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review 2016-10-22 15:52
The Hypnotic City
The Hypnotic City (The Gold and Gaslight Chronicles Book 2) - Andrea Berthot

I've been contemplating for a while where to start with The Hypnotic City. I really enjoyed The Heartless City, although I complained about it being a zombie book without zombies. My experience this time was much the same, it felt like there was not a lot of the first book in the second, making it feel more like standalone novels.

Philomena is - for most of the story anyway - the returning main character and with the quarantine lifted she's decided to leave London and move to New York to finally become a star. She learns quite quickly to hide her London origin and things don't really go as planned, so she ends up working in a small theater which isn't at all what she had in mind. However, at some point she's offered the chance of a lifetime.

Besides feeling disorientated, because I had no clue where the story was going in the beginning, now that most of the characters were far away and didn't seem to play a role in the story, but it turned into a fast read quickly. I wasn't too much surprised with the turns the story took, because all the way I was expecting something to happen, and this was the more obvious choice, but it was nice to read anyway. What I didn't particularly liked was the romance plot, once again, since it was rather cheesy with him complaining about things which made Philomena feel insecure and hide her past and then much 'misunderstanding' and the like. The re-introduction of the characters from the first book only took place near the end, and that part felt a bit rushed.

I seem to remember this was going to be a duology, in which case I can reflect that it certainly is not a standard read. The two books are very different, but in all honesty I preferred The Heartless City.

Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

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review 2016-08-02 00:46
The Hypnotic City by Andrea Berthot
The Hypnotic City (The Gold and Gaslight Chronicles Book 2) - Andrea Berthot

I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


Disclaimer: Andrea and I are Goodreads friends. This is because I read a review copy of The Heartless City, fell in love with it, and decided Andrea should be my new BFF, so I friend requested her (also to keep tabs on when her new books are coming out). My online ‘friendship’ with the author has absolutely no bearing on my rating of the book and the following review is my tree and honest feelings.


Philomena and Jennie have made it from London to New York, just as Phil always knew she would. Now she just has to bide her time and work her butt off until someone spots her enormous talent and turns her into the star she is destined to be!


I really loved The Hypnotic City, so much that it’s got a place on my six-stars shelf. I loved the plot, the characters, the writing, the pacing, the romance, that general feeling of unease Berthot managed to weave in there. I loved to hate the villain and I cheered when a specific gang of people showed up and I pretty much fell head over heels for this book. Philomena is a phenomenal, fiery young woman with more determination and ambition in her little finger than most people have in their whole lives. She’s destined to be a star, and when she finally starts listening to that powerful voice in her head that tells not to put with shit from anyone, her small act at a music hall leads to a lead role in a new musical by a young and powerful writer/producer called Tom. Meanwhile, Phil develops a very sweet relationship with a stage manager called Jamie, but Tom’s watching from the wings…


I love how even though The Hypnotic City was about this huge mystery and this huge consipiracy but it was also about the concept of the ‘nice guy’, and the study into the character who fits that shoe. He showers Philomena with everything she desires and expects her to return his affection ‘just because’ he’s done everything for her. It was so creepy watching this develop, and in fact I largely read on in denial even though I had a little voice in the back of my head going ‘be careful!’ because I’m generally a positive person and it took me a while to suspect that the Nice Guy had an ulterior motive. Well, so did Phil, so I guess we’re even.


Phil’s supporting cast mainly revolved around Jamie, her friend Jenny who quickly leaves the story due to her own romance, and two chorus girls Bonnie and Flo who, although were different to each other, I like to imagine as twins. The romance is a big part of the book but so is Phil’s hard work in the theatre. I might have liked to have seen more of rehearsals in the lead up to the big show but I know that’s not the point, especially when everyone was gushing about how great Phil was. I liked how Phil was smart enough to figure out her dilemma, and try to work out ways to escape. She certainly wasn’t willing to put up with any shit until she literally had no choice in the matter, and I loved that about her.



I tried to read the novel slowly and limited myself how much I read each day because otherwise I would have just devoured the whole thing. Every time I put it own, I ached to pick it back up. The pacing was incredible, every moment just ratcheting to the next and making everything bigger and better until the Worse Possible Thing happened, and then I confess I kind of wanted to put the book down again because I didn’t possibly see how Phil could get out of this problem all by herself. Luckily there were cameos of the characters I loved in the previous novel and that made everything better.


Overall I don’t want you to read this book because IT’S MINE ALL MINE.


No, I’m kidding. I don’t know if I have a particular ‘thing’ for YA Urban Historical Fantasy with this whole ‘science gone wrong’ thing or what, it seemed like the book was written just for me. Maybe you’ll find that, too, when you read it, because I wholeheartedly recommend it to everyone.

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review 2016-03-16 07:24
The Heartless City
The Heartless City - Andrea Berthot

Two things up front:

1. I chose this book because of the cover

2. This is one of those books where you shouldn't read the whole blurb because it spoils most of what happens in the book (I really don't see why authors/publishers would do this!)


London, 1903. It has been quarantined for the last 13 years after a pill was given to its inhabitants that renders them monsters. Human on the outside, but with the ability to transform within moments into Hydes, which are basically zombies with a fixation for human hearts. It is to this London that Iris Faye is trying to go. But why ever would she want to enter a city like this?


I liked reading it, although it was completely different from what I expected. Do not expect a zombie novel, the biggest part of the book takes place at a palace which is (un)fortunately zombie free. I found the novel instead of being a suspense filled read it was more about characters deciding who they are in a world that wants to decide this for them. At least for the sidecharacters, who in my opinion made the story. Iris and Elliot are very typical heroes and their romance is quite insta-love which I didn't really appreciate.


I hope to see slightly more zombies/Hydes in the second novel :)


Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a free copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review!

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