* Book Beginnings is a meme hosted by Rose City Reader, where every Friday, bloggers post the first sentence (or few sentences) of their current read, as well as their first impressions of the book! *
This week, I’ll be highlighting one of my current reads, Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody!
I peek from behind the tattered velvet curtains at the chattering audience, their mouths full of candied pineapple and kettle corn. With their pale faces flushed from excitement and the heat, they look as gullible as dandelions, much like the patrons in the past five cities.The Gomorrah Festival hasn’t been permitted to travel this far north in the Up-Mountains in over three years, and these people look like they’re attending the opera or the theater rather than our traveling carnival of debauchery.
This book releases on Tuesday from Harlequin Teen, and it is easily one of my most anticipated releases of the year. Some of you guys have messaged me on social media asking how I get ARCs, and I think there’s this idea that people get that it’s sometimes easy for bloggers to get review copies. I won’t lie, sometimes it’s very easy – earlier this week, a lovely publicist offered me two books, which made my entire day – but sometimes it’s hard as hell! I requested physical copies of this twice, as well as requesting it from two different NetGalley listings open to the US, and nada. I had resigned myself to waiting for its release when I got lucky enough to be approved for a copy by Edelweiss just a few days ago! Naturally, I’m jumping right in, because I’m hoping to get a review up for you guys by Tuesday at the latest. Anyways, the point of this little story was to tell you guys that, if you’re requesting ARCs and getting turned down and feeling discouraged, keep trying! Sometimes your persistence will really pay off. Don’t be afraid to explore other avenues, too (like me finally trying out Edelweiss!).
Anyways, as far as the book itself goes, this book is about a traveling “freak show”, which immediately drew my attention several months ago when I stumbled across the synopsis on Goodreads, because I love dark and twisty circus settings.
While I’m currently only a little ways into DotBC, it isn’t letting me down so far. The characters and setting are definitely “dark and twisty”! Sorina, the main character, creates “illusions” that make up not only her freak show’s attractions, but also her family, which is cool on its own, but here’s the kicker: Sorina has no eyes! (That’s not a spoiler – you learn like 3% of the way into the book.) She’s not blind, she hasn’t been traumatized… she was just born with a flat, empty space of skin between her forehead and her nose. Something about that visual just gives me the creeps in the best way.
I can’t say much else about the story so far, other than the fact that I really love the symbolism in the fact that the traveling “burning city” is named Gomorrah and is hated by a religious group for its debauchery, but the people inside are normal, good people trying to make their way through life. As someone who grew up hearing the infamous “Sodom and Gomorrah” story, what a fun twist!
Sixteen-year-old Sorina has spent most of her life within the smoldering borders of the Gomorrah Festival. Yet even among the many unusual members of the traveling circus-city, Sorina stands apart as the only illusion-worker born in hundreds of years. This rare talent allows her to create illusions that others can see, feel and touch, with personalities all their own. Her creations are her family, and together they make up the cast of the Festival’s Freak Show.
But no matter how lifelike they may seem, her illusions are still just that—illusions, and not truly real. Or so she always believed…until one of them is murdered.
Desperate to protect her family, Sorina must track down the culprit and determine how they killed a person who doesn’t actually exist. Her search for answers leads her to the self-proclaimed gossip-worker Luca, and their investigation sends them through a haze of political turmoil and forbidden romance, and into the most sinister corners of the Festival. But as the killer continues murdering Sorina’s illusions one by one, she must unravel the horrifying truth before all of her loved ones disappear.
Releases July 25, 2017