Thursday, 8 May 2014

Review: Mutant City

Mutant City

Publication Date:  May 8th 2014  
~An advance readers copy was provided by Bloomsbury in exchange for an honest review~


Fifty years ago, the world was almost destroyed by a chemical war. Now the world is divided into the mutants and the pure. Mutants must fight for survival in a scarred landscape, while the privileged pure live out a life of disease-free perfection.

Thirteen years ago, a covert government experimental facility was shut down and its residents killed. The secrets it held died with them. But five extraordinary kids survived.

Today four teenagers are about to discover that their mutant blood brings with it special powers. They are heading straight for Mutant City with rival factions close behind. One by one, they face the enemy. Together, they must stay alive .


Mutant City is the only book (out of all the "mutant" books I've read) that I can say I and X-Men would approve of. You know I take X-Men seriously and I do hate when anything is compared to it because sometimes it's just offensive. Especially when the mutants are more genetically enhanced with added powers but mostly look totally human and you would never guess who they were (I'm talking to you Transparent.) And while in the Mutant City, some of the mutants are exactly that, they can blend in, but there's something about them that tells them away. But, there are also the full on mutants with appearances' compared to Mystique and Beast. X-Men approves.

While written in third person, we have multiple perspectives ranging from the head conspirators- on both good v's evil sides, and as the story goes along, the lines get a little blurred between the intent of certain characters, by the end the lines are pretty clear with the direction it goes. And I applaud it. We also have the perspective of some of the mutants, the main being Rush, who really does takes a long journey of discovery. We collect the others along the way and while we don't get much of them until halfway through, where the story picks up a notch, my favourite has to be Brick.
He's big, he's a little simple but very loyal and trusting, and he doesn't know his own strength. Remind you of anyone? Come on guys, you've probably read it in school, it's like a rite of passage. Brick is a mutant version of Lennie from Of Mice and Men. We know how that ended. But don't be worried for Brick- his fate is nowhere near the same and besides, he can heal himself. So feel sorry for Lennie.
The plot is my biggest complaint- though it's not a complaint as such, but it was slow during the first half, I found my thoughts drifting and read a few paragraphs a few times, but once it stops the set-up and the plot starts up properly it was so much better.  As I said, the first half is more of a set-up and we get to see how the Mutants became, and how they've lived. And how once that mirror is shattered, it's shattered beyond repair and they only have two choices. Run or fight. Once that moments chosen, the action kicks in, with little shocks and secrets revealed along the way.
I think a lot of people will find it confusing in the beginning too, there's no chronological  order to the perspective shifts, and it took me a while to pick up the differences of the mix of voices we have to carry the story. But, once you get into it, it's pretty easy to separate the voices.
Mutant City is one of the nearest to X-Men I've read and don't feel disappointed on. We have a fresh vary of characters that are fighting for the rights they don't have. We have fear and pressure but we also have a rise of fighters who are adamant to make the future better for themselves- and everyone else.

Rating: 3.5-4/5