Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Wanderlust Wednesday Review: The Eternal City by Paula Morris


The Eternal City by Paula Morris
Series: Standalone
Published: May 26th, 2015
Publisher: Scholastic
304 pages (eARC)
Genre: Young Adult Urban Fantasy/Mythology
Acquired this book: Via Edelweiss in exchange for honest consideration
Warning: May contain spoilers
{GoodReads || Buy this book: Amazon || Chapters/Indigo}

Laura Martin is visiting Rome on a class trip, and she's entranced by the majestic Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon. . . . Everything in this city seems magical.

That is, until the magic seems to turn very dark.

Suddenly, statues of Cupid and ancient works of art come to life before her eyes. Earthquakes rumble and a cloud of ash forms in the sky. A dark-eyed boy with wings on his heels appears and gives her a message. Laura soon realizes she is at the center of a brewing battle -- a battle between the gods and goddesses, one that will shake modern-day Rome to its core.

Only she and her group of friends can truly unravel the mystery behind what is happening. As tensions mount and secret identities are revealed, Laura must rely on her own inner strength to face up to what may be a fight for her life.

The synopsis for The Eternal City immediately piqued my interest, mostly because when I first heard about it I was just months away from my first visit to Rome, plus I love books with foreign settings. While the synopsis sounds exciting and different, and I liked the premise of the book, the execution was lacking. The story felt like a series of random events and strange things happening to the main character, Laura, but the characters were completely flat and the attempt at romance seemed like an after thought.

Laura is on a school trip to Rome, the Eternal City, a beautiful city rich in history. The vivid descriptions of Rome are pretty much the only reason I gave this book 3 stars instead of 2. It was easy to picture the places Laura visited, and I really liked that. So Laura's trip is moving along nicely until Laura is almost mugged at the Trevi Fountain, and then odd things begin happening, all of which seem to be centred around her for some reason. We come to find out that she’s in possession of the Eyes of Minerva, and ancient gods are battling to retrieve them. As I said, the premise was good, but there were a lot of things that didn’t quite make sense. It didn’t help that the characters were completely one-dimensional, so there was nothing to connect to. I usually prefer character-driven books, or if the books have a lot of action and fantasy elements, I want to at least get a sense of who the characters are, what drives them, what they’re like outside the events that are happening, and I never got that from The Eternal City. The action scenes were good, but they weren’t enough to carry the story on their own. The romance was just sort of thrown in and wasn’t believable. They had no chemistry and didn’t get to know each other at all - they were just thrown together by circumstances. 

Overall, The Eternal City wasn’t what I was hoping for. It had a beautiful setting, but the characters and story itself were lacking and fell flat. Despite not really enjoying this one, I bought Morris’s Ruined awhile ago and I’m still eager to read it.

There were quite a few scenes in The Eternal City with seagulls and crows (as part of the fantasy/mythology aspect of the story), so when I saw this seagull at the top of Palatine Hill in Rome and he kept creeping closer and closer, all I could think of was their role in The Eternal City!
Have you read The Eternal City? What did you think? If you haven't read it, do you plan to? Have you read any of Paula Morris's other books? Do you have any favourite books that deal with Roman mythology? Let's talk here or on Twitter

1 comment:

  1. That's too bad. I'm a plot girl but like you, I have to have some connection to a character. The cover is at least lovely.


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