Book Review: Dark Metropolis by Jaclyn Dolamore

Posted June 8, 2014 by Kara in book review, Kara / 12 Comments

Book Review: Dark Metropolis by Jaclyn DolamoreDark Metropolis by Jaclyn Dolamore
Series: Dark Metropolis #1
Published by Disney Hyperion on 2014-06-17
Genres: fantasy, young adult
Pages: 304
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon

Sixteen-year-old Thea Holder's mother is cursed with a spell that's driving her mad, and whenever they touch, Thea is chilled by the magic, too. With no one else to contribute, Thea must make a living for both of them in a sinister city, where danger lurks and greed rules. Thea spends her nights waitressing at the decadent Telephone Club attending to the glitzy clientele. But when her best friend, Nan, vanishes, Thea is compelled to find her. She meets Freddy, a young, magnetic patron at the club, and he agrees to help her uncover the city's secrets-even while he hides secrets of his own.Together, they find a whole new side of the city. Unrest is brewing behind closed doors as whispers of a gruesome magic spread. And if they're not careful, the heartless masterminds behind the growing disappearances will be after them, too.

I am a huge blurb reader. Yes, I admit it. I am one of those people. I CANNOT read a book without knowing what it is about first. Blurbs help me decide if I want to add a book to my TBR or not. The only time I use a cover for buying purposes is when I am in a store. Pretty covers usually do not make me want to buy a book. It’s either the blurb or the author that sways me. So when a book doesn’t live up to its blurb…WAHHHHHH. And this one did not. It was really disappointing actually.

The city is not really sinister (we don’t actually spend much time in the city at all).

Freddy doesn’t agree to help her with anything, and they don’t actually spend that much time together. They end up together eventually but a whole lot of nothing happens in this book. I guess this is supposed to be the romantic element, but I didn’t care about either of these characters or feel like I knew them at all, so the chemistry (or lack thereof) was not working for me.

There are no whispers of a gruesome magic being spread; none of the citizens are actually aware that anything is going on.

The last sentence is just such a cliched blurb line. And it doesn’t match up to the tone or what happens in the book either.


What actually happens is this:

Thea’s mother has bound-sickness, which is a form of magic that connects a couple, and when the husband is away from the wife, they feel it, and as such, are very ill and mentally disturbed. (There is no accounting for gay couples which was frustrating.) Thea’s father is supposed to be dead (killed in a war) but her mother is still feeling effects of bound-sickness, so she believes he is alive. Thea wants to find out the truth, so she tries, but her mother is taken by the government to an asylum because that’s where women with the illness go.

She waits on Freddy at the club, and they get to talking, and she finds out THINGS about him, and they want to help each other, I guess. But that’s not a huge part of the novel. It’s just really hard to explain.

Basically, I found this book pretty boring. There were moments of brilliance very now and then, but overall, I could have DNFed it but I requested it from the pub, and it was my BEA read and I wanted to finish it. I just wanted more. The writing was fine but the characters were flat and without personality. The world-building needed work. There was not enough information. What was in the serum, exactly that kept people alive? And why was that considered not to be important? World-building in fantasy novels is like EVERYTHING. Also, the historical period was really unclear. Was this set after WW2? That is what I assumed but it never said so anywhere, and I needed to KNOW.

I feel like I wasted my time. I do not believe I would recommend this one.








This book covers the “Zombies!” square. They are not traditional zombies in this book, but I believe they qualify.






12 responses to “Book Review: Dark Metropolis by Jaclyn Dolamore

  1. MJ

    Ugh. The blurb looks really interesting too. I think I read somewhere it was set in the 1930’s. Might be confusing it with something else though.

    • No, I think you were right, but I need to see that in the book itself too, and it just wasn’t there. Everything was all so vague.

  2. I’ve heard from a couple of people now that this one was a disappointment. It’s a bummer because that cover is quite pretty and the blurb did sound interesting (I’m definitely a blurb reader, too). It’s too bad this was flat and boring. The idea of bound-sickness is quite interesting–heter-only blindness aside, but it doesn’t sound like the writing lives up to the idea. Great review!
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