Diamond City (Diamond City, #1)
Good things don't happen to girls who come from nothing...unless they risk everything.Fierce and ambitious, Aina Solís as sharp as her blade and as mysterious as the blood magic she protects. After the murder of her parents, Aina takes a job as an assassin to survive and finds a new family in those like her: the unwanted and forgotten.Her boss is brutal and cold, with a questionable sense of morality, but he provides a place for people with nowhere else to go. And makes sure they stay there.DIAMOND CITY: built by magic, ruled by tyrants, and in desperate need of saving. It is a world full of dark forces and hidden agendas, old rivalries and lethal new enemies.To claim a future for herself in a world that doesn't want her to survive, Aina will have to win a game of murder and conspiracy—and risk losing everything.Full of action, romance and dark magic, book one of Francesca Flores' breathtaking fantasy duology will leave readers eager for more!

Diamond City (Diamond City, #1) Details

TitleDiamond City (Diamond City, #1)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJan 28th, 2020
PublisherWednesday Books
ISBN-139781250220448
Rating
GenreFantasy, Young Adult

Diamond City (Diamond City, #1) Review

  • Chelsea Humphrey
    January 1, 1970
    "Good things don't happen to girls who come from nothing... unless they risk everything."Diamond City is a multifaceted YA fantasy that blends the aspects of many different types of magic systems into one plot, and while I've seen this as being a turnoff for some readers, I found it to work beautifully. Flores has given us a world filled with blood/elemental magic, a steampunk setting, and political unrest to breed a luscious, atmospheric tale of bloodshed and, ultimately, revenge. While I'm not "Good things don't happen to girls who come from nothing... unless they risk everything."Diamond City is a multifaceted YA fantasy that blends the aspects of many different types of magic systems into one plot, and while I've seen this as being a turnoff for some readers, I found it to work beautifully. Flores has given us a world filled with blood/elemental magic, a steampunk setting, and political unrest to breed a luscious, atmospheric tale of bloodshed and, ultimately, revenge. While I'm not as well read in this genre as some, I have picked up my fair share of YA fantasy over the years and I found the world building, plot progression, and character development to be delightful and engaging. This is the first in a new series, but don't worry, there is just enough closure to negate the awful cliffhanger feeling, while leaving just enough of a set up to cause the reader to crave the next installment. If you enjoy a slow burning fantasy that is both sensual and stabby, look no further!*Many thanks to the publisher for my review copy.
    more
  • Amélie Zhao
    January 1, 1970
    “Why did you help me?” she asked, trying to keep her voice from shaking.His smile faded slightly. “Because good things don’t usually happen to girls who come from nothing.”Aina cast her eyes downward. She was already well-aware of that.He withdrew a dagger from a sheath inside his jacket and held it out to her. It was the sleekest blade she’d ever seen, with an onyx-black handle. She reached out to touch the handle with the tips of her fingers.“Learn how to use this knife and I’ll make you into “Why did you help me?” she asked, trying to keep her voice from shaking.His smile faded slightly. “Because good things don’t usually happen to girls who come from nothing.”Aina cast her eyes downward. She was already well-aware of that.He withdrew a dagger from a sheath inside his jacket and held it out to her. It was the sleekest blade she’d ever seen, with an onyx-black handle. She reached out to touch the handle with the tips of her fingers.“Learn how to use this knife and I’ll make you into something.”You know what's amazing? A stellar-paced, entertaining book with high stakes and characters who worm their ways into your heart. You know what's even more amazing? All that, plus a resonating theme.Rarely am I sucked in as fast by a book's opening as I was by DIAMOND CITY. And never have I ever remembered the opening lines of a book as well as I have these opening lines. Just read them, and tell me you don't get shivers.DIAMOND CITY follows the story of Aina Solis, a girl orphaned at an early age and rescued into a gang in the smoke-choked streets of Koshima, a city caught between the past and the future, between religion and industrialization. All Aina has ever wanted was to earn her way out of her indenturement and found her own business. But when an assassination goes awry, she finds herself caught in a dangerous game of politics and opposing forces that seek to change the city of Koshima.But ultimately, this is the story of a girl trapped in the cycle of poverty and homelessness, and how she continuously struggles between breaking free from that cycle and falling back into it."With all that’s been taken from me, there are some things I have left, like integrity and skill and loyalty. If I can open my own business, like Kohl’s, it means I did the best work with the little that I was given. Don’t take that away from me by telling me that I can reach higher, that the sky is the limit. My sky and yours are not the same. Let me touch my own sky."There are so many quotes and moments seared into my mind from this book. Between the knife-fights and the murders and the kickass fighting and the wolf spiders and the romance, there were so many moments that opened a window into Aina's heart, and let us see exactly who she is, how she was a product of her circumstances, and how she still holds hope and struggles to make a better world than what she was given. Perhaps one of the aspects that resonated most with me was how Aina was at once good yet flawed, and how Francesca helped us see exactly why Aina has those flaws, and what drives her to act so desperately, to commit the crimes she does, to fall back into despair or to act rashly through greed.The secondary/side characters were another aspect that really made this book for me. From my big, "IDGAF" gang-member-but-also-soft-boi Tahir Matgan to sophisticated, kind-hearted, righteous Ryu Hirai, the diversity of this cast made my heart *sing* and each of those characters now have a spot on the dusty shelf of my heart-characters.Oh, and the worldbuilding. I fell in love with the gritty, grimy, smoke-choked streets of Koshima as soon as I opened the pages of this book. There are so many parallels to our world as it is today, from the cutthroat industrialists (see: capitalists) to the faithful/old-world religious side. Francesca contrasts the higher-ups, all-powerful 0.01% who hold the strings to this world to the ones caught in the meshwork, showing us just what it takes to survive in a world where you have so little control.This is a book with a protagonist you will 100% root for, a plot that doesn't let you go, a world that chokes you with its grit and grime and smoke, and a story that will open your eyes and stay with you long after you've turned the last page.
