Book Review: City of Light by Keri Arthur

Posted August 3, 2020 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

Book Review: City of Light by Keri Arthur

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

City of Light by Keri Arthur
Genres: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Dystopian
Published by Berkley Books on January 5, 2016
Pages: 378
Format: eBook
Source: the library

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Also by this author: Fireborn, Wicked Embers, Flameout, Blood Kissed, Demon's Dance, Hell's Bell, Hunter Hunted, Wicked Wings, Deadly Vows, Ashes Reborn, Magic Misled, Broken Bonds

First in the Outcast dystopian science fiction-fantasy series and revolving around Tig, a bio-engineered déchet, based in Australia.

My Take

It’s a fascinating world Arthur has created with its mix of ghosts, vampires, shifters, and humans. it’s completely different from any of her stories (series) that I’ve read in the past, even though it does include the supernatural.

Arthur uses first person protagonist point-of-view from Tig’s perspective, and Tig’s an uncommonly fair person. She sure puts up with a lot of crap from Nuri…and is so realistic about Sal. I wanted to cry.

The emphasis is on children, alive and ghostly. About one’s conscience. One that’s fueled by Tig’s own near-death experience. I loved the interaction Tig has with her ghost children in that abandoned base. How the kids support Tig and help her protect their home.

Arthur provides some background on the war, but definitely nothing elaborate! I don’t know if the bigotry that set it off is part of a deeper message or simply a convenient device.

I get that the shifters won the war and that they killed every déchet they found. But Arthur doesn’t do much to reinforce the concepts of the shifters as winners. Actually, it’s difficult to tell much of anything about this world’s government, other than vampires and wraiths seem more in charge than anything else with corruption rampant.

It’s sad that Tig is so untrusting of everyone around her, except her ghost kids. And that whole ghosts as living things is an interesting concept!

I would like to know how Sal came to suspect Tig of breaking into Deseo.

This is so packed full of action and characters that it was hard to put down. Tig and the relationship she has with her particular ghosts and the ghosts in general. There’s Sal’s experiences and actions. Talk about cold! As for those shifters. Humph.

Nuri and her people have a lot of nerve!! All the horrible things they do to Tig, and they expect her to trust them???!? Nor do their later “plans” impress me.

It’s a story you’ll have to pay attention to, and still, I have got to read Winter Halo ASAP!

The Story

The war only lasted five years, but changed the world.

Since then Tig has led a quiet life, hidden away for over a hundred years with ghosts, only, for company. Then she rescues a young child and learns that more are being 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…

The Characters

Tiger C5, déchet, lure rank, a.k.a. Ti Zindela, was created from a test tube in a blend of tiger and vampire, trained to seduce, able to interact with ghosts (provided she links with Cat or Bear), a seeker, and able to faceshift. She survived the war that ended 103 years ago and is alone in the smallest of the three Humanoid Development Project bunkers, but for the ghosts of the 105 children she couldn’t save that day. Cat (pure tabby) and Bear are the most active child ghosts who keep Tig company. Hank is an electronic door “guard” Tig named for a cranky custodian.

Chaos is…
…a ramshackle collection of storage containers and shanties with no walls or gates, and no one is safe. Jonas is a ranger who almost rescued Penny, his niece, and the only survivor in her family. Nuri is a powerful earth witch who lives in Run Turk Alley, mercenary central. Branna is a lion shifter who despises all déchets and is part of Nuri’s unit. Micale is a mechanic.

Central is…
…the primary and, relatively, safest city, built to be “vampire-proof” with walls and gates to keep its citizens safe. Old Stan’s is an inn that collaborates with Nuri and her unit.

Sal Casimir had been a déchet assassin and friend whom Tig had trained. Not dead, he owns Hedone, a very high-end brothel while Deseo is a much lower end one.

Winter Halo is a pharmaceutical company testing drugs. Nadel Keller is a recruitment officer.

Samuel Cohen and Ciara Dream had been caught in a rift.

Carleen is…
…one of Central’s five satellite cities, a human city, and was destroyed in the war. Blaine is/had been one of its leaders.

A déchet is a breed of humanoid super-soldier that combines the blood of humans, vampires, and shifters and is despised by everyone. The Others are wraiths, demons, monsters, spirits who entered Tig’s world through the rifts torn between earth and other planes of existence. The ghosts of this world are energy and can interact and manipulate. Rangers are a formidable class of shifter soldier who now form the backbone of the battle against the Others. Rhea is the goddess Tig worships. Iruakandji is a drug that kills. Draccid is a gas that melts you from the inside out; it’s how Cat and Bear died. Seekers pick up a mix of emotion and mental images. Earth witches can read the future in the play of the world’s natural forces and energy and control the magic within it.

The Cover and Title

The cover is warm with its browns and yellows with the short-haired, blonde Tig in her military uniform, pants tucked into boots, a converted crossbow in her arms as she stands sentry atop a high rise, a well-lit city, searchlights stabbing into the air, behind her. The author’s name is in white at the top left with an info blurb in a deep yellow to the right of the author’s first name and another below the author’s last name. The title is in the same yellow just below Tig’s feet. The series info is in a pointed, double-ended yellow banner with white text.

The title is what Tig and all thought Central was, a City of Light, one that could protect them from the things that go bump in the night.

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