City of Villains is the first book in an all new Fairy Tale-inspired Crime series from Disney Books.
We follow Mary Elizabeth, a teenage girl living in the Scar, an area where once magic was prevalent, but now supposedly no longer exists.
Having lost her family tragically, Mary’s main goal is to one day become a police officer. In addition to her schooling, Mary currently works as an intern for the Monarch City Police Department.
While her main duties generally involve pushing paperwork, when a classmate of hers, Mally Saint, disappears, the Chief actually assigns her to the case, partnering with a young detective, Bella.
Mary is over the moon to finally have the chance to prove to the Chief what she can do. She sees this as her opportunity to seal a position within the department after she finishes school.
Mary and Bella begin their investigation, but instead of gaining any clarity, the mystery only thickens.
After Mary’s best friend, Ursula, disappears as well, Mary knows something more sinister is happening than just kids running away from the Scar, but who will believe her!?
Even though I found this story intriguing, I did want to get to the bottom of the disappearances, the writing and overall plot are a little basic for my tastes.
I think this could have used another round of editing, perhaps cutting out some of the romantic aspects, changing Mary’s age, and allowing this to fall more into a higher Middle Grade, or Tween, category.
I just personally feel it is a better fit within that space than in YA; and that’s okay!
Tweens and Middle Graders deserve great stories as well!
I did like the appearance of some of my favorite Disney characters, Maleficent, Ursula and Captain Hook, with aspects of this story providing possible origin stories for all of them.
Overall, I think this is a solid premise for a series and I would be interested in picking up the second book. I’m not entirely sure where it will go from here, but I would like to find out.
Thank you so much to the publisher, Disney Books, for providing me with a copy of this to read and review. I appreciate the opportunity!