    more
  • Sarah Swann
    January 1, 1970
    WOW! Don’t sleep on this one, it was fantastic! It’s full of action, political intrigue, religious issues, addiction, blood magic, WOLF SIZED SPIDERS! I loved every minute of it. The characters are great and so flawed and lovable at the same time. I absolutely loved this one!*Huge thanks to the publisher for sending me an early copy to read and review!
    more
  • megs_bookrack
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you, Wednesday Books, for my ARC!Excited to pick this one up in the next couple of weeks.Sounds like an action-packed adventure and don't get me started on this gorgeous cover!
  • Alyssa
    January 1, 1970
    Listen here friends. I just started a new job and I work 55+ hours a week. So it took me 20 days to read Francesca's book. But let me tell you something, it was in my head every. single. day. regardless of whether or not I got the chance to read it. Aina is a heroine who knifes her way into your heart and stays there. You feel her struggle and pain with every line. You root for her, you cry for her, you scream for her. She is scarred and beautiful and real in every way. Her fear of spiders and Listen here friends. I just started a new job and I work 55+ hours a week. So it took me 20 days to read Francesca's book. But let me tell you something, it was in my head every. single. day. regardless of whether or not I got the chance to read it. Aina is a heroine who knifes her way into your heart and stays there. You feel her struggle and pain with every line. You root for her, you cry for her, you scream for her. She is scarred and beautiful and real in every way. Her fear of spiders and the dark is so relatable, her thirst for justice so urgent, her desire for freedom so fierce, that you find yourself drawn into her emotions like so few fantasy heroines we read today. Yes, this is a fantasy. But the parallels to our world are vivid. The world building is gritty, dark, and expertly crafted. I could go on for hours about this book, but instead I'm just going to tell everyone I meet to read it. Francesca is brilliant. You owe yourself this read.
    more
  • Hollis
    January 1, 1970
    DNF at 19%Yet another "best assassin evah" character who, just in general, feels both unlikely and unlikeable and I wasn't buying what she was trying to sell. A (sorry, I know not everything should be compared to it, buuuut..) SIX OF CROWS-esque gang of criminals and spies and killers. A world that has a religion, and magic, where both seem to be illegal, with also a shitton of diamonds floating around but also they are being sold on the black market, and yet I had no sense of the why or how or DNF at 19%Yet another "best assassin evah" character who, just in general, feels both unlikely and unlikeable and I wasn't buying what she was trying to sell. A (sorry, I know not everything should be compared to it, buuuut..) SIX OF CROWS-esque gang of criminals and spies and killers. A world that has a religion, and magic, where both seem to be illegal, with also a shitton of diamonds floating around but also they are being sold on the black market, and yet I had no sense of the why or how or w h y. Not to mention the totally random and way too subtle flashback transitions literally from one sentence to the next, which, combined with all the rest of the above.. I'm throwing in the towel.
    more
  • Patty (IheartYA)
    January 1, 1970
    This was a multifaceted, well-written, action packed ride. I thought it was going to be a quick and easy read, but it wasn't. Watch out for those twists and turns! I felt major Ace of Shades vibes (which I loved.) I enjoyed the character development, but sometimes the story was so detailed that it bogged down the pace a tad. I wasn't fond of the timeline transitions as a few were abrupt. I really liked the smart, sassy, and strong-willed main character. I'm curious as to what (if anything) will This was a multifaceted, well-written, action packed ride. I thought it was going to be a quick and easy read, but it wasn't. Watch out for those twists and turns! I felt major Ace of Shades vibes (which I loved.) I enjoyed the character development, but sometimes the story was so detailed that it bogged down the pace a tad. I wasn't fond of the timeline transitions as a few were abrupt. I really liked the smart, sassy, and strong-willed main character. I'm curious as to what (if anything) will happen next. Thank you to Goodreads Giveaways for granting me an ARC to review.
