City of Light by Keri Arthur [Review]

25170761Title: City of Light by Keri Arthur
Published: January 5th 2016 by Piatkus Books
Page Count: 304
Where’d I Get It: Purchase
Rating: 4 stars

When the bombs that stopped the species war tore holes in the veil between this world and the next, they allowed entry to the Others—demons, wraiths, and death spirits who turned the shadows into their hunting grounds. Now, a hundred years later, humans and shifters alike live in artificially lit cities designed to keep the darkness at bay….

As a déchet—a breed of humanoid super-soldiers almost eradicated by the war—Tiger has spent her life in hiding. But when she risks her life to save a little girl on the outskirts of Central City, she discovers that the child is one of many abducted in broad daylight by a wraith-like being—an impossibility with dangerous implications for everyone on earth.

Because if the light is no longer enough to protect them, nowhere is safe…

If I’m going to actually jump into the second one this month, I should attempt to write my review for this one. Otherwise, I’ll just muddle them together.

I’ve only read one other Keri Arthur book, but she has a tendency to shove everything and the kitchen sink into a story and make it work. This book is no different. It’s one part paranormal romance, one part urban fantasy, one part science fiction, and one part dystopia. It should basically be a mess, but this book is anything but that.

Tig is a déchet, a lab-grown super-soldier made to fight in a war years earlier. She lives in the bones of her old bunker, everyone else eradicated by the shifters during the war. The bunker is full of ghosts that she can talk to, children ghosts that follow her around. Despite being a hermit, she’s thrown into the middle of a plot where people are stealing children and, as a big ol’ softie, she risks life and limb to try and save them. That and people threaten her ghosts, which isn’t cool.

Teaming up with shifters who are wary of her existence and her nature, she uses all her powers to find out who’s behind the kidnappings. Along the way she meets up with an old lover, and they pick up their fling where they left off.  She’s also quite smitten with the shifter she regularly runs missions with, but he’s not at all trustworthy of her.

The vampires in this series are pretty gross, and I thank the author for going that direction with them. They swarm and become insubstantial. They devour and smell bad. Honestly, they were pretty terrifying.

I picked this book up and I didn’t set it down. I loved every minute of it and I can’t wait to pick up the next installment. I especially loved the little children ghosts. They were unsettlingly cute, and helped get Tig out of a few tough scrapes.

Tig’s background is intense and Keri Arthur does a great job explaining it in bits and pieces without the entire history being an infodump or slog. I appreciate that. Not many authors can throw such a mishmash of things together and keep the plot moving at such a pace.

There is one thing that threw me out of the narrative for awhile. Tig’s old romantic partner was a special breed of assassin called the, and I’m not making this up, Blue Steel Project.

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Oops. I dunno if Keri Arthur just never saw Zoolander or if she did and was doing a subtle nod at it, but a gecko-humanoid assassin, Blue Steel class. I died a little on the inside. I had to take like a thirty minute break and yet I still somehow finished the book in a day.

Anyway, great book. Great characters. Would recommend. Now it’s time for me to go start the second and hope upon hope it doesn’t suffer from second book syndrome.

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