The Artful (Shadows of the City #1) by Wilbert Stanton
Date of Publishing : May 27th 2014
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Genres: Post-Apocalyptic, Young Adult
My Rating: ★★★
New York City, 2025: Everything is changed. The city that never sleeps is now a land of death and decay. A rampant virus has taken over and the survivors have become carriers, quarantined from the rest of the world.
Twist and Dodger grew up in the streets, the sewers and underground tunnels – their playground. They aren’t heroes. They just like attention; and stealing meds from the rich and giving them to the poor is their golden ticket.
On their latest raid, they unknowingly steal a cure that puts them square between the ailing Emperor of Manhattan and the war hungry Governor of Brooklyn and forces them on a quest into the darkest shadows of their putrefying world.
The Artful plots the making (and un-making) of Dodger and Twist through post-apocalyptic New York in 2025. A virus has left civilization in the pits and the survivors only barely survive in the undergrounds of the city that has been quarantined.
Out of the two, Dodger is the one who is a more laidback kind of a guy. He runs headfirst into situations with no back-up plans. He’s charming and he knows how to sweet-talk people into getting what he wants. Which works out for him, until it doesn’t.
Twist, although the younger of the two, is the voice that narrates the book and is honestly one of the most morose POV’s I’ve ever had the chance to read. He’s just generally a sad person, sees more than he feels and is tired of being under Dodge’s shadow.
Which honestly got old really fast.
I can see why he feels that way. Dodger rescued Twist when he needed rescuing and since Dodger was older, treated him like a little brother and brought him up. But not once—not even ONCE—did I feel like Dodger was being purposefully mean or condescending. In fact my favorite character was Dodger. Period.
Gia is the third addition to this group and the less I speak about her, the better. Lest I give out spoilers. You know.
The two Gutter Punks—which is what they call themselves—are like the post-apocalyptic Robin Hood(s). They steal medicine and supplies from the rich New Yorkers—called Tower Babies, for some reason—and give them to the poor. Their latest break into the Empire State Building brings them face to face with an old friend Smith and therein begins an adventure where everyone is fighting for their lives.
I’ll have to give this to Mr. Stanton: The concept is just amazing. It’s new and so much more different from other Post-Apocalyptic books that I’ve read. And although the writing wasn’t too much to my liking, maybe it’s just me. I’ve read a few reviews on Goodreads and people loved the book so I’m pretty sure it’s just me.
And have you SEEN the cover? Brilliant. Very apt and realistic.
A few reasons I gave this book only three stars:
- The book states that it’s been ten years since the virus struck. But the feeling that the book (and the characters) give out, is that this has been going on since years, if not centuries. There’s a bit of a problem with execution.
- Then there’s the issue with plot holes. From what I remember, Twist was seven, maybe eight when Dodger found him. The world had already gone to hell by then. But he knew enough to cite Walking Dead references? So either Dodger is more awesome than I’ve realized OR this is a major plot hole.
- The writing—as mentioned earlier—was in Twist’s POV. Which really kind of killed the buzz for me. He’s the whole fuck-my-life kind of a guy and he whines. A lot.
I know, I know. They’re living in a hell-hole. But come on. There were times in the book I wanted to throttle Twist. But I settled on glaring at my Kindle. Then stroking her back and telling her it’s not her fault.
Again, I loved Dodger. He’s the true hero and the reason I stuck with the book until the very end. In fact, I’d be willing to bet my now non-existent pocket money that you’ll love Dodger too. He’s a misogynist and a bit of an asshole to Gia but in my humble opinion—she kind of deserved it J
The end. Pfft. I was disappointed by the end…only to realize that this book is the first book in the series! Yay! So yeah, I’ll be reading the next one. Definitely.
Open INTL – Ends August 19th
A signed copy of The Artful
Enter a chance to win one ebook copy of The Artful by Wilbert Stanton by leaving a comment (along with your name and email address). The contest is open until 11:59 pm EST, September 1st, 2014. Winners will be drawn at random from the comments and posted on September 3rd, 2014. The contest is open INTERNATIONALLY. Good luck to all!
About the Author:
Wilbert Stanton was born and raised in New York City. From an early age, Wilbert decided he would either write books or take over the world; everything else was just a precursor to his end game.
Along the way, he has studied Psychology, English, and Computer Science. He’s held jobs in a wide range of fields and met people from all walks of life. Wilbert is constantly learning and growing as a person, in order to solidify his dreams.
In the end world domination was a bit tedious, so he decided to focus on writing books.
*I was provided a free ecopy of this book in exchange of an honest review*