    more
  • Katie Gallagher
    January 1, 1970
    For more fun bookish stuff, check out my blog!Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for sending me a free advanced reader copy of this book for an honest review. Diamond City debuted January 28th.I requested an ARC for Diamond City because I’m a Sarah J. Maas fan, and (flawed though it may be) I think the conflicted lady assassin trope is pretty fun. The first chapter or two of Diamond City started in an okay spot, but it unfortunately went swiftly downhill from there. Where Maas was For more fun bookish stuff, check out my blog!Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for sending me a free advanced reader copy of this book for an honest review. Diamond City debuted January 28th.I requested an ARC for Diamond City because I’m a Sarah J. Maas fan, and (flawed though it may be) I think the conflicted lady assassin trope is pretty fun. The first chapter or two of Diamond City started in an okay spot, but it unfortunately went swiftly downhill from there. Where Maas was able to make her main character assassin mostly work, Flores unfortunately flounders; the MC in this book often wonders things like, Would my parents be proud of me even though I kill people for a living? or Do you think this cute boy and I might have a romantic future even though I tried to kill his older brother?As people funnier than me have said, the short answer to both these questions is no. The longer answer is noooooooooo.I just can’t buy the main character. She’s a badass assassin, but she’s deathly afraid of spiders, opts for knives over guns, and spares key characters’ lives at multiple points in the book. It’s an issue I often see with these types of killer characters: they’re supposed to be oh-so-hardcore, but the author can’t let the characters be their brutal selves on the page because it will turn off readers.But even beyond the characters, I couldn’t find much to recommend this book. The world-building is a confusing mishmash of heritages and cultures that were difficult to keep straight, all with a vague backdrop of an outlawed religion and magic system that places heavy importance on diamonds–diamonds which are traded at high price on the black market, but actually there are oodles of them around. (???) The language of the book, too, did not help matters; the fight scenes especially were wooden and very “this happened, then this, then this”–not good for a book about assassins where there’s bound to be a lot of fighting. There’s also not much of an artistic or lyrical quality to the prose, and I found myself predicting plot points at every turn, so… without compelling characters, beautiful language, a riveting plot, or engaging world-building, I really came up empty on this book. I do feel bad about the poor review for this debut author, but Diamond City is in need of significant revision and critique.
    more
  • Melissa
    January 1, 1970
    This fantasy is one bloody one. Aina becomes an assassin to survive, and she's really good at it. Her fights are movie-ready (I could totally picture myself watching this book as a movie), full of action and bloody. I love magic stories and this one is really good. It also shows another perspective on blood magic: none of the main characters can do magic, but their lives are still tainted by it.Book 2 will be AWESOME, I'm so sure of it, since book 1 ends with a lot of promises (not a spoiler). This fantasy is one bloody one. Aina becomes an assassin to survive, and she's really good at it. Her fights are movie-ready (I could totally picture myself watching this book as a movie), full of action and bloody. I love magic stories and this one is really good. It also shows another perspective on blood magic: none of the main characters can do magic, but their lives are still tainted by it.Book 2 will be AWESOME, I'm so sure of it, since book 1 ends with a lot of promises (not a spoiler).Many thanks to St. Martin's Press for the complimentary e-copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
    more
  • Dianne
    January 1, 1970
    Hang on tight for this one, from start to finish it is non-stop tension, action and fabulous character interaction! Even more of an attention-getter is that the heroine is not your typical good girl! Aina is a master thief and assassin, raised on the streets after her parents’ murder in a city that is as terrifying as it is fascinating.Taken in by the cold-hearted leader of a gang of young thugs, Aina strives to be the best at what she does, sadly, all for the praise and acceptance of someone Hang on tight for this one, from start to finish it is non-stop tension, action and fabulous character interaction! Even more of an attention-getter is that the heroine is not your typical good girl! Aina is a master thief and assassin, raised on the streets after her parents’ murder in a city that is as terrifying as it is fascinating.Taken in by the cold-hearted leader of a gang of young thugs, Aina strives to be the best at what she does, sadly, all for the praise and acceptance of someone who doesn’t deserve her loyalty and proves it in spades when an assassination goes very wrong and in retribution, a hit is put out on Aina. Welcome to a world of magic, mayhem and murder, where the haves have all of the power and the forgotten become less than human. DIAMOND CITY is a rapid-fire tale of survival, discoveries, deceit and unlikely alliances as Aina’s eyes are opened to brutal truths and her heart is opened to love and trust. Now she must learn to survive at all costs and beat the bad guys at their own game.Francesca Flores had me from page one and never let go with her amazing character development that flew as high as the scenes she brought to life. High energy, creative and incredibly mesmerizing! Written for young adults, but perfect for any age of dystopian adventure loving readers!I received a complimentary ARC edition from Wednesday Books! This is my honest and voluntary review.Series: Diamond City - Book 1Publisher: Wednesday Books (January 28, 2020)Publication Date: January 28, 2020Genre: YA Fantasy/AdventurePrint Length: 400 pagesAvailable from: Amazon | Barnes & NobleFor Reviews, Giveaways, Fabulous Book News, follow: http://tometender.blogspot.com
