Short version: I freaking LOVED Mystic City!
First of all, that cover? It's just STUNNING! And I just adore that background with all it's colors and sparks!
So, let's be honest. I basically love any dystopian book that has magic in it too. And I actually love amnesia stories, so my expectations were very, very high. And while Mystic City didn't exceed them, it did meet them! And honestly? That was good enough. I loved the characters, world building, romance, plot, you name it!
So while the plot was actually pretty predictable (at times! Then again, my mind may have been to busy with how much I loved the book to notice any holes) I was shocked at many, many points in the story. Some things I realized I should've predicted, but I just...didn't. But they're those things that you know an author can't do to a character, but you're so caught up in the story you just forget all literary knowledge you could say! The plot honestly was far from slow. There were memories that couldn't make sense with what Aria was told, things that she knows that just didn't add up. And that made this story just WONDERFUL. I loved piecing together clues and jumping when I got it right! It wasn't very obvious unless you were err...pretty desperate to figure out what was going on! I had a vague idea, but it wasn't confirmed until...meh. Just read it! I'm telling y'all, I loved the plot and pacing!
Character-wise, Aria was a bit weak and naive in the beginning, but you'd have to expect it. After all, her memory basically disappeared, she's supposedly in love with her family's biggest enemy (who, by the way, is acting pretttyyy distant and practical. Who can only fact act love for only so long.), and she feels connected to a rebel mystic. So of course she'll be a bit confused! And while some of y'all may find it a bit irritating at how gullible she is, I just wanted to shake the people around her for lying to her! She was at her weakest point and they were abusing her...but that was pretty much the point of her memory loss. *cough*
Romace? No no, it wasn't insta-love! It seems like it and it sounds like it from the synopsis and saying this probably gives you the tip-off, but this was not insta-love. Not at all. Aria just doesn't quite realize it. And I LOVED the romance, contrary to what other people think. So, no. Not insta-love!
And Hunter? Not a bad love interest either! He was SO sweet and fierce and caring and basically your typical, swoony, YA guy! Which is a compliment!
Okay, so when I said world-building, I guess I meant the descriptions of the world! The world itself? It wasn't very dystopian, actually. They basically used our modern tech, just using different names and making the world less...worldly? It had history of the turning point, but nothing really came out of it besides the mystics--and we don't even know how the mystics came to be! Was it genetic mutation or something? Something someone was just randomly born with? I'm not sure.
But then, like I said, the writing was just spectacular! The descriptions were wonderfully written, but it wasn't boring. There was actually a few transitions so it wasn't all choppy like the books I've recently read (no names!) But the main point was the descriptions...they were just so visual for me!
DEFINITELY read Mystic City if you're a fan (like I am!) of fantasy and those amazing amnesia stories! This was a seriously stunning debut and I can't wait for Renegade Heart, book 2 in this wonderful series! Mystic City will sweep you off your feet with a real Romeo and Juliet kind of romance...just without most of the sappiness, and with tons more stuff standing in their way!