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Shadow City by Anna Mocikat (Book Review)

I was given a free copy of this book by the author with the option to write an honest review.  This is a post-apocalyptic novel.

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Book cover of Shadow City by Anna MocikatLos Angeles is an apocalyptic wasteland. The few survivors of a horrific catastrophe live under the constant threat of radiation, mutated creatures, and worse… lurking in the shadows.

In the ruins of the deserted city, the scavengers Jean and Louis come across a nameless stranger and bring him to the only safe zone, once known as Hollywood. What’s left of society is divided among different factions; mistrust, brute force, and anarchy rule every day’s life.

If the struggle for survival wasn’t bad enough, the nuclear disaster has shifted realities as we knew them and brought something into our world which threatens to exterminate the human race. Something so dark, that every living being is horrified of it. Something that feeds on suffering and violence.

But humans aren’t alone in this existential fight. Unexpected allies emerge from the shadows, and in the final stand, the nameless stranger will decide humanities fate.

It is here where villains become heroes and heroes are not what they seem. There is no light, and there is no dark.

Only shadows…

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

It’s been a while since I read any post-apocalyptic stories, so I was intrigued to dive into this.

The book is written in the third person and has multiple main characters/points of view.

Anna builds a wonderfully desolate place with her description and I had no issue picturing this ravaged wasteland with its pockets of humanity, struggling to survive.

His gaze moved to the once impressive skyline. Its skyscrapers were dark, their glass fronts destroyed. Some had collapsed, one was completely gone, and all that remained from others were steel frames.

There are several interesting concepts in this book, with the merging of technological advances along with preternatural forces and even some wonderfully gruesome mutant-monsters roaming around.

I also liked how the backstory, especially about how this wasteland came about, was fed through gradually.

A letdown in this book was all the head-hopping.  It’s my major pet peeve and I feel it makes a book more scattered.

This is where we jump from point of view to point of view, within a chapter, even within a single page.  This fracturing of the narrator broke a lot of the flow and made it harder to connect as well with the characters.

There was also a number of what I call “editing issues” that stumbled the flow of prose and parts were the writing definitely could have been tightened.

Overall, the characters were pretty well-defined, and their motivations and pasts were clear (with the exceptions of the ones that were a mystery for the purpose of the plot).

The action moved at a good pace, although the chapters were extremely long.  There are only 8 chapters in the book.

I think it would have been better broken down into more chapters, probably into the 20s as there were come great stopping points that would have made perfect chapter hooks.

I enjoyed the character interaction, and each character was very clear in their personality and voice.

The story did seem to end rather abruptly, though as this is book 1 in a trilogy, I can understand this was done deliberately.

Overall, it held my attention, painted a good picture and had some interesting characters.  I would have rated it higher if it wasn’t for the constant head-hopping.

My Rating:

Feedback rating system 3 stars

Author: Anna Mocikat (Website)

Genre: Dystopian Fantasy

Length: 256 pages

Availability: Coming out 7th November 2019 – Pre-Order

 

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