Review: Diamond City by Francesca Flores

Diamond City (Diamond City, #1)Diamond City by Francesca Flores
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

After being orphaned as a young girl, Aina Solis spent a portion of her life living alone on the streets.

It was a rough time for her, one filled with fear, hunger, drugs and no hope.

As she slid toward rock bottom, a guy named Kohl Patel swoops in and provides her with a way out.

Essentially a crime lord, Kohl trains Aina to be an assassin, a trade at which she exceeds all expectations. Overtime, she becomes known as one of his sharpest blades.

On the side, she sells illegal diamonds and harbors ambitions of one day opening her own trade house.

Although he doesn’t appear to know of her peddling diamonds behind his back, Kohl does support her ambitions for her future. He tells her he’ll support her moving on after she performs one more high profile kill for him.

When that kill doesn’t go as planned, she is shocked by Kohl’s reaction and now fears for her life.

Running out of time, Aina and her best friend Teo have one more opportunity to make things right or pay the ultimate price.

Diamond City definitely surprised me and exceeded MY expectations. Francesca Flores has created an interesting world here with some very likable characters.

I enjoyed Aina the most, who reminded me a lot of Celaena Sardothien, and the plot was fast-paced with high stakes.

If you like stories with street gangs, or crime lords, and corrupt politicians, you should definitely check this one out!

It also reminded me a lot of Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody. And like Ace of Shades, I was a little confused by the magic system and slightly disappointed it wasn’t built out more.

There is blood magic in this story, and magic involving the diamonds, but I am not clear on how that works. I am hoping that is something that could be built on in the continuation.

Fortunately, the action was compelling enough that I actually sort of forgot there was suppose to be magic at all.

I really enjoyed Flores examination of different relationships. I thought that aspect was really well done, particularly that of Aina and Kohl.

She definitely has feelings for him that go above the mentor/mentee level and when he turns on her, she feels betrayed. She struggles with having felt so strongly for him and then learning he wasn’t what she thought.

I think many of us can relate to being let down within a significant relationship like that, especially relationships with an age gap. I really felt for her while that whole dynamic played out.

I also was pleased with her growth as a character as she came to grips with that new reality. Even though she was heartbroken, she didn’t let it bring her down. She kept on fighting for a cause greater than herself.

I also really enjoyed the relationship between Aina and Teo, her best friend. I always like to see a platonic male/female relationship and this one was strong.

Although Teo is pretty dreamy. How is she not swooning over him?

Leaving off in a great spot for the sequel, I am hoping for all sorts of revenge, as Aina moves forth with new enemies and new allies. I am really looking forward to continuing with this story!

Thank you so much to the publisher, Wednesday Books, for providing me with a copy of this to read and review. I appreciate it so much and had a lot of fun with it.

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