There is really only one thing I felt after finishing ‘City of Halves’… Why? No seriously, why did anything in this book happen? You know what, I’ll go one step further, why did this book happen? Some of the ideas were cool, and in the hands of a much more talented writer this novel would truly have had some potential, but nothing in this book went anywhere or meant anything. Also, what is with teen fiction these days and irresponsible parenting (the parents IN the novels, not parents who let their children read them – although in the case of this book the two are probably interchangeable)?
Meet Lily, a generic pretty blonde who is totally pretty, but totally doesn’t think she’s pretty, but who her friends and family constantly tell she’s pretty but she’s totally so modest that she will never admit that she’s pretty. Lily falls for the hunky broody guy with all the tattoos who is apparently handsome, but all I know about him is that he has tattoos and an ‘angular’ face. Lily also has a Dad, who is apparently a human rights lawyer (although in the novel, the descriptions of his cases sound like White Collar crime to me…) who constantly uses his daughter’s ‘hacking’ skills to violate people’s human rights to win cases. But apparently, he’s a totally stand up guy. His name is Ed. That’s all I know about him.
These humans live in an alternate future where healthcare is no longer free and struggling ‘human rights’ lawyers can apparently afford to live in Temple and go out for dinner every night. Lily tells us that her Dad isn’t wealthy, so in order to live the way they do (new phones and laptops for Christmas?) this alternate-London must be very different to the one I lived in! Set primarily within the boundaries of the London Wall, it turns out that every myth and legend you’ve ever heard about is real. Literally, every single one. It’s like Lucy Inglis took a crowbar to the top of her novel, prised it open, and just shovelled that shit in there. She introduces so many characters who are only in the novel for a page that I just didn’t know who was who anymore! There was just too much information with too little actually happening.
The main antagonists of the plot, a shadowy group known as ‘The Agency’ make almost no sense. Lily and her hunky BF Regan, of course, have to thwart their completely illegal, immoral and inhumane plot to…cure cancer? I wish I were kidding. Their actions are completely illegal, immoral and inhumane (according to the novel), but their ultimate aim is to cure cancer. And somehow all of this has something to do with a prophecy in which Lily will be the one drive back the Chaos. The prophecy and the Chaos War becomes the driving force of the last quarter of the novel but has literally nothing to do with the plot. Literally nothing. I’ve thought about it long and hard, and tried to make a connection beyond two pages at the end of a chapter involving a stone…but that was all. Also given that the prophecy totally didn’t come true in any sense of the word…Lily saved nothing (ok, I guess she DID move a stone), and SPOILER ALERT hunky BF doesn’t die, the Prophecy part of the novel served literally no function.
I was going to write more, and have a good old rant, but I thought to myself once again…why? Why waste even one more precious second of my life on this absolute piece of crap. If anyone reads this review, please do yourself a favour, never, never, ever read this book.