‘Daughter of the Burning City’: Mysteriously Flat | A Spoiler-Free Review

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★★★☆☆

I got halfway through this book. Literally — my Kindle said 50%. I tried so, so hard to like it. I’ve seen advertisements for it all year, I saw it at BookCon, and I’ve seen good reviews online.

That said, this is a debut novel, and I think it shows a lot of promise.

The reason I couldn’t get myself to finish this book (after over three weeks of trying) was because the dialogue and the story just sort of… dragged. I constantly felt like the author was just trying desperately to fluff up her word count between murders (that sounds really weird in writing), and I lost focus a lot. I’m still a bit interested about Luca, a secondary character, but I honestly find Sorina a little grating. Her character fell a little flat for me, at least in the first half. The dialogue was also pretty flat, with characters not putting much feeling into what they say. Sometimes, that’s on purpose (like Sorina’s adopted father, who is supposed to be kind of detached), and other times it was just a shortcoming of the writing.

Also, can I say… for a thriller/murder mystery, this book was pretty slow-paced. I was constantly thinking to myself, “okay, but… when is something going to happen?”

Overall, 2.5 stars from me, but I’m rounding up to 3. It was a good debut, but ultimately fell flat for me. I do see others giving it a good rating, though, so give it a chance for yourself if you’re curious!

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