Title: Diamond City
Series: The City of Diamond and Steel
Author: Francesca Flores
Year Published: 2020
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Genre: Young Adult ~ Fantasy
Disclaimer: I received this e-arc through Edelweiss and the publisher in exchange for a free and honest review. The image header and the quote edits used is my own and the link in the book’s details is to the book’s Goodreads’ page. The summary is my own (well, I summarised the Goodreads description). All opinions expressed are my own.
CW/TW: Drugs (mentions and taking of it). Violence. Death. Manipulative character.
I apparently wrote like 500 or something words of this review and then left it for months, all while I was taking super long to read and finish this book. I was basically in a reading slump for ages because of this book – but I didn’t want to dnf it because I did actually want to finish it.
But yeah, it took me ages to finish it. And I had to sit for a while and try to figure out what my rating was. I thought it would be 3 stars… but then I thought some more and decided it was 2. Oh well. Maybe by the time I (eventually) read the sequel I’ll feel differently about the rating.
Aina Solís is a blade, an assassin, for Kohl, her boss. It usually means a lot of killing. And forever trying to save up enough money to get out under her boss’s grip. She has that opportunity when Kohl tasks her with her last job.
Realisations occur when things aren’t what they seem and Aina has to rethink what she knows and what she will do to get what she deserves.
It’s a very interesting concept – diamonds being used in magic, but not just any magic – blood magic. Which does have darker connotations. And I think (one of the reasons why) I became so disinterested in this book is because I thought there would be a much bigger emphasis on the whole blood magic thing, then it was barely touched on.
I actually had this whole paragraph about how Kohl takes in people that are like nearly dead or who don’t have many prospects, and then I finished the book and realised ‘oh no he’s actually really bad.’ Like he’s absolutely awful. A terrible, terrible person. I like that we’re told that he’s awful, but we’re also shown a little goodness, just enough to make us think he could be good. He is very good at manipulating people – which isn’t a good thing of course, but he thinks he’s a good guy and actually helping people – which makes him an even more complex written character – because we’re fooled into thinking he can be a good character.
I liked most of the other characters. Tannis was my favourite side character – I wish we saw more of her, but maybe she’s a bigger character in the sequel. As for the others, yeah, I actually wish they had given Tannis more page time rather than those that had. I’m not saying I didn’t like or care for Teo or Ryuu, or the others, (okay, I am a bit) they didn’t really hold much interest for me.
One of the aspects of the book I really liked was all the crime mentioned in the book. Aina being an assassin, the city basically thriving on crime and forcing the people to take on lives of crime to live and then blaming them for the crime. That was interesting to see because it mirrors real life in a way – people being forced to do what needs to be done in order to survive and then being blamed for that exact thing.
I liked the plot, until it made me very confused. There kept being another plot point behind a trap door, because that’s what it felt like to me – I turn the page and boom, there’s a new area of the plot I didn’t know or didn’t see happening. Sure, a part of that was because I wasn’t paying as much attention as usual, so that’s probably my fault.
The more I write this review the more I get so annoyed because I know I should be into this book and loving it, and honestly, I will probably read the sequel; but this book just made me so frustrated with dragging me along, promising me a good time, and basically, failing to provide that.
If you enjoyed this book and didn’t understand why I didn’t, please tell me why you loved this book down below in the comments! Maybe you’ll convince me to up my rating!