Tiger, Tiger Burning Bright | Review of ‘City of Light’ (Outcast #1)

By Cynthia Ayala

City of Light by Keri Arthur
Piatkus Books
Image Credit: Goodreads

“When the bombs that stopped the species war tore holes in the veil between this world and the next, they allowed entry to the Others—demons, wraiths, and death spirits who turned the shadows into their hunting grounds. Now, a hundred years later, humans and shifters alike live in artificially lit cities designed to keep the darkness at bay…As a déchet—a breed of humanoid super-soldiers almost eradicated by the war—Tiger has spent her life in hiding. However, when she risks her life to save a little girl on the outskirts of Central City, she discovers that the child is one of many abducted in broad daylight by a wraith-like being—an impossibility with dangerous implications for everyone on earth. Because if the light is no longer enough to protect them, nowhere is safe…” —Goodreads

Published January 5, 2016, by Piatkus Books, City of Light is the first in an all-new futuristic fantasy series from New York Times bestselling author Keri Arthur.

A delightful read, City of Light, brings to life into the dystopian sector of fiction. It starts off as many others do: the world has suffered through war and the like. However, here’s what’s different: it was not a war between humankind, it was a war between humans and creatures like shifters and vampires. What’s also so impressive is the fact that the vampires, they are not the central villains here. For the most part, they are unthinking hunters, very unlike previous interpretations. Nothing is alluring or sexual about them, they are very animalistic, thoughtless, mindless hunters. So it was nice to see them put on the backburner for other creatures of the dark to flourish and terrorize the characters of the novel.

The uniqueness of the story is alluring because it has these mysterious creatures, it has this dark and haunting element to it that lures the reader into the story and the journey. Readers get to meet Tiger, a déchet, genetically created by the humans at the height of the war to be used as fodder. She has survived so much, including the survival of a gas bombing that killed all the children made as she had been. It was a brutal war, lending to the world building of the novel. This world is so different from any other dystopian novels, and again, that is part of what makes the novel so compelling. The synopsis offers a taste of what the reader can expect, but it is so unlike anything else out there that the reader ends up entering this adventure blindly, which is good! The plot keeps the reader on their toes, Tiger’s skills and power, they are unique to her, and again, keep the reader on their toes.

What also serves to make Tiger so likable is the fact that the other characters, well, they are not likable. They live by the mentality that the ends justify the means, which is fine, but how they treat Tiger, the way they abuse her trust, bend her arm behind her to get her to help, it is ultimately crappy. It is easy for the reader to understand where they are coming from, making them very real, and very human, characters, but that does not mean they have to be likable. Moreover, they are. Some of them grow, and Tiger grows, but, for the most part, the other characters are so wrapped up in the grand scheme of things that they forget how to treat people. Tiger does not forget. That works to create incredible tension in the story and an excellent understanding of this world. Tiger is not without her flaws, but, like with the other characters, she is a genuine character on the page with a bright persona.

All in all, this novel, running at about 343 pages, still seems too short. It leaves the reader aching for more. That is not to say it dragged because it did not. City of Light moved at such a fantastic pace but still ended up feeling too short, only because there is so much more that must happen. However, that is what sequels are for right, and let me tell you, I’m so ready to devour Winter Halo. (★★★★☆ | A)

Product Details:

Pub Date: Jan. 5, 2016

Page count: 343pp

Age Range: 17 & Over

ISBN: 978-0-3494-0698-5

Publisher: Piatkus Books

List Price:  $7.99

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