Review: The Artful (Shadows of the City #1)

Wilbert Stanton - The Artful

New York City, 2025: Everything is changed. The city that never sleeps is now a land of death and decay. A rampant virus has taken over and the survivors have become carriers, quarantined from the rest of the world.

Twist and Dodger grew up in the streets, the sewers and underground tunnels – their playground. They aren’t heroes. They just like attention; and stealing meds from the rich and giving them to the poor is their golden ticket.

On their latest raid, they unknowingly steal a cure that puts them square between the ailing Emperor of Manhattan and the war hungry Governor of Brooklyn and forces them on a quest into the darkest shadows of their putrefying world.

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I’ll admit, I was disappointed by this book. From reading that blurb, I had been expecting a retelling of Oliver Twist set in the future (which sounds really awesome). Sadly, the only things that really connected this book to that story were the names of the two main characters, Twist and Dodger. The rest of it was totally different and that was a shame. However, this book did have a pretty good plot which did make up for the disappointment. It did get pretty exciting at times, and there were one or two twists that I didn’t expect.

On the other hand, I wasn’t a huge fan of the characters. Twist was alright and quite interesting, and it was nice seeing a character in ya fiction that was a bit cowardly, but I never really connected him. Gia was alright most of the time, and I liked the way she stood up for herself. However, I hated Dodger. A lot. Mainly because of his misogyny. Very occasionally, I saw a different side to him, but considering that this guy was meant to be one of the heroes, I didn’t like him at all. I don’t think I’ve ever hated a “good” character so much.

Everything else in this book was just alright. The world was interesting, but I wish I knew more about how it came to be that way and why. There wasn’t enough about the history of what happened. To be honest, the only thing I really did like about this book was the plot. Otherwise, I was very disappointed.

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