    more
  • June Hur
    January 1, 1970
    Finished reading this fast-paced book about a heroine I constantly found myself rooting for. I'm still on vacation so once I can collect my thoughts, will share more in detail. Review to come!P. S. THIS BOOK IS AMAZING
  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    “Kill or be killed. Magic or industry. Nothing could coexist— steel and smoke never left room for nuance.” I don’t know how to say this any other way but I will always be honest with my reviews. This book was terrible. Now, this is just my opinion. What is so powerful about books is that someone will fall in love with this world. But that someone was not me. This book is one part the main character wondering if her dead parents would be proud of her even though she is an actual murderer.Another “Kill or be killed. Magic or industry. Nothing could coexist— steel and smoke never left room for nuance.” I don’t know how to say this any other way but I will always be honest with my reviews. This book was terrible. Now, this is just my opinion. What is so powerful about books is that someone will fall in love with this world. But that someone was not me. This book is one part the main character wondering if her dead parents would be proud of her even though she is an actual murderer.Another part random info dumps/ flashbacks.Then a bunch of industrial/steampunk/magic/assassins lumped together. And not in any coherent way. There was absolutely nothing like-able about the main character and I had no reason to root for her. There was also nothing intellectually stimulating— most of this book was fight scenes meant to be exciting but were in fact excruciating. One part that really bothered me: The main characters boss punches her and then literally the next line describes how she is attracted to him. Listen, I get that this book is about assassins, but I thought that message was particularly horrible for kids/teens.Normally I will search for something in a book that I enjoy. The truth is I unfortunately could not find a single thing I enjoyed about this book. For the first time I skimmed the last 80 pages of a book because I couldn’t finish it. I just didn’t care. As far as I’m concerned comparing this book to Schwab and Bardugo is such a far reach. I know that’s a bit cold, but it’s how I feel. I don’t like to leave on negative notes so I will say that a book I would compare this one to is Four Dead Queens. If you enjoyed that book, you might like this one. Please keep in mind I read an advanced copy of this book.
    more
  • AJ
    January 1, 1970
    I was super excited about this book and it did not disappoint! It's entertaining, fast-paced, and action-packed with characters that are easy to root for. But what I loved the most about this book is its themes of classism and how this is incorporated quite seamlessly and effectively into the story.
    more
  • Katie Zhao
    January 1, 1970
    “Learn how to use this knife and I’ll make you into something.”Just read that line and tell me it doesn't give you chills. CHILLSSSSS.I had the pleasure of reading an early draft of Francesca Flores' debut, DIAMOND CITY. I know it has changed quite a lot since then - but even in that very early draft, I knew I was reading something incredibly special.DIAMOND CITY follows assassin Aina through a smoky world where one must not be afraid to get down and dirty in order to live. From writing tense, “Learn how to use this knife and I’ll make you into something.”Just read that line and tell me it doesn't give you chills. CHILLSSSSS.I had the pleasure of reading an early draft of Francesca Flores' debut, DIAMOND CITY. I know it has changed quite a lot since then - but even in that very early draft, I knew I was reading something incredibly special.DIAMOND CITY follows assassin Aina through a smoky world where one must not be afraid to get down and dirty in order to live. From writing tense, heart-pounding action sequences, to exploring the relationships and friendships Aina develops with comrades, to BETRAYALS THAT WILL RIP YOUR HEART OUT (whyyyyyyyyyy Francesca!!!), there isn't a slow or dull moment in DIAMOND CITY. It's epic and enthralling.But more than that, it is a story that will resonate with the readers who need it the most - girls and boys who come from nothing, and are taught to claw their way into being something. This story is full of heart, and it's raw, and it's real. Francesca crafted the story with incredible care, and it's truly a spectacular, unique, fresh YA fantasy that you cannot miss. I'm picky with my YA fantasy, and there are very few that I could rave on and on about and stan until the end of time. DIAMOND CITY is one of them. I can't wait for it to change lives!
