Reading Level: Young Adult
Length: 10 hours and 14 minutes (368 pages)
Publisher: Recorded Books
Release Date: April 10, 2014
Stand Alone or Series: 2nd book in the Mystic City series
Source: Audiobook from Audible.com
Rating: 2/5 stars
I loved Mystic City and was eager to read Toxic Heart. Unfortunately this was a disappointing book in so many ways. Just about everything I loved about this series is gone in this book.
I listened to this on audiobook and it was a horrible audiobook. The narrator has a lift in her voice at the end of each sentence which leaves every sentence sounding vaguely like a question. It’s really really annoying and detracts from the story. Some of the voices are completely wrong for the way the character is described in the book. For example Elissa’s voice is described as cold and commanding, but the narrator made her sound more like a sultry porn star. Aria’s voice is very breathy and ditsy…not at all how I picture Aria. I strongly recommend against listening to this on audiobook.
Aria has gone into hiding at a rebel base while Hunter stays in Manhattan to organize the Rebels. After certain events happen, Aria finds herself back in Manhattan but she still barely ever sees Hunter because he is so busy. Still Aria finds herself a symbol for the rebellion and is determined to do all she can to orchestrate peace between the Aeries and the Rebels. Added to this is the strange mystery of what actually happened to the Mystic Heart of her former nursemaid.
Aria is just plain stupid in this book. She constantly lies, makes rash stupid decisions, and is just generally slow on the uptake. I do not like her as a heroine. Point in case..she wanders out on her own when she knows people are trying to kill her…she also imbibes a questionable substance on her way to a vitally important meeting. Just one dumb thing after another.
The dialogue is childish and awkward and filled with wonderfully witty comebacks (being sarcastic here). For example when Aria is confronting one of her biggest enemies her wittiest comeback is “Well, you’re a liar”. Um, is this a bunch of five year olds fighting? It is just sooo awkward.
Hunter has turned into a power hunger jerk focused only on revenge, his epic love for Aria is missing. He is also missing, Hunter is in the story very little. His place is taken by Turk who is assigned to protect Aria. Turk is best thing about this book he is daring and fun, yet caring and thoughtful. Turk and Aria spend a ton of time together. Turk ends up being the most supportive of Aria and the most sensible of the characters in this story by far.
Aria’s brother Kyle remains a major villain in the story, he really isn’t given much depth. He yells “I hate you” a lot at Aria (again super mature dialogue here) and is just generally a generic bad dude that you are not supposed to like. The other big villain is Elissa (the turncoat Mystic from the first book) who shows up in a glittery gold catsuit of all things (no idea why…this was just bizarre).
The plot is improbable and mainly focuses on the Rebels and Rose and Fosters families all using Manhattan as their battlefield. Aria’s only good idea is a Peace Summit, which they all strangely agree to despite their vendettas towards each other. This whole plot was clumsily executed and awkward.
Overall I did not like this story, not one bit. Some of my dislike is probably added to by the absolutely awful narration of the audiobook. The rest of my dislike is fueled by immature dialogue, a “dumb as rocks” heroine, and an improbable plot. You know usually I try not to write scathing reviews…but I was just sooooo disappointed by the book. I will no longer be reading this series. Not recommended.