Published February 2013 by HarperAudio|8 hours, 54 minutes
Where I Got It: I got it from audible.com
Series: Bhinian Empire #1
Genre: YA Fantasy
The girl with no past, and no future, may be the only one who can save their lives.
Nisha was abandoned at the gates of the City of a Thousand Dolls when she was just a child. Now sixteen, she lives on the grounds of the isolated estate, where orphan girls apprentice as musicians, healers, courtesans, and, if the rumors are true, assassins. Nisha makes her way as Matron’s assistant, her closest companions the mysterious cats that trail her shadow. Only when she begins a forbidden flirtation with the city’s handsome young courier does she let herself imagine a life outside the walls. Until one by one, girls around her start to die.
Before she becomes the next victim, Nisha decides to uncover the secrets that surround the girls’ deaths. But by getting involved, Nisha jeopardizes not only her own future in the City of a Thousand Dolls—but also her life.
I’m glad I finally read City Of A Thousand Dolls! I really liked it, and I can’t believe it took me so long to read it.
It’s a really engrossing world, and I LOVE that it’s set in a world that is so not pseudo-European. I wish we knew more about the world, because it really is different. It’s very vivid, and listening to it made me feel like I was really there, figuring out things alongside Nisha. Listening really made me feel like I was there.
The idea of a place where girls could go to learn skills was really interesting. I don’t know that it’s necessarily unique, but I really liked how Forster used the Houses and City and asars to distinguish between the houses. It’s so detailed and vivid and rich, and I really felt like there was a lot more to the world than what we saw in the book. If there isn’t, then Forster did one heck of a job making you believe it.
There were still things that didn’t make sense. Like, the reveal of Nisha’s family. It felt like a really big deal in the book, and I couldn’t figure out why. I don’t know if I missed something, or if the family history we get just wasn’t enough, but it seemed like it was a bigger deal than I thought was warranted.
I did like the cats, and how Nisha had a connection with them. There was a point where I thought that if Jarrett wasn’t a cat, he and Nisha would totally be a couple. Or that there would be a love triangle, since Nisha had a relationship with the courier…I kind of expected him to be human at some point, but dismissed it…only to be proven wrong. You can’t go wrong with cats, especially ones that talk!
I thought the mystery of the murders was really well done, and I liked seeing Nisha figure it out. I felt for Nisha, with who it turned out to be, and while I was slightly surprised at who it was (and why they did it), looking back, it’s actually not that big of a surprise. And yet, I don’t think I ever could have predicted who it was.
I really liked Shannon McManus as the narrator, and I felt like she was Nisha. I couldn’t figure out why she sounded so familiar, and I haven’t listened to anything else she’s narrated, and it’s really bugging me. Maybe she just has one of those voices.
4 stars. I really liked City Of A Thousand Dolls, especially the fact that it’s set in an Asian-inspired setting. And the story was really interesting and different.