CITY OF HALVES by Lucy Inglis


Age Range: 12 - 15
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A tech whiz is prophesied to save modern London from the combined forces of corrupt government and magical Chaos.

Sixteen-year-old Lily is Veronica Mars meets Shadowhunters Clary Fray, a hacker dragged into the magical underworld. Lily's attacked by a two-headed dog while seeking a man she believes is a mundane forger and is rescued from the brink of death by heavily tattooed and "eerily beautiful" Regan Lupescar. As Regan alternately pushes Lily away and drags her further into his Eldritche secrets, he reveals his hard-core fighting abilities: ripping a banshee's heart out of her chest, punching through a van, and beheading an attacker with a single blow. What Regan completely lacks, however, is any understanding of technology, and that's where Lily comes in. Her technobabble-inspiring skills ("They said it was impossible that a sixteen-year-old girl was using hexadecimal characters like that") reveal the sinister conspiracy of governmental forces and big pharma at the heart of the building apocalypse. Luckily Regan and Lily are destined to save the world through Lily's incredibly rare Type H blood, though Lily suspects something darker about the prophecy, something making Regan even more attractively standoffish. The refreshing interaction of programmer girl meets magical boy is marred by constant, appalling racial stereotypes of secondary characters. A turbaned Sikh has a hooked nose; a West Indian street cleaner speaks in embarrassing dialect; a Japanese spirit longs for geishas.

A clumsy combo, with exciting premise weighed down by passive destiny, stale stereotypes, and ugly tropes. (Fantasy. 12-15)

Pub Date: Oct. 27th, 2015
ISBN: 978-0-545-82958-8
Page count: 368pp
Publisher: Chicken House/Scholastic
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2015


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