Mystic City is a fantastic debut novel by Theo Lawrence. In Mystic City, which is actually a futuristic New York City, global warming has caused the water to rise so much that the city streets are flooded. People eventually built the skyscrapers up even higher, so that the upper class of Mystic City lives above the flooded streets and travels from building to building in a sort of air train. The city is powered by energy from Mystics (people who possess magical powers) and the city is divided into East and West, with a different family ruling each side. Mystics are forced to be drained of their energy twice a year so that they are unable to revolt and use their powers on anyone else, and they are forced to live with the rest of the poor and destitute down on the flooded streets.
Aria Rose is the daughter of the ruling family on the West side of the city. She wakes up in the hospital, not knowing what has happened to her, and is told by her parents that she overdosed on mystic drugs and has amnesia. According to her parents, Aria had been carrying on a secret romance with Thomas Foster, the son of the ruling family on the East side of the city. When Aria was taken to the hospital, Thomas apparently told Aria’s parents about their relationship and that he wants to marry her. Even though the Fosters and the Roses have never gotten along, they both agree to join their families together and allow Thomas and Aria to get married. The only problem? Aria doesn’t remember even meeting Thomas, let alone carrying on a forbidden romance with him.
Aria knows that something fishy is going on and does not just take her family and Thomas’s word that she has been in love with him for months. She decides to discover the truth and find out why exactly her family is so desperate for her to marry the son of their sworn enemy. She ventures into the depths of the city for answers and meets Hunter, a rebel mystic who seems to know more about her than he’s letting on. She begins to realize that there is more at stake than just her memories and that her choices no longer affect just her, but the whole city.
Mystic City was full of fantastic plot twists and was a huge page turner. I really like Aria and how she grew from a girl who would just follow her parents’ orders without question to a girl who would defy her parents to uncover the truth. This book definitely hit home with me because global warming is becoming a bigger threat every day, and after what just happened up here with Hurricane Sandy flooding parts of Long Island and New York City it is not hard to believe that global warming could cause flooding and put the entire island of Manhattan underwater. It is definitely a scary thought and Mystic City was an interesting and frightening take on what could become of our city if it floods (magic and mystics aside). Overall this was a great debut for Lawrence and an interesting start to what promises to be a fantastic series.
Mystic City was released on October 9, 2012 and is the first of a series. The sequel, Renegade Heart, is due for release in 2013.