Review: Dark Metropolis by Jaclyn Dolamore

July 6, 2014 4 stars, Book Review, Young Adult 18 ★★★★

Review: Dark Metropolis by Jaclyn DolamoreDark Metropolis by Jaclyn Dolamore
Series: Dark Metropolis #1
Published by Disney-Hyperion on June 17, 2014
Genres: Post Apocalyptic, Young Adult
Pages: 304
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher

*This book was provided by the Publisher for review. No compensation was provided and all opinions are strictly my own.

Cabaret meets Cassandra Clare-a haunting magical thriller set in a riveting 1930s-esque world.

Sixteen-year-old Thea Holder's mother is cursed with a spell that's driving her mad, and whenever they touch, Thea is chilled by the magic, too. With no one else to contribute, Thea must make a living for both of them in a sinister city, where danger lurks and greed rules.
Thea spends her nights waitressing at the decadent Telephone Club attending to the glitzy clientele. But when her best friend, Nan, vanishes, Thea is compelled to find her. She meets Freddy, a young, magnetic patron at the club, and he agrees to help her uncover the city's secrets-even while he hides secrets of his own.

Together, they find a whole new side of the city. Unrest is brewing behind closed doors as whispers of a gruesome magic spread. And if they're not careful, the heartless masterminds behind the growing disappearances will be after them, too.

Perfect for fans of Cassandra Clare, this is a chilling thriller with a touch of magic where the dead don't always seem to stay that way.


Dark Metropolis is surprisingly enjoyable. While the title and cover did not hold much appeal for me, the story sounded interesting, but nothing stellar, regardless I gave it a read and found myself pleasantly surprised. I was entranced and fascinated by this wonderful city and in love with many of it’s characters.  The magic in this world is both subtle and engaging.

Enter the city, a post-apocalyptic haven that is beginning to get back on it’s feet. Rationing has ended, and the economy is beginning to pick up and the people are moving forward. Thea is a good girl, waitressing at The Telephone, a nightclub that is running a Vegas style show. She also takes care of her mother, who has a condition called bound-sickness. Her mother and father are from a province outside the city, where people are raised much like we are raised today. The furniture is wooden, and the kids play outside. Her parents used an archaic spell to bind themselves at their marriage ceremony, and after Thea’s father is sent to war and perishes the spell goes wrong. Thea’s mother is constantly preoccupied with looking for her deceased spouse, and must be treated similar to an Alzheimer’s patient would be treated today. Thea is hiding this condition, so that the authorities do not take her mother away from her care. This particular story arc really caught my heart, and Thea was strong when she needed to be.

One day Thea is serving drinks for a new, silver haired patron at the Telephone club. They touch hands, and she gets a vision of her dead father. On both sides, interest is sparked.

Freddy is a Resurrectionist. His magic is as old as the hills, and is used to allow people to say good bye to their loved ones before they are again sent to the ever after. Freddy’s power was discovered by his uncle when he was three years old and Freddy and his family are saved from the poverty that the war had caused because of it. All Freddy has to do is resurrect people, use his magic for what he believes is a noble cuase. Freddy thinks he is giving people a true life, never knowing his uncle’s nefarious plans.

Enter Nan Davies, Thea’s best friend. She is a revolutionary who passionately wants to do something to help restore the imbalances that abound in their world.  She is interesting, funny and  by far my favorite character. She loves to design clothes, is color-blind and is never afraid to step up for the greater good. She learns of a way she can help Thea’s mother, and to help right some of the wrongs in their city in one fell swoop. What she learns changes the entire course of the cities future.

I really really enjoyed Dark Metropolis. There are zombies, teensy bits of magic and it reads like WWIII has happened and the pieces are finally coming back together. I would be very excited to see more of this world, and a continuation of the ideas brought up in the book. The overall feel of the book is best compared to post-WWII Europe. Food lines, rationing, do-it yourself with what you have type economy. I think that Jaclyn Dolamore has real promise as an author. I don’t think the name or cover of the book gives you a good feeling for the type of book this is. The description also misses the mark in describing the story you can expect. It is much bigger and much more interesting than I initially gave it credit for. O’ Happy day!


When not taking care of my two children, husband and mini doxy, rushing here and there on the go, I can always be found reading. Fantasy of course being my favorite genre, but not the only I'll read. Oh yes, and I throw bad books.

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18 Responses to “Review: Dark Metropolis by Jaclyn Dolamore”

  1. Rachel @ Paper Cuts

    I agree that the cover, title, and synopsis don’t really give a good idea of the story. I was excited nonetheless, and enjoyed it a lot. 🙂 I’m glad you enjoyed this one!

  2. Jessica @ Rabid Reads

    Yeah, I wasn’t very enthused by the cover of this book either. I didn’t have anything against the title, but only other Dolamore book I’ve read was a DNF for me. HOWEVER, this sounds like it has definite promise, and it’s also a completely different kind of book then the one I DNF-ed, and sometimes a writer just needs to find their niche. I might until the series is a big further along before starting it, but it’s definitely on my watchlist now 😉 Great review, Maggie!
    Jessica @ Rabid Reads recently posted…Mini Reviews: For a Few Demons More & The Outlaw Demon Wails by Kim HarrisonMy Profile

  3. Kirsty-Marie

    I know it’s 1930’s, since you get that from the cover anyway, but didn’t know it was about zombies, so yeah, the cover doesn’t give you a vibe of the book. Still pretty though. The only reason I want to read it is because it’s 1930’s, and I love reading about different era’s of History, magic and zombies are just a plus. Glad you enjoyed it! 🙂
    Kirsty-Marie recently posted…Review: The Half Life of Molly PierceMy Profile

  4. kim { Book Swoon }

    Dark Metropolis was a bit of a hit and miss with me, and I agree that although I liked the cover, it really did not represent the book that well. I loved the dark, gritty sort of post-war atmosphere and the zombiesque creatures in it, but I didn’t *feel* the romances like I wanted too. Still, I think it’s off to an interesting start and I’m excited to keep an eye on Jaclyn Dolamore. Wonderful review, Maggie 🙂
    kim { Book Swoon } recently posted…Book Review: The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. PearsonMy Profile