Review of ‘City of Villains’

Amazing novel. City of Villains is incredible at building up the atmosphere while giving readers a unique spin on a classic retelling.

Fairy Tales Come Alive

City of Villains

City of Villains
Estelle Laure
Disney-Hyperion

Fairy tales are fantastic but by now, who does not know them by heart. Laure has done the incredible by giving readers something unique to behold. In City of Villains, characters like the Queen of Hearts, Maleficent, and Ursula come to life in a contemporary setting.

Mary Elizabeth Heart is a high school senior and an intern at the Monarch City police department. She lives in the Scar, a place where magic once roamed freely, until one day it vanished into thin air, taking some residents with it. Now the Scar is just like every other place on earth.

It is such a cleverly written story, structured so well. It has incredible fluidity to it. Laure does enough world-building to ground the reader in the story, making it as realistic as possible. The realism makes Laure an incredible author; they draw inspiration from what is around them, but they make it something new, fresh, and unique.

Mary is best friends with Ursula, who trades in secrets and commodities at the school. Her boyfriend is James Bartholomew, and everyone calls him James Crook. Seeing these characters given new life is a breath of fresh air. It is unique, not only in setting but in the elements, drawing from Disney’s classic films while creating something new for the reader.

Great Storytelling

From the beginning, Laure has the reader hooked. Laure’s world-building is solid, and the introduction of characters is unique. However, more importantly, Laure does not drag the story down with detail. There is enough history of building up the character dynamics and story.

Then there is the mystery. Mary has to work alongside Belle in order to find missing classmate Mally F. Saint. However, in looking, she uncovers more secrets and realizes that magic was not as gone as she always thought. Magic always comes with a price.

The story’s pacing and evolution make reading it a breeze because it builds up wonderfully rising tension. Laure focuses on creating this dark and gritty atmosphere while also bringing to life the fantasy and magic all readers can associate with Disney. 

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, City of Villains is incredible. This novel stands apart from all the retellings out there, creating something new and fresh for readers interested in crime, mystery, fairy tales, and fantasy.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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Product Details:

Pub Date: January 26, 2021Page Count: 240ppAge Range: 14 & Over
ISBN:  978-1-3680-4938-2Publisher: Disney-HyperionList Price: $17.99

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