ARC Review: City of Legends

City of Legends
City of Legends by Cheyanne Young
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Maci Knight has grown up in the shadow of legends. Her father and her brother, Max, are Heroes, worshipped by humans and Supers alike for their strength and valor. All she’s ever wanted is to follow in their footsteps, to fight villains and protect humankind. But Maci has a secret—one that could change everything.

Maci had a twin sister who died the same day they were born. In their world, one twin is always good, while the other always eventually turns evil. There’s no way to tell which twin will go rogue . . . which means no one knows if Maci will suddenly become a villain.

The closer she gets to her eighteenth birthday, the more she has feelings she can’t control: Violence. Rage. Revenge. Maci wants to be a Hero. But she may not have a choice . . .

It’s sad when a book lets you down because it does not live up to its potential. Reading the blurb, I was expecting a character-centric book about what it means to be a hero, and all that. But it is basically an Incredibles-like plot, with superhumans being an evolved species that live underground and protect the world. *yawn* Being a first book, I expect a bit more about the world than just some little backstory about how they came to be. What are the goals of the Supers society, why they protect humans, do all of them feel the same instinct to be heroes, why is murder such a big no-no, why is their world so black and white? Questions, questions and more questions and our heroine asks none of them. Heck, no character in the book asks it. Made me think like its a cult of superpowered beings. The Heroes are the elite of the society, who go around saving the world in sexy suits? Umm, do they have any ambition beyond that. They don’t want to live in the world they want to save?

Another aspect where the world-building collapsed on itself is the fact that it establishes early on that good Supers are good, and the bad Supers become villains. Eventually, it even links it to genes (which is a lazy trope, right alongside the scientist who can do everything trope – looking at you, Evan) and then shows that the villain was one whom they had considered a good Super all along. Also, the whole no-murder thing threw me – they can never take any life, not even of a villain, but they can subject them to a cruel and inhumane process like depowering? Even when Maci undergoes that process, she doesn’t think that maybe it is not the proper way to deal with villains. Like, where’s the nobility in that?

Overall, I think it suffered from a case of plot-without-cause, and was mostly action-centric, but not even that could save it from terribly written scenes, or an unsatisfactory obstacle.

Received a free galley from Alloy Entertainment, via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.

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