“Dark Metropolis” by Jaclyn Dolamore

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

“Dark Metropolis” by Jaclyn DolamoreDark Metropolis by Jaclyn Dolamore
Series: Dark Metropolis #1
Published: 2014 by Disney-Hyperion
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 304
Format: ARC
Source: the publisher
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Dark Metropolis by Jaclyn Dolamore is a young adult novel set in an alternate Germany in the 1920s/30s. In this world, magic exists, but is strictly controlled by the government.  Thea’s mother has had a magical sickness ever since her father was lost in the war.  To make ends meet, Thea works in the glamorous Telephone Club, where she regularly interacts with the rich and famous.  When her friend Nan vanishes, Thea resolves to find her.  Thea’s search for Nan is further complicated by her relationship with Freddy, a wealthy and attractive patron of the club.  Freddy is more than he seems and is the key to finding out what happened to both Nan and Thea’s father.

Dark Metropolis is the kind of young adult novel that I can totally get behind.  It has so much to love–zombies, the 20s/30s, romance, and magic.  Dolamore does an excellent job describing universal issues that many teenagers can identify with.  In addition to the relationship between Thea and Freddy, Dark Metropolis features a lesbian romance between Nan and a girl named Sigi.  I loved that the relationship was treated as completely normal.  The big issue in their relationship had nothing to do with their gender, but rather with the fact that one of them happened to be a zombie.

Then there’s the relationship between Sigi and her mother.  Sigi’s mother views Sigi as an embodiment of her younger self and doesn’t really understand or accept her for who she is.  This led to a good deal of argument and rebellion.  How many people can say they felt exactly the same way as teenagers?

And then there’s the fact that Thea is the family’s primary breadwinner and is the one taking care of things while her mother is ill and her father is gone.  A lot of people assume that teenagers’ lives are perfect or carefree, and it’s refreshing to see young adult novels break the mold and show teens who are forced into a position where they have to worry more about working and putting food on the table than about education, because let’s face it, there are a lot of teens going through exactly that.

And the cover is just gorgeous!  It was what originally drew me to the book when I saw it at ALA.  I’m usually not a huge fan of book covers created with photography, but this one was just perfect and encapsulates the atmosphere of the story incredibly well.

Dark Metropolis comes out in June, and I highly recommend it.  It’s everything I’d ask for in a YA novel and more.


6 thoughts on ““Dark Metropolis” by Jaclyn Dolamore

  1. From a marketing perspective it’s quite ingenious to set a YA fantasy novel in the 20s. I’m glad it was good though. The cover is wonderful.

    1. I suspect that you are correct, and I’m completely okay with that. I suspect that the new Great Gatsby movie stirred up some interest in the time period.

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