Review: The Heartless City by Andrea Berthot
Title: The Heartless City
Author: Andrea Berthot
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Publish Date: August 17, 2015
Synopsis (via Goodreads): Henry Jekyll was a brilliant doctor, a passionate idealist who aimed to free mankind of selfishness and vice. He’s also the man who carelessly created a race of monsters.
Once shared secretly among the good doctor's inner circle, the Hyde drug was smuggled into mass-production - but in pill form, it corrupted its users at the genetic level, leaving them liable to transform without warning. A quarter of the population are now clandestine killers – ticking bombs that could detonate at any given moment.
It's 1903, and London has been quarantined for thirteen years.
Son of the city's most prominent physician and cure-seeker, seventeen-year-old Elliot Morrissey has had his own devastating brush with science, downing a potion meant to remove his human weaknesses and strengthen him against the Hydes - and finding instead he's become an empath, leveled by the emotions of a dying city.
He finds an unlikely ally in Iris Faye, a waitress at one of the city's rowdier music halls, whose emotions nearly blind him; her fearlessness is a beacon in a city rife with terror. Iris, however, is more than what she seems, and reveals a mission to bring down the establishment that has crippled the people of London.
Together, they aim to discover who's really pulling the strings in Jekyll's wake, and why citizens are waking up in the street infected, with no memory of ever having taken the Hyde drug...
Heart-eating monsters, it turns out, are not the greatest evil they must face.
I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Cover: To be completely honest, it was the cover that led me to accept this review request. I was so intrigued by it and wanted to find out more about it.
Characters: The characters were very three-dimensional. I might have guessed someone’s secret that gets revealed later on in the book as soon as he was introduced. It was either some great foreshadowing by Berthot, or I am a fantastic guesser lol. The characters were real and had personality. And they were very likeable or hateable if that was the situation.
Elliot was pretty awesome. I connected with him throughout the novel. With Berthot’s description of how he was feeling, I think I began to understand what he was going through. I understood the pain he felt when he was near someone else.
Iris was great for Elliot. She was genuine at heart and understood what she needed to do in the world.
Cam was actually my favorite character. I found him very funny, and I think he would be a great person to know.
Plot: The Heartless City had a fast-paced plot that was actually kind of sad. I felt so bad for the people of London and what they had to go through. Imagine how scary it would be if you were under a quarantine and were always frightened for your life. Berthot did an amazing job of describing what it was like.
The only thing that I wished was discussed more would be the Hydes. I wish we could see them in action more so we, as the readers, could understand the fear that surrounded them.
Ending: I had no clue how this was going to end. There would be parts where I would gasp in shock or cheer. It was very back in forth in the ending, and I was just like who is going to win? The ending was absolutely great. I don’t want to give anything away, so just read the book yourself.
Overall: I did not want to put The Heartless City down. It seriously took me two days to read. Andrea Berthot is a fantastic writer that understands how to captivate her readers. She used some advanced vocabulary that actually helped me prepare for the SAT lol. This book was fantastic! Everyone needs to read The Heartless City! I loved it! It was a fantastic read and extremely well written.
About the Author:
Andrea Berthot's last name has a silent “t,” like the word “merlot” - which fits, since that is her favorite drink to have at the end of the day. Back when she was born in Salina, Kansas, her last name was Price, and she grew up loving singing, acting, reading, and of course writing. By day she teaches high school English, creative writing, forensics, and directs the yearly musical, and by night (or rather, by early morning, as her brain is more alive at 5am than 5pm) she writes young adult stories involving history, romance, magic, literature, and some good, old-fashioned butt-kicking.
Next book in the series:
The Hypnotic City!
Recently, Berthot announced on her blog that there was a sequel/companion novel in the series. I was honestly really excited to hear this news since I fell in love with The Heartless City.
Here's what's been said quoted from Berthot's blog:
It follows Philomena (a secondary character in THE HEARTLESS CITY who became too cool and interesting NOT to have her own book) as she tries to make it on Broadway in turn-of-the-century New York. Here's the official blurb from Publisher's Marketplace:Andrea Berthot's THE HYPNOTIC CITY, sequel to THE HEARTLESS CITY: in 1905, a young girl leaves London intent on becoming New York's brightest star - but is it her stage presence hypnotizing the audience, or something more sinister behind the scenes? again to Vicki Keire at Curiosity Quills Press, by Jen Linnan at Linnan Literary Management (world).The release date hasn't been set yet, but I'll announce it as soon as it is. I can't wait for everyone to go on this adventure with Philomena, who - as I said before - SO deserves her very own book. :)
Goodreads | Berthot's Website | Post announcing "The Hypnotic City" | Amazon | #SpookyGiveaway
One Last Thing
Andrea is a very lovely lady, and decided to contribute some swag in my #SpookyGiveaway! Shout out to her for being awesome! This special swag will be included in the Grand Prize which you can find the Rafflecopter for below!