If you're looking for a fresh new and exciting fantasy read, than this book probably isn't for you. Emerald City is little more than a YA romance, with secondary fantasy elements added. I had no idea that this was a YA book until I reached the end, since it isn't marketed as such. Those who know me, know that I rarely read those types of novels for a variety of reasons.
The main plot centers around a chaste romance that sometimes borders on extreme sweetness. There is quite a few obstacles for the main couple and protagonist to overcome, but I can't say there's much in the way of surprises or originality to make this book a standout among others. It is relatively well written and seems to strive for depth through the protagonist's life struggles, but it provides little to the genre or to its readers by the end. I can't say it ends on a satisfying note either, but that may just be a product of YA fantasy. It's unclear if a followup is planed.
Towards the end there is a bit more action and a new fantasy subplot is introduced. However, with little time remaining, this subplot barely has time to evolve before the book begins to wrap-up. As you can imagine, this was more than a little frustrating, especially after waiting all that time for something to actually happen, other than the main couple making doe-eyes at each other. Having said all that, I do have to concede that it was a fast read and I did enjoy the romance at the beginning, that is, until it became sickeningly sweet and I knew that this book didn't have much more to provide than that or a underdeveloped and unoriginal fantasy plot.
*****Olivia's sad, solitary life in Seattle comes dangerously close to ending one fateful night, if not for a neighbor saving her in the nick of time. Curious about her mysterious rescuer, she seeks him out in hope of getting some answers, but instead finds something she never thought she'd have again.
In summary, if you're a sucker for a mild YA fantasy romance, than this book might be for you. However, I really would have liked it to have provided more, like a bit more edge, a fresh storyline, and maybe a satisfying ending that provides some sort of closure.
Content Note: No sexual Content, No swearing, and just a mild amount of violence.
An ARC of this book was provided to me via NetGalley. This book is set to release on April 10th, 2012.
-Life is too Short to Read a Bad Book-