Book Reviews

City of Villains by Estelle Laure [Book Review]

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Title: City of Villains (City of Villains #1)

Author: Estelle Laure

Rating:  ⭐️⭐️💫(2.5/5)

Publication Date: Februray 2, 2021

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Source: Personal Purchase

Synopsis: Disney’s Villains meet Gotham in this gritty fairy tale-inspired crime series.

Mary Elizabeth Heart is a high school senior by day, but by night she’s an intern at the Monarch City police department. She watches with envy from behind a desk as detectives come and go, trying to contain the city’s growing crime rate. For years, tension has simmered between the city’s wealthy elite, and their plans to gentrify the decaying neighborhood called the Scar—once upon a time the epicenter of all things magic.

When the daughter of one of the city’s most powerful businessmen goes missing, Mary Elizabeth is thrilled when the Chief actually puts her on the case. But what begins as one missing person’s report soon multiplies, leading her down the rabbit hole of a city in turmoil. There she finds a girl with horns, a boyfriend with secrets, and what seems to be a sea monster lurking in a poison lake. As the mystery circles closer to home, Mary finds herself caught in the fight between those who once had magic, and those who will do anything to bring it back.

This dark and edgy YA series explores the reimagined origins of Maleficent, Ursula, Captain Hook, and other infamous Disney Villains like you’ve never seen before.

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Hmm, what can I say about this? What I was expecting: something like a Disney villain & dark DC cross-over? What did I get: not this, NOTHING like this (and I mean the villain life was confusing)

Mary Elizabeth is the main character that you follow, a youth detective trying to make her way in the department, but also throw in the random body parts, disappearance of magic and the disappearance of her friends and things start to get a bit…frazzled? Ya, that seems about right. (Also, I have NO IDEA who’s villain parent is Mary Elizabeth, i was leaning towards the Queen of Hearts but its never really said?)

Back to the actual mystery; basically, random body parts are showing up in the city and Mary Elizabeth wants to help solve the case. Good idea, ya? Now what happens when the case just…disappears? Like, its just not mentioned anywhere past the second half😅 honestly that was the only thing that had me continuing to read so I kinda skimmed the second half of the book.

I found that the book was too short, but also dragged out or constantly repeated certain parts. Also, things just happened but there was no explanation and you had to accept that🤷🏻‍♀️

Overall, I really don’t know if I’ll continue with this series. If I do, I may see if my library can get copies of the next books instead of purchasing my own copies. While the book is pitched as YA, I think it fell a bit more to the younger side of YA.

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