Review: City of Dust by Michelle Kenney

I receieved a copy of City of Dust from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Novel-Artwork-Michelle Kenney

The fight is never over.

Life in Arafel is no longer safe. Not since August’s disappearance, and whispers of a ghost controlling Pantheon.

Meanwhile, Talia stands torn between secretive twin, Eli, and best friend, Max.

Betrayal forces Talia to leave the sanctuary of her forest home as she pursues the stolen Book of Arafel. A book which could destroy the freedom of all those she loves if it falls into the wrong hands. And when she enters the ancient ruined city of Isca, she fights to protect the vulnerable from the iron grip of the Pantheon, while learning to fight for the man she loves.

But with the shadow of the Black Aquila looming ever closer, will she put the freedom of others above her own, or will she follow her heart?

This is Michelle Kenney’s thrilling second instalment in the Book of Fire Trilogy.

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I award this novel 3.5 stars

Author Michelle Kenney is a fantastic writer who writes beautiful prose and compelling characters. The world building is rich and luscious. Mixing the natural world of Arafel with a post-apocalyptic Exeter where its scientists tinkers with genetic moulding. Here we encounter a tapestry of Roman mythology and a diverse selection of mythical beings.

What I loved.

Talia is a feisty, feral girl struggling with the after-effects from book 1, Book of Fire, when she and her companions are thrust back into the clutches of Pantheon. I loved her brother Eli and their close bond. Eli’s disadvantages made him more endearing. I particularly adored the love triangle, between Talia, her best friend Max and Pantheon’s smouldering General August. Where does Talia’s heart lie and is August the traitor he’s portrayed to be? The inner turmoil and tension was a great hook. It’s a fantastic concept: Genetically modifying Roman DNA to create a new breed of humans and a complex rich selection of mythical creatures.

What I didn’t like.

The science technology during the dialogue was occasionally jarring, pulling me out the story. During the middle scenes the pace dropped, there was a lot of tunnel traversing and not a lot of character reflection or growth. I lost connection with the story and my desire to care for the quest. However, this picked back up with the reintroduction of the love triangles tension.  The final chapters reached pivotal action that had me on the edge of my seat, only to disappoint with the cliffhanger ending. (I’m not a fan of those, but you can’t please everyone.)

If you’re a fan of YA dystopian fantasy then this novel is for you, It’s a well-written read that is similar to The Hunger Games and The Mazerunner.


About the author.

Michelle is a firm believer in magic, and that ancient doorways to other worlds can still be found if we look hard enough. She is also a hopeless scribbleaholic and, when left to her own devices, likes nothing better than to dream up new fantasy worlds in the back of a dog-eared notebook. Doctors say they’re unlikely to find a cure any time soon.

You can follow Michelle over at her pages…

Michelle’s Facebook page

Michelle’s Instagram

Thanks for stopping by. Do you love reading dystopian novels? If so, what is your favourite story / series? Mine is The Hunger Games, I freeking love Katniss.

Author Lorraine Ambers - fantasy romance writer

Until next time, Much Love.

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© Author Lorraine Ambers and http://www.lorraineambers.com, 2018.

7 thoughts on “Review: City of Dust by Michelle Kenney

  1. When I get reviews on my book I hope they read like this. I want somebody, hopefully you, to let me know what they didn’t like. Giving me five stars is nice if you’re honest but I’d rather read a three star review of my own book knowing what I need to improve.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree with you, Bryan; a three or four-star review is overall better than a five-star review.

      I’m currently looking for beta readers for my science fantasy if either of you happen to be interested. I’m trying to get it out sometime before 2020, if possible, but it’s been a struggle to get everything down since it’s my first book—and I’m still learning the fine details of writing. I hope it does well enough.

      Liked by 2 people

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