Title: City of Light
Author: Keri Arthur
Series: Outcast #1
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Rating: 4/5 stars
The Overview: 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…
Keri Arthur has been a staple in my urban fantasy/paranormal romance arsenal for many years now, and I’m convinced she gets better and better with each new series. City of Light was the fantastic combination of unique setting, great characters, and good storytelling that I’ve come to expect from her, and I think it a strong start to what promises to be a great series.
The basic plotlines surrounding the paranormal creatures and their proclivity for mischief was very similar to that in Arthur’s Riley Jensen series (my favorite of hers to date). It can be risky recycling old ideas, but Arthur presented it in such a different way that it made me nostalgic rather than disappointed. She has a way of weaving complex supernatural cultures into giant hodgepodge societies that somehow work. It made for an atmosphere that was fresh, exciting, and easily one of the best elements of the story.
But, by far, the best element were the characters. Tig was a strong female lead, which is to be expected, but my favorite thing about her was her rich back history and experiences that shaped her motives and decisions throughout the entire novel. She was such a well developed character that it made the novel special rather than just good. All of that praise is in addition to the cool aspect of how she came into being (lab-grown) and the cooler combination of DNA that made her unique (white tiger shifter with a hint of vampire… plus some other genetically superior upgrades). I was yet again reminded of Riley, but in a way that made me appreciate how well each heroine stands on their own despite their similarities. All of the characters surrounding Tig were equally interesting, and I have the feeling we’ve only just scratched the surface of their potential in this first book.
Overall, City of Light was a strong first novel in a series I can’t wait to devour more from. Fans of Keri will definitely appreciate it, and urban fantasy lovers in general will hopefully like the paranormal/futuristic infusion is much as I did. Fair warning though: sexual content and language.
I’d like to thank Penguin Group Berkley, NAL / Signet Romance, DAW, Keri Arthur, and NetGalley for the chance to read and review a reviewer copy of City of Light.
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