Tell the Wind and Fire
by Sarah Rees Brennan
Summary: In a city divided between opulent luxury in the Light and fierce privations in the Dark, a determined young woman survives by guarding her secrets.
Lucie Manette was born in the Dark half of the city, but careful manipulations won her a home in the Light, celebrity status, and a rich, loving boyfriend. Now she just wants to keep her head down, but her boyfriend has a dark secret of his own—one involving an apparent stranger who is destitute and despised. Lucie alone knows the young men’s deadly connection, and even as the knowledge leads her to make a grave mistake, she can trust no one with the truth.
Blood and secrets alike spill out when revolution erupts. With both halves of the city burning, and mercy nowhere to be found, can Lucie save either boy—or herself?
Source: I received a digital copy from Netgalley
Tell the Wind and Fire had a gorgeous cover, an enticing synopsis, and was loosely based on/related to Dicken’s A Tale of Two Cities. However, it suffered from severe ridiculous YA syndrome. Which is a shame because I thought I would love this one.
Basically, New York was split into a Dark city and a Light city. Dark magicians use blood/life to feed their power and Light magicians use actual light. Light magicians think they are better and are somewhat the “ruling class” and the dark magicians are the underdogs and are starving. The main character was from the Dark city and moved to the Light after her father was imprisoned and tortured. She came up with this elaborate plan with her Dark aunt. She would create a scene, not mention her mother or her mother’s crime, and the Light city would let her father go, let them stay, and not kill her because she was too famous at that point to be killed. In time, her aunt would arrive for her.
So there she was, living in the Light city, caring for her father, dating the golden boy (of the most powerful family), Ethan, who was perfect in every way and even sympathetic to the Dark city. He had the personality of a chair. Or any other inanimate object. And of course, she wanted to keep the fact that she had a Dark family a secret so that it wouldn’t cause her problems. She essentially turned her back on her whole family and ignored the Dark world. She seemed worried about the fate of her family at times, but overall, believed her aunt would never come for her and she didn’t want that anyway, so.. ok.
Ethan was arrested for consorting with the Dark city rebellion, but Lucie knew it couldn’t be him, so she tried to fight for him, but guards don’t listen to random girls, so they were going to execute him. Suddenly, it was discovered that Ethan had a doppelganger, which meant that his life was saved at some point, creating a copy of himself, which would ruin the reputation of the powerful Light family, so it was kept under wraps. And she was sympathetic to the doppelganger because they have almost no rights and he saved Ethan’s life, except she also thought he was evil and awful because doppelgangers are? Then a rebellion happened and the rest was predictable.
The plot was all over the place. The conflict was, too. A rebellion was happening in the Dark cities, but Lucie didn’t feel like that mattered to her even though she was the face of the rebellion because she was a dark citizen who was forgiven and able to live in the light city. She still viewed the dark city as bad, even though she was also sympathetic to their cause, which made no sense. I’ve never read A Tale of Two Cities, so I can only guess that perhaps the author was trying to create parallels in her book and wasn’t left with enough material to make the necessary complications, so she just created them when they didn’t make sense to be there. I can’t think of any other reason why Lucie would contradict herself and her background so often.
The love triangle (predictably with the doppelganger) was awful. Ethan was basically awful because he was like a wet noodle. I can see why there are so many negative reviews and DNF reviews because the book was just not very well done at all. It was slow and boring, but it could have been longer if the author wanted to actually develop the plot or the characters. She could have had multiple POVs so maybe Ethan wouldn’t have been an awful piece of cardboard and we’d actually know who Carwyn was rather than whatever Lucie thought of him.
I can’t really recommend the book. I didn’t enjoy reading it. Nothing was well developed, so it was just this convoluted mess of things that could have been laid out better.