Shadow City | ARC Review

My Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

Title: Shadow City (The City of Diamond and Steel, #2)

Author: Francesca Flores

Format: eBook (NetGalley)

Pages: 400

Publication Date: 1/26/21

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Categories: Young Adult, Duology, Action, Crime, Fantasy

Disclaimer: **I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.**

The stunning action-packed conclusion to The City of Diamond and Steel duology. 

Aina Solís has fought her way to the top of criminal ranks in the city of Kosín by wresting control of an assassin empire owned by her old boss, Kohl. She never has to fear losing her home and returning to life on the streets again—except Kohl, the man who tried to ruin her life, will do anything to get his empire back. Aina sets out to kill him before he can kill her.

But Alsane Bautix, the old army general who was banned from his seat in the government after Aina revealed his corruption, is working to take back power by destroying anyone who stands in his way. With a new civil war on the horizon and all their lives at risk, the only way for Aina to protect her home is to join up with the only other criminal more notorious than her: Kohl himself.

As Bautix’s attacks increase, Aina and Kohl work together to stop his incoming weapons shipments and his plans to take back the Tower of Steel. To defeat them both, Aina will resort to betrayal, poison, and a deadly type of magic that hasn’t been used in years.

Through narrow alleys, across train rooftops, and deep in the city’s tunnels, Aina and Kohl will test each other’s strengths and limits, each of them knowing that once Bautix is dead, they’ll still have to face each other. If she manages to kill him, she’ll finally have the freedom she wants—but it might forever mark her as his shadow in a city where only the strongest survive.

  • World building ~ We are back in the city of Kosin. It is a city run by gangs. Aina finally has broken free of Kohl, The Blood King. and is running her own gang. But is she really free of him? We return to the gritty streets of Kosin and it’s rough as ever.
  • Aina and Kohl, it’s the two of them that really pull the story along because they are complicated. Kohl knows how to get under her skin and I was just hoping Aina doesn’t fall for his lies again. It’s a back and forth between them and you wonder how it ends between them.
  • The crew is back and we see Ryuu, Teo, Tannis and Lil. I think they keep Aina level headed and I like that she has them around her.
  • It’s a dark story because there emotional abuse and a whole lot of action. There is a lot of killing, daggers in throats, throats being sliced but I like that Aina doesn’t hesitate…except when it comes to Kohl. But she works through all those emotions in this book.
  • The magic aspect seemed to take sort of a backseat in this one. There is a few chapters in the middle of the book that deals with learning the magic and it comes in handy in the final battle, but other than that – I wondered if it was even needed in the story. They barely knew how to use the magic so it would have been nice to the magic being explored and used much more.
  • I would have liked more about the side characters because they were such a big part of book one. They help her in this book, but I felt like I was just drawn to Kohl and Aina so much more than her friends.
  • Triggers: violence, killing, abuse

I enjoyed this duology because it was dark and had lots of action. Aina is a girl who had to overcome grief, glue addiction, and being under Kohl’s thumb for years. Seeing her break free and find her power was great. If you like young adult crime fantasy, you may enjoy this series.

🖤 ~ Yolanda

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