    more
  • Kayla
    January 1, 1970
    ooooh my arc came
  • Bethany
    January 1, 1970
    Diamond City is a action-packed YA urban fantasy following a street kid-turned assassin as she navigates the complex realities of her city and plenty of danger. While not all of this was quite my cup of tea, I'm impressed with the detailed world-building and thoughtful depiction of class inequality, religious persecution, toxic relationships, and trauma. While this was a little action-heavy for my taste and I didn't entirely love Aina as a main character, I think a lot of readers will really Diamond City is a action-packed YA urban fantasy following a street kid-turned assassin as she navigates the complex realities of her city and plenty of danger. While not all of this was quite my cup of tea, I'm impressed with the detailed world-building and thoughtful depiction of class inequality, religious persecution, toxic relationships, and trauma. While this was a little action-heavy for my taste and I didn't entirely love Aina as a main character, I think a lot of readers will really enjoy this.Aina watched as her parents were murdered when she was 8 years old, and spent years living on the streets, addicted to sniffing glue before she was plucked out of that life at 12 and trained to become a skilled assassin. Now at 18, Aina is assigned her most dangerous assignment yet- to kill a prominent and wealthy young man. When things go wrong, everything starts to fall apart. For how confident Aina is in her own abilities, she is a TERRIBLE assassin! Brutal killer? Sure. Subtle, smart, and efficient? Decidedly not. She really does not seem to be very bright and does a lot of really stupid, reckless things, and makes really stupid assumptions. I found that irritating and made it difficult for me to really buy into her as this great or even competent assassin. There is also a LOT of killing in this book. Lots of action, lots of violent scenes involving stabbing, punching, shooting, poisoning, etc with a very high body count. Ironically, Aina keeps recalling how her religious parents believed that all life is precious, before proceeding to kill even more people. I don't mind violence, or even a lot of violence in books, but this did feel a little excessive and more for the action than purposeful. I realize this is a totally a matter of taste, but do be aware of it. For me, the highlight of this book was definitely the construction of Kosin as a city and the way it tackled structural inequalities, offered raw depictions of poverty, and addressed religious oppression. You clearly see how easily street kids are drawn into addiction or violence with few other options, the ways that the powerful abuse their power and maintain it as the expense of others, and oppress anyone who threatens their power and wealth. All of that was spectacularly done. I was less enthralled with the plot progression and some of the characterization, but I do think a lot of that is a matter of taste. I received an advance copy of this book for review via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
    more
  • Christie«SHBBblogger»
    January 1, 1970
    DNF 37%It's been five days and I just can't engage with this book. No matter how hard I try, it's simply not doing it for me so I'm going to have to throw in the towel. I'm having the biggest struggle with Aina. I understood when picking this up that she was a hired assassin and there would be morally grey characters, but if that's the case you have to somehow make me empathize/sympathize with these people to care what happens to them. The heroine's parents were slaughtered right in front of her DNF 37%It's been five days and I just can't engage with this book. No matter how hard I try, it's simply not doing it for me so I'm going to have to throw in the towel. I'm having the biggest struggle with Aina. I understood when picking this up that she was a hired assassin and there would be morally grey characters, but if that's the case you have to somehow make me empathize/sympathize with these people to care what happens to them. The heroine's parents were slaughtered right in front of her as a child for practicing a forbidden religion and magic, but instead of feeling grief about that she seems to feel only anger that she was left to fend for herself. She has honed herself into an emotionless killer whose only ambition is to be the most feared by the gangs she associates with, more feared than her vicious boss. She's represented as a cold as steel person who can shut off fear on a whim and has no conscience to speak of. However, we are supposed to believe that she has a secret weakness of being terrified of spiders? The sound of gunshots are supposed to trigger fear for her because of her parents' deaths, but in the first fight scene there were gunshots all around her and she didn't blink. The worldbuilding is vague in regards to the black diamonds, the "Mothers" who created the two moons and how worshipping with diamonds works, and the different gangs in the Stacks. The romance hinted at in the synopsis is really beyond creepy and toxic. It makes me lose interest in the heroine each and every time she feels attraction to her boss. This is the kind of person who holds complete and utter power over her using fear. Killing people under his protection in front of her eyes. Smashing her head into a wall and punching her for failing him. Then in the next breath she's having warm feelings of attraction and I admit, this woman makes absolutely no sense to me. Edging towards halfway, I should be engrossed and feel some form of concern for the main character. As that didn't seem to be happening, I made the choice to accept that Diamond City is simply not for me.
    more
  • Erin Arkin
    January 1, 1970
    Review to come!
  • Shelley
    January 1, 1970
    *Source* Publisher*Genre* Young Adult, Fantasy*Rating* 4.0*Thoughts*Diamond City is an action-packed young adult fantasy by debut author Francesca Flores about a girl who perseveres through poverty, violence, and loss to achieve a future for herself. 18-year old Aina Solis is an assassin who works for Kohl Pavel, aka the Blood King who saved her life when she was 12 and made her his Blade. She's at the top of her game working towards her freedom to work for herself. When she is offered the job *Source* Publisher*Genre* Young Adult, Fantasy*Rating* 4.0*Thoughts*Diamond City is an action-packed young adult fantasy by debut author Francesca Flores about a girl who perseveres through poverty, violence, and loss to achieve a future for herself. 18-year old Aina Solis is an assassin who works for Kohl Pavel, aka the Blood King who saved her life when she was 12 and made her his Blade. She's at the top of her game working towards her freedom to work for herself. When she is offered the job of a lifetime that will finally set her free from Kohl, she jumps at her chance.*Full Review @ Gizmos Reviews*https://gizmosreviews.blogspot.com/20...
    more
  • Rebecca Whaley
    January 1, 1970
    OMG I adored it! Aina is phenomenal! I the world building is exceptional! I could literally see myself there. I couldn't ask for more! I absolutely found a new favorite! Definitely check this out!
