Hello friends! Today is my stop on TBR and Beyond‘s tour for A City of Shattered Light by Claire Winn. This book comes out October 19th with Flux Books and you can preorder a copy here from Bookshop or from your favorite book retailer.
As darkness closes in on the city of shattered light, an heiress and an outlaw must decide whether to fend for themselves or fight for each other
Content warnings (may be incomplete, may contain spoilers): Please highlight below to view.
Guns/gun violence, death, blood, mild gore, mild (sci-fi/cyber) body horror, emotional abuse/manipulation, betrayal, references to suicide, terminal illness, drug and alcohol.
Overall rating: 3.75/5
City of Shattered Light is a fast paced sapphic sci-fi adventure in a unique world. Asanna (Asa) is on the run from her manipulative tech genius father with a bounty on her head after he uploads her sister’s mind into an experimental AI brain. She lands on Requiem, where she comes in contact with Riven, a conwoman who reluctantly teams up with Asa to save the world from a deadly computer virus. The reader is plunged into action from the first chapter and while it was a little hard to keep up with the nonstop action, Winn does a great job of world building without overloading. The setting is absolutely fascinating and I’d love to see this visually, especially given how stunning that cover art is (seriously, look at it!!). Winn’s writing is a lot of fun to read, and is wonderfully descriptive and vibrant.
The story is told from dual third person POV, Riven and Asa, and they’re both really interesting mirror opposites. I’m a sucker for all things queer found family and I really enjoyed the ensemble scenes. There were a lot of characters introduced in the first few pages, which was a bit overwhelming, but the main side characters are endearing. I would love to see more of them in the future/possible sequel! This book also features a love triangle, which admittedly I’m not a fan of, and I would have liked more development of the main/endgame (for this book at least) couple. I’m definitely a character and emotion driven reader, so there were definitely parts that made me (vaguely gestures), but whew, what a ride!
Overall, this was a great debut and I look forward to reading more from Winn in the future! Thank you to Flux and TBR and Beyond Tours for the e-ARC. If you enjoyed my post, please check out the rest of the tour (schedule here).
Claire Winn spends her time immersed in other worlds—through LARP, video games, books, nerd conventions, and her own stories. Since graduating from Northwestern University, she’s worked as a legal writer and freelance editor. Aside from writing, she builds cosplay props and armor, tears up dance floors, and battles with boffer swords. City of Shattered Light is her first novel.