Book Review: “The City” trilogy by Darren Shan (Published in 1999-2010)

Rate:
4.2/5
(Estimate of each book rating combined)

Genre:
Fiction/YA/Mystery/Fantasy (Trilogy)

Procession of the Dead (Book #1) Published 1999

Rate:
5/5

Book Plot:
Capac Raimi has moved down to The City to learn how to be a gangster from his uncle, Theo. Things don’t go the way he expects at all and suddenly he finds himself working under the most powerful man in The City, The Cardinal. The City is a strange place where strange things happen, and it’s about to change Capac’s life forever.

Point of View:
First Person POV (Capac Raimi)

Book Review:
I LOVE THIS BOOK!
Let’s start with the opening. It’s a little confusing (especially cause I wasn’t expecting it to have magical elements in it) but as you read on you understand more and the world keeps developing. It’s a CRAZY world! It’s like nothing I’ve read before and I loved it!
The content and language is pretty dark I must say and it has a lot of graphic scenes (blood, death, torture) so if you don’t have the stomach for it, I don’t think it’s a book you’d enjoy.  But it also has this humor in it that makes you chuckle here and there. (TBH I think that’s how Darren writes. I find his other books having the same type of tone, even though The City Trilogy has a totally different vibe.)
There is A LOT of mystery. It just feels never-ending while you’re reading and there were times that I thought “Oh no, what if he forgets to explain that” but he clears everything up by the end. (well not EXACTLY everything since there are two other books after this)

The characters are very interesting. Even though there is not that much background on them it is very hard to not care or dislike any of them. (even the evil ones) And I think that’s because they all seem human to a point. Even when they’re evil they have a soft spot in them which makes the readers understand them. (even though you may not agree with them and their actions, you can still understand their point of view and what made them become who they are)

Last but not least, the plot. IT’S AMAZING! The whole world that Darren has created in this book and all the problems that Capac goes through are very unique. When I read books (mostly crimes/mysteries) I tend to keep guessing what the reasons are, what actually happened, who the culprit is and things like that; and that’s because I read a lot of crimes and mysteries. But with this book, the idea was that foreign in my mind that I could not think of any answers for things that were happening. (until a very certain point that the protagonist was so close to finding out the answers himself, and then again I just guessed what was going on and not HOW that could be possible)

Favourite Quote:
“Truth is too much for minds as small as ours.”
“It wouldn’t stop him killing me but it might stop him pissing on my corpse..”
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DO NOT READ ON IF YOU HAVE NOT FINISHED BOOK #1

Hell’s Horizon (Book #2)  Published 2009

Rate:
4.5/5

Book Plot:
Al Jeery is a loyal member of The Cardinal’s personal guard. One day he gets assigned to investigate a murder scene instead of his normal duties. There is something strange about this case and Al is about to find out a lot more than he intended to.

Point of View:
First Person POV (Al Jeery)

Book Review:
You will feel extremely confused when starting this book. First book was about Capac, so who is Al Jeery? Why is cardinal still alive? Well my friend, DO NOT PANIC. The timeline of this book is exactly the same as the first book! While we were following Capac around in the first book, all these things were happening to Al. It’s just another character’s POV of different events that happened in the same time frame. (which TBH through me off a little but as I went on reading I found it pretty interesting!)

There are a lot more mysteries and a lot more answers in this book, but unlike the first book, it doesn’t really end with everything getting exposed and instead carries on to the third book. (oh, and there is a lot more violence so… brace yourselves)
There is a bigger twist in this book in my opinion comparing to the first one and the content doesn’t just focus on The City rather it’s kind of divided between the mysteries of The City and Al’s past.

Hell’s Horizon feels more like a traditional crime book with less supernatural elements taking part in it; and even though the characters and the plot are still very interesting, I did like the first book more, and I was rooting more for Capac even though he does come off as a jerk, where Al is just a normal and somewhat kindhearted person.

Favourite Quote:
“A practical joker is usually incapable of keeping his lip zipped if he thinks he’s bragging to a fellow clown.”

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DO NOT READ ON IF YOU HAVE NOT FINISHED BOOK #2

City of the Snakes (Book #3) Published 2010

Rate:
3/5

Book Plot:
For 10 years Capac has been ruling The City. When he suddenly vanishes, Ford Tasso offers Al Jeery a very important information he’s been searching for this whole time, in exchange for finding Capac’s whereabouts.

Point of View:
First Person POV (Capac Raimi & Al Jeery)
First part is in Capac’s POV, then it switches to Al Jeery’s for most of the book, until the ending where the POV switches a few times between them in the final chapters.

Book Review:
To be honest this book was not as good as the rest of the series. (hence the lowest rating) It was still a nice ending and wrapping up of the story, but still I didn’t enjoy it as much as the other two books.
Remember how I said you couldn’t dislike the characters in this book for Procession of the Dead review? Well, I changed my mind. You can definitely dislike the priests… I just didn’t enjoy the games they were playing and their existence for that matter.
Mostly I enjoyed finding out about Ben and what exactly Paucar Wami did to him and of course the main point of the book, where was Capac this whole time.

This book was a lot more stretched out and slower than the others which made me kind of want to get to the end of it. With that said I did like the ending though. It doesn’t leave you feeling bitter even though it’s not particularly a happy ending.

Favourite Quote:
“Can a villain be a hero? Is a man wicked if he performs a lesser act of evil to prevent a greater one?”

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Overall I enjoyed this trilogy. I absolutely LOVE the first book (not kidding I really really really loved it), LIKE the second book and think the third book is OK.
I loved the plot and this whole world that was created. The characters weren’t that memorable. (except Paucar Wami) Like you wouldn’t really carry the love for them for years and still remember their names, but I think that’s kind of expected since this is a trilogy that was written for adults and it’s not particularly focusing on characters rather the main point is the plot and how people came to rule The City.

Little Dino off to read now ~~~

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