  • Fadwa (Word Wonders)
    January 1, 1970
    DNF @62% This book isn't bad by any stretch of the world, it has its strengths and weaknesses. But ultimately I have so little time to read right now that I can't waste it on books that don't draw me in. RTC!! (maybe!)
  • Namera [The Literary Invertebrate]
    January 1, 1970
    ARC received in exchange for an honest review - thank you! DNF at 52%. Well, nobody can accuse me of not trying to like this book. The heroine, 18-year-old Aina Solis, is an assassin in the city of... somewhere. She works for Kohl (aka a blond Kaz Brekker) and is given the duty of killing a wealthy young man. Together with her friend Teo, she infiltrates his house and commits the murder - but soon discovers that she messed up. Now, Kohl and the entire city have turned on her while she ARC received in exchange for an honest review - thank you! DNF at 52%. Well, nobody can accuse me of not trying to like this book. The heroine, 18-year-old Aina Solis, is an assassin in the city of... somewhere. She works for Kohl (aka a blond Kaz Brekker) and is given the duty of killing a wealthy young man. Together with her friend Teo, she infiltrates his house and commits the murder - but soon discovers that she messed up. Now, Kohl and the entire city have turned on her while she desperately tries to free herself from a mess of her own making. In the process she's forced to ally with Ryuu Hirai, younger brother of her victim. ❌ The biggest problem is that the worldbuilding is insanely bad. There's a religion, whose practitioners are called Inosen, and Steels, which seems to be the name for wealthy industrialists. It turns out that the two peoples are mutually exclusive, since all the Steels are atheists and all the poor are religious. Cue tensions and conflict. But, like... what do the Inosen actually believe in??? What are the origins of this religion? Is it from a foreign country? There's something about how the religion is connected to diamonds, hence the title of the book, but what do the diamonds actually do? There are random, vague references to the power of trains and an evil king, but no further information is ever given. ❌ Speaking of diamonds... the book says there's a roaring black market trade in diamonds. If you're caught carrying them in the streets, you're executed. But we don't learn why they're so valuable, or why their use is limited, apart from a thin connection to religious reasons.❌ There's limited description. While the writing itself isn't exactly stilted, almost nothing is adequately described. I have no idea what the city looks like, or the houses, or how the landscape changes as Aina moves from place to place. This is the biggest stumbling block the book has and it's why I ultimately decided to abandon it. ❌ The other characters who aren't Aina - Teo and Ryuu specifically - feel bland and two-dimensional. ✔️ On the bright side, the book gets two stars from me because Aina is an interesting heroine. I appreciated her ruthlessness, and her desperate gratefulness to Kohl was perfectly understandable when you consider he saved her life when she was 12. Overall I really thought I'd be able to finish it, but it turns out I just can't do this to myself any longer. The world is far too vague to offset the enjoyment I got from Aina's character. [Blog] - [Bookstagram]
    more
  • The Candid Cover (Olivia & Lori)
    January 1, 1970
    Full Review on The Candid CoverDiamond City by Francesca Flores is a book I had been anticipating due to its supposed action and dark magic. The premise interested me, and I enjoyed the idea of an assassination gone wrong and some unlikely allies. Despite this, many elements of the story are quite flat, including the main character and the setting, and I was ultimately unimpressed.This book follows Aina, an assassin working for the man who took her in after the death of her parents. She is given Full Review on The Candid CoverDiamond City by Francesca Flores is a book I had been anticipating due to its supposed action and dark magic. The premise interested me, and I enjoyed the idea of an assassination gone wrong and some unlikely allies. Despite this, many elements of the story are quite flat, including the main character and the setting, and I was ultimately unimpressed.This book follows Aina, an assassin working for the man who took her in after the death of her parents. She is given one last job before she is granted her freedom: to kill a prominent, rich man. When the assassination goes awry, Aina is forced to team up with her target’s younger brother and fix things while her boss turns against her. The idea of assassins is interesting to me, and I felt some Throne of Glass/Six of Crows vibes from this book. For those looking for a darker fantasy read, I would recommend Diamond City.❀ FLAT MAIN CHARACTERAina is a satisfactory character–I didn’t love her, but I didn’t exactly hate her either. It is interesting how she is a morally grey character, being an assassin, and I liked how she has a dream of starting her own business. That being said, she didn’t feel original enough to me, and she is generally a pretty flat character. As well, I really didn’t care for the “romance” in the book. Aina spends the book lusting after her boss, Kohl, even though he continues to hurt her, and although I can understand why this might be the case, I was kind of unsettled. In addition to this toxic love, she also has feelings for a couple of other people in the book, and it didn’t really make sense to me.❀ NOT ENOUGH WORLD-BUILDINGAnother issue I had with the book is the world-building and writing style. I found it very difficult to picture the setting because there is a lack of description. We know the basics, including a civil war and an outlawed religion, but not much else. I felt as though nothing was was really explained enough to be convincing. For a book called Diamond City, I was expecting the setting to be a big part of the novel. The fight scenes as well are a little lacklustre. Seeing as Aina is an assassin, I was anticipating tense action scenes. However, we are given vague, unrealistic fight scenes that all feel the same, and their repetitive nature made me lose interest.Diamond City is a book with a lot of potential. The assassin and dark magic elements intrigued me, but the main character and the vague writing disappointed me. Honestly, for a book whose synopsis promises action and romance, this one leaves something to be desired.
