would have got the book 5 stars hehe!!
Our main character, Sorina, is absolutely fascinating. Though she was born with no eyes, she can still see clearly, and her illusion work is amazing. The only illusion-worker born in hundreds of years, she's the only real part of the Gomorrah Festival Freak Show - an act within the travelling carnival. Her creations are her family, but she's always believed they weren't truly real. Until the murders begin. Sorina is determined to find out who is killing her family, why they are doing it, and most importantly, how it's even possible. Strong and brave, she's a pretty great character all in all. Though she's easily hurt, she's become a master of hiding behind a mask and a sharp tongue. Not many people outside her family really accept her for who she is, and she lives a pretty sheltered life in a lot of ways.
Enter Luca. We know nothing about this kid, other than that he's been with Gomorrah for about a year and has earned himself a bit of a reputation as a gossip-worker. Oh, and there's the little fact that he can't die. He's a pretty interesting guy, really. Though Sorina doesn't particularly like him when they first meet, they slowly form an unlikely friendship, which of course leads to more. A lot of authors try to get their relationships ignited early in standalones so the reader gets as long as possible with the romance. That's how insta-love happens. But Amanda Foody turned that on its head. Despite being a standalone, the development between Sorina and Luca was slow and, quite frankly, believable.
Scattered throughout this book are the "blueprints" for Sorina's illusions, complete with sketches which is just amazing. But these blueprints have been added to. Defaced. Turns out, the killer has used these blueprints as a cheat sheet for murder. These additions really make everything come to life and I absolutely loved them, as few and far between as they were.
I don't read standalone fantasy very often, but when I do, I'm generally left feeling a little underwhelmed. That wasn't the case here. Despite my love for a long fantasy series, this story worked beautifully as a standalone. Would I have liked a sequel? Absolutely, but not because it necessarily needs one, but more because Gomorrah itself is so dang fascinating. It's not merely a travelling carnival, but rather a travelling city. That's crazy interesting!
I'm blown away by the fact that this is a debut novel, and it definitely made me even more excited to read Ace Of Shades (which I finished at the end of August, heh). Something Amanda Foody did incredibly well in this book was the mystery. I found myself flip-flopping between characters I believed to be the killer, and in the end, I was totally wrong anyway!
Overall, if you're looking for an interesting YA fantasy/mystery, check this one out. It's only 400 pages and is fun, super quick, and utterly captivating.
Zuallererst handelt es sich bei Daughter of the Burning City um einen Einzelband! Mehr sogar noch – obwohl es in einer komplett fiktiven Welt spielt, kann Foody diese in den knapp 400 Seiten ausreichend entwickeln, ohne, dass sie überwältigend oder verwirrend wirkt. Auch die Geschichte ist optimal in sich abgeschlossen, keine Frage bleibt unbeantwortet.
Nach nur wenigen Seiten hatte ich Sorina und ihre Familie voller Freaks (wie sie im Buch bezeichnet werden) ins Herz geschlossen, und ich war überrascht, wie sehr es schmerzte, als einer von ihnen ermordet wurde – und das nach so wenigen Seiten. Daraufhin entwickelt sich eine Suche nach dem Mörder, die überwiegend wirklich spannend ist. Lediglich in der Mitte des Buches verliert sie etwas an Geschwindigkeit, da der romantische Subplot in den Vordergrund tritt, aber dafür ist die Auflösung umso genialer. Was während dem Lesen beinahe hoffnungslos erschien, da Sorina kaum Hinweise hatte, macht rückblickend unglaublich viel Sinn … wenn man die kleinen eingestreuten Hinweise entdeckt. Besonders "cool" ist, dass manchmal zwischen den Kapiteln Skizzen des Mörders enthalten sind, die dem Buch fast schon eine Horror-Note verpassen. (Sie machten mich extra paranoid, um es anders auszudrücken.)
Zuletzt bin ich einfach begeistert davon, wie divers das Buch ist – Sorina ist bisexuell, ihr Loveinterest befindet sich auf dem Ace-Spektrum und eine Freundin von ihr ist lesbisch. Besonders schön zu lesen war, dass Foody eine Welt erschaffen hat, in der jede Sexualität kommentarlos akzeptiert wird; darüber hinaus gefiel mir auch der Dialog, der um die einzelnen Orientierungen der Charaktere entstand.
Kurzum – Daughter of the Burning City ist ein brillantes Debüt, das lediglich in der Mitte etwas den roten Faden verliert. Was die Spannung anbetrifft, beschert es viele aufregende Stunden in Gomorrah.