City of Shattered Light by Claire Winn

Title: City of Shattered Light
Author: Claire Winn
Genre/s and Tags: Science-Fiction, LGBTQ+, Young Adult, Fantasy, Dystopia, Cyberpunk, Romance
Goodreads synopsis:

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.

As heiress to a powerful tech empire, seventeen-year-old Asa Almeida strives to prove she’s more than her manipulative father’s shadow. But when he uploads her rebellious sister’s mind to an experimental brain, Asa will do anything to save her sister from reprogramming—including fleeing her predetermined future with her sister’s digitized mind in tow. With a bounty on her head and a rogue A.I. hunting her, Asa’s getaway ship crash-lands in the worst possible place: the neon-drenched outlaw paradise, Requiem.

Gun-slinging smuggler Riven Hawthorne is determined to claw her way up Requiem’s underworld hierarchy. A runaway rich girl is exactly the bounty Riven needs—until a nasty computer virus spreads in Asa’s wake, causing a citywide blackout and tech quarantine. To get the payout for Asa and save Requiem from the monster in its circuits, Riven must team up with her captive.

Riven breaks skulls the way Asa breaks circuits, but their opponent is unlike anything they’ve ever seen. The A.I. exploits the girls’ darkest memories and deepest secrets, threatening to shatter the fragile alliance they’re both depending on. As one of Requiem’s 154-hour nights grows darker, the girls must decide whether to fend for themselves or fight for each other before Riven’s city and Asa’s sister are snuffed out forever.

Buy Links

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ID: The City of Shattered Light paperback sitting on a blue booksleeve that is decorated with rockets, planets, cats and stars. In the top right sit two books: Chilling Effect and The Darkness Outside Us. In the top left is a bookmark that says “Book Review” in black font with rainbow clouds in the background. The background of the photo is a white-gray ombre carpet and a rainbow of sprayed pages. End ID.

Full Review:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Thank you so much to the author and Flux books for an eARC in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own.

City of Shattered Light is a cyberpunk space heist. Asa Almeida has been trying to prove to her father that she’s worthy to take over the company. But when she finds out he’s used her sister to program a new form of AI, Asa knows she has to rescue her. As Asa runs away with her sister’s brain in tow, she’s pursued by a rogue bounty hunter and crashes into the outlaw drenched paradise, Requiem.

Riven Hawthorne has been climbing her way up Requiem’s underworld hierarchy. When a critical job of hers goes wrong, Riven knows she needs something to prove her worth: catching a runaway rich girl could do the trick. But as Asa flees she unleashes a hybrid AI/computer virus into Requiem. The two will have to team up if they have any hope of surviving and saving Asa’s sister.

This book was absolutely incredible! The first couple chapters are a great build up, we see some of the atrocities Almeida industries has committed. But then the plot takes off and skyrockets the action. I swear once things get going they do not stop in this book. There was so much going on, it was such an adventure.

I will forever be pining over Asa joining Riven’s crew. I love found family so much and this book delivers on that aspect! The action never stops in this book. There was always constant movement whether it was a plot twist, sneaky reveal or character development. Riven is 100% a feral queer and a chaos bisexual. Asa is also a chaos bisexual but she’s also a computer genius. I love seeing female computer geniuses! The dynamic between these two was so fun, I loved seeing them get closer and learn to trust each other.

Loved this so much!! There better be a sequel! *Cries*

Rep: Chronically ill bisexual female MC, BIPOC (Asian coded, most likely Filipina) bisexual female MC, achillean BIPOC male side characters, side character with cybernetic implants, queer normative world.

CWs: Alcohol consumption, blood, body horror (forced cybernetic implants), chronic illness, cursing, death, gaslighting, grief, gun violence, injury/injury detail, medical content, medical trauma, terminal illness, violence. Moderate: suicidal thoughts, gore, kidnapping.

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