    more
  • Olivia Wildenstein
    January 1, 1970
    Such a fun and thrilling story. I’m a romance fiend and even though there wasn’t a single kiss, all that romantic tension (there were many contenders for Aina’s heart) was delicious. Can’t wait to read the next installment!
  • Justin Turczak
    January 1, 1970
    None stop action from start to finish and just a great world. Side characters were great especially teo. Can’t wait for book 2
  • Nia •ShadesOfPaper•
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you Macmillan and Wednesday books for the ARC.
  • Laura (crofteereader)
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 starsAn action-packed (seriously, there are so many cool knife and gun fight sequences, as well as elaborate breaking-and-entering scenes) debut about a girl rising above humble beginnings - first as an assassin and later as a revolutionary. By focusing so much on the action and filling in the background in bits and pieces, the plot can't help but move forward at a gallop, which kept me going even when I didn't really feel like reading. The downside of this style (and part of this may be 3.5 starsAn action-packed (seriously, there are so many cool knife and gun fight sequences, as well as elaborate breaking-and-entering scenes) debut about a girl rising above humble beginnings - first as an assassin and later as a revolutionary. By focusing so much on the action and filling in the background in bits and pieces, the plot can't help but move forward at a gallop, which kept me going even when I didn't really feel like reading. The downside of this style (and part of this may be because I read an arc and they often aren't formatted like the final version) is that it was often hard to tell what was a flashback and what was present action - there were times that it took me a page or more to catch the transition.Another problem I had was the lack of depth/development for two secondary characters who ended up having very large roles in the story. I'm sure they'll play more into future books in this series, but it was hard to buy their role(s) in this story without a lot more "screentime". I also wasn't a huge fan of a Stolkholm Syndrome-esque obsession (romantic interest?) one character had with another; it put a bad taste in my mouth from the beginning, and I'm not sure whether or not we were supposed to realize how toxic it was right away.I do like that main character Aina isn't a "chosen one" or has any particularly fantastic ability. She's just a desperate girl who's been dealt a terrible hand. I would definitely read future books by Flores.
    more
  • Queen Cronut
    January 1, 1970
    This book blew me away. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this one. Diamond City follows Aina Solis, an assassin navigating through the slums of Kosin and waiting for the day when she can be free from her indenture to the notorious Blood King's gang. When she's presented a job to kill a wealthy industrialist with a big enough payout to break free from the gang and escape poverty, she gladly accepts only to have the assassination go terribly amiss leading to a bounty on her head and caught in This book blew me away. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this one. Diamond City follows Aina Solis, an assassin navigating through the slums of Kosin and waiting for the day when she can be free from her indenture to the notorious Blood King's gang. When she's presented a job to kill a wealthy industrialist with a big enough payout to break free from the gang and escape poverty, she gladly accepts only to have the assassination go terribly amiss leading to a bounty on her head and caught in a game of deadly politics and conspiracies. "Good things don't happen to girls who come from nothing"Aina was such a memorable and relatable heroine. What made her stand out was how flawed she was, yet, her need for redemption and hope despite her circumstances made her such a complex character. Teo and Ryu were kind of bland though- I wasn't as invested in them as a side character. Kohl on the other hand..... he reminds me so much of the Darkling and I hope to see more character development.The plot was so fast-paced and action-packed. And I loved the worldbuilding- intricate and dark with parallels to our world that provides commentary on the effects of industrialism, religious persecution, and poverty. I absolutely loved this thrilling YA fantasy debut and cannot wait to read the sequel. *Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for providing a free ARC
    more
  • Safiya
    January 1, 1970
    There are some books that grip you so hard that days and weeks and months and years go by and you still think about them. There are books that you can read again and again and again and feel that magic and surge of emotion every time.DIAMOND CITY is one of those books.It's a fast-paced, high stakes adventure about Aina, a brilliant assassin on a job that could change her life, and the jarring decisions she must make when those changes are different than expected. It is about magic and There are some books that grip you so hard that days and weeks and months and years go by and you still think about them. There are books that you can read again and again and again and feel that magic and surge of emotion every time.DIAMOND CITY is one of those books.It's a fast-paced, high stakes adventure about Aina, a brilliant assassin on a job that could change her life, and the jarring decisions she must make when those changes are different than