Title: City of Fae
Author: Pippa DaCosta
Publisher: Bloomsbury Spark
Format: eARC, kindly provided
by the publishers via Netgalley
for review. (Thank you!!)
My rating: 3 / 5
From the moment Alina touches London's hottest fae superstar, breaking one of the laws founded to protect all of her kind, her fate – and the fae – close in.
Below ground, the fae High Queen plots to claim the city as her own and places her pawns, ready for the battle to come. A battle she cannot lose, but for one small problem – Alina. There are four ancient keepers powerful enough to keep the queen in her prison. Three are dead. One remains … And to fight back, Alina risks sacrificing everything she has come to love.
-- As seen on Goodreads
You know those books that you like almost everything, but nothing happens to make you love it? City of Fae is exactly that book for me. I really like the concept and how the world was developed and explored, but that little something that’s so hard to put your finger on that makes a book amazing and unforgettable was missing.
Alina is our protagonist, and the book is written in the first person from her perspective. The story kicks off right after she’s fired from her job as a journalist, and she’s desperate to get her job back. When she stumbles upon a Fae rockstar, Sovereign (Reign), in the London Underground, she sees this as her ticket to get the perfect story to re-launch her career. Little does she know that Reign is being pursued by the Fae Authority, and her decision to help him causes her to be caught up in a Fae world she never knew existed beneath the streets of London.
While I generally liked the characters overall, I didn’t feel particularly attached to any of them in particular. I didn’t see anything overly unique or distinct about them, they just sort of… existed. I don’t know what it was about Alina, but I never felt like I got a proper read on her personality. Being as vague as I can to avoid spoilers, the book sort of splits in two and during the first half of the book I wasn’t too sure what to make of her. When a certain something happens, things become a lot clearer and everything begins to make sense, but by then, my opinion of Alina’s character was already formed. Reign, being a Fae, was slightly more interesting to me, but I don’t feel his character developed a whole lot over the course of the book. I liked both of them while I was reading, but I wasn’t overly invested in their eventual fates as I would have hoped to be.
I thought City of Fae had quite a unique Fae concept, but I’m a little disappointed that it was put into your standard urban fantasy framework. The vast majority of UF’s I’ve read have been set in the US, so I had really high hopes that we’d get something different and unique here. Sadly, I don’t feel the London setting stood out as much as I was hoping it would: it really felt like the book could have been set in any city in the world.
Even though I had a few issues with some things, I really enjoyed reading City of Fae overall. Once things began to kick off around the half-way mark, I had to keep reading to see what would happen next. I enjoyed seeing how the Fae fitted into the story, and seriously, arachnophobia sufferers beware, there are some seriously creepy spider scenes! While I wish I connected with the characters more, overall, I found it to be a solid, entertaining urban fantasy read, with quite a few twists and turns throughout to keep you on your toes.