Originally posted on 80 Books Blog
ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
After the anticlimactic resolution of The Twelve (never mind all the rape), I had low-ish expectations for The City of Mirrors. Overall though, I can say I liked it.
This third installment is both a resolution and an origin story of Zero, who suffered from, of all things, a broken heart. That was probably the weakest part of the book. I expected more from the man who waited 2 decades to exact his (not so) grand plan to have a different motivation. What we’re given is a sort of Helen of Troy in Liz Macomb – the face that unknowingly launched a thousand virals, to paraphrase Marlowe. There is some irony in Zero’s hatred of his creator, Jonas Lear, for his leaving Liz to die alone. Zero’s own grand scheme means Liz waited alone in the afterlife for his arrival.
Yes, there is an afterlife, which we’ve seen before in the trilogy. Though this book is heavier on issues of spirituality, faith, and morality, especially in regards to the cost of scientific advancement. It’s why we have the virals in the first place. Maybe the book leaned too much on this message and not enough on the basic plot. Amy was still more plot device than a fully realized character. Even the final confrontation between Zero and Amy found her lacking the skills to really beat him. This was really Peter, Alicia, and Michael’s story. And Sara’s to a lesser extent.
I wavered between giving The City of Mirrors 3 stars and 4 stars, so it’s more 3.5. Despite the things I didn’t like, it is still a book that sticks with you.