expected. It is about magic and immigrants, loyalty and independence, and the moral grayness of right versus wrong.DIAMOND CITY kept me at the edge of my seat. I couldn't stop reading— I had it on my laptop, and when that was closed, I devoured it on it my phone. I have read the prologue on multiple occasions, and each time, it makes me catch my breath. The prose and the imagery immerses the reader into the setting, and every line, whether it's dialogue, internal thoughts, or description, tells the story of who Aina is, what created her into the person she is now, and the person she will become.What stood out to me the most is the interpersonal relationships. DIAMOND CITY explores the topic in different ways that enhance the stakes and at the of the day, keeps the reader emotionally invested in the story. There were moments that made me feel empowered because of how seamlessly the interpersonal relationships are weaved into the plot. I won't forget those moments and how much they helped me decide to keep fighting during hard times.It's a book that will leaves readers breathless and reeling by the end. It shows how important and impactful books are, and how much they can help readers.I can't wait to re-read this book and share it with everyone I know once it's published. I highly recommend it everyone. Can 2020 come any faster? I promise you that you'll know exactly what emotion and suspense I'm talking about by the time you finish the prologue. Add this to your TBR folks— DIAMOND CITY is a book you cannot miss.
    more
  • Alyson Stone
    January 1, 1970
    Book: Diamond CityAuthor: Francesca Flores Rating: 5 Out of 5 StarsI would like to thank Netgalley and the publisher, Wednesday Books, for providing me with an ARC. Wow, wow! Where do I even start with this book? I really am liking what Wednesday Books has been putting out there. This gave me Six of Crows and Throne of Glass vibes. I mean we have a dark city ruled by thugs and assassins. Yes, please! I know a lot of people are saying that this is just another assassin book and really doesn’t Book: Diamond CityAuthor: Francesca Flores Rating: 5 Out of 5 StarsI would like to thank Netgalley and the publisher, Wednesday Books, for providing me with an ARC. Wow, wow! Where do I even start with this book? I really am liking what Wednesday Books has been putting out there. This gave me Six of Crows and Throne of Glass vibes. I mean we have a dark city ruled by thugs and assassins. Yes, please! I know a lot of people are saying that this is just another assassin book and really doesn’t change anything. So what? I mean, those of us who love assassin books are really going to love this one. I was sucked in right away by the world. We have a dark city where people live in fear. There is the Diamond Guard who hunts people down for practicing their faith and assassins who kill those who get in other people’s way. We get to see what it is like to be trapped in an endless cycle of the street life and poverty and the effects of it. A lot of people in this book live the life they do because of what society has handed them in life. This is so true in our current world. I mean, stop and think about it for a second. Francesca does an amazing job at painting the picture. Once you understand this book’s world, then it allows you to understand the characters a lot. So, let’s talk about the characters. We have Aina, a street rat turned assassin who has developed a rather unhealthy obsession over her boss, Kohl. In her eyes, he is the hero. After all, he is the one who plucked her from the streets and gave her the life she has. Throughout the entire book, we see her struggle with this and how she refuses to let him go. She is blinded by this worship to see that he is the one who is giving her a lot of pain. I know a lot of people are going to struggle with this aspect of the book. I want you to put yourself in Aina’s shoes. Her parents were killed by the government for their religion and she was shoved aside by society. Kohl steps in and gives her this better life. He gives what she thinks is everything and is unable to turn away from him. However, she does have dreams and wants to venture out, but, yet, he keeps entering the picture. As the story goes on, we get to see her struggle with this and we get into not just her mind, but head. Francesca really has created this beautiful character in Aina and shows us why she is the way she is. I really can’t go into much more detail on her without spoiling the story anymore than I already have. Even the side characters are just wow. They all fit so great into this world that Francesca has created. We get to see just truly how society has transformed people into what they are and how life isn’t always pretty. We get to see just how messed up the world can actually be. We get to see just how different levels of social classes affect each other and how the actions of one person, one character can change the world for either the good or the bad. I love the world and the way everything was presented in this book. We have a lot of action, a very dark world, and great characters. I love how everything just fits and makes sense. Plus, this is a great reflection as to the world we live in. I will say that is it books like that this that make me think that YA still has a chance-after all, YA was not very kind to me in 2019. It is books like this that draws readers in and makes them want to keep going. Anyway, this book comes out very soon-January 28, 2020. Youtube: https://youtu.be/ni-3dMjVQbo
    more
Write a review