Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Dazzling Heights by Katharine McGee

The Dazzling Heights by Katharine McGee
Release Date - August 29, 2017
Publisher Website - Harper Collins
Publisher Social Media - Twitter/Facebook/SavvyReader/Frenzy
Pages - 432 pages
My Rating - 4/5
**received for an honest review from publisher**


Here is the Goodreads synopsis
New York City, 2118. A glittering vision of the future, where anything is possible – if you want it enough.

Manhattan is home to a thousand-story supertower, a beacon of futuristic glamour and high-tech luxury… and to millions of people living scandalous, secretive lives.

Leda is haunted by nightmares of what happened on the worst night of her life. She’s afraid the truth will get out – which is why she hires Watt, her very own hacker, to keep an eye on all of the witnesses for her. But what happens when their business relationship turns personal?

When Rylin receives a scholarship to an elite upper-floor school, her life transforms overnight. But being here also means seeing the boy she loves: the one whose heart she broke, and who broke hers in return.

Avery is grappling with the reality of her forbidden romance – is there anywhere in the world that’s safe for them to be together?

And then there’s Calliope, the mysterious, bohemian beauty who’s arrived in New York with a devious goal in mind – and too many secrets to count.

Here in the Tower, no one is safe – because someone is watching their every move, someone with revenge in mind. After all, in a world of such dazzling heights, you’re always only one step away from a devastating fall…. 
I've always been a fan of teen drama television shows. They're often debauchery filled fun and provide some great entertainment. I was delighted to find this in book format when I read The Thousandth Floor. I had high expectations going into the sequel, and was pleasantly surprised to find a solid follow up that packed a twist filled punch all its own.

The Thousandth Floor begins with an unknown female character falling to her death. The Dazzling Heights also opens with another dead body being discovered, and twists another mystery that keeps each chapter a compelling read. Knowing an event is going to occur creates an intense ticking clock of sorts. It serves to increase the stakes of the novel, and ensures that you want to keep reading to unravel the truth. Katharine McGee is also a master at crafting the story in such a way that by the time the book is nearing its conclusion there are multiple possibilities for who will die. She sets it up in such a way where it is not instantly apparent who dies, or even how they died. It's one of the strongest elements in the book and it creates a fevered pace for the reader.

The cast are all still making ill advised choices. It makes the dynamics between the character sizzle with tension. It is intriguing to have a scenario where almost all the characters have treated the others horribly at some point. It creates this morally skewed world for these characters to inhabit and makes it easier to fall into the story and their connections to each other. It makes this story arc work when it sometimes feels like it shouldn't. It is very reminiscent of Gossip Girl in that respect. No matter what these characters do to each other, you want them to continue to clash into each other again and again. You want them to fall in love. You want them to break up and make up. It's their connections that make you interested in the characters, and it really works because of the word they exist in.

Leda and Watt had, at times, almost a toxic nature to their potential romance. They each want to both destroy and make out with the other depending on their mood. It had some Chuck and Blair vibes, but never reaches the level of toxicity that they had. It's an interesting dynamic, and one that is used to great impact in my opinion.

Avery's plot line was one I was fascinated by. It's one of the few cases where this particular type of forbidden romance sort of works for me. Her and Atlas' relationship is certainly taboo, but also feels entirely reasonable that they would feel the way they do. It's written in a way that makes you feel for the situation they find themselves in. They are one couple I do not see a happy ending for, but I feel that is probably realistic based on the story so far. It's one of the more gripping relationships in the novel, and one I hope is continued to be explored in the final novel.

Rylin's story is the one that I found surprised me the most. I thought I knew which way her arc would go, and it ended up going in a completely different direction. It was refreshing because I suspect that a love of novels, particularly those of this genre, would go there. It's the easiest way to create some pretty juicy drama, but was actually the more restrained choice which felt more in line with the character. It also served to allow for the other story arcs to be a little more over the top in some ways since this one was a little more reigned in. It offered a nice balance, and allowed us to get to know the character more.

The ending, once again, ensure that readers will be clamoring for the next novel. It leaves the story in a place that has a lot of potential. I cannot wait to find out answers to all the questions I have to be answered. Those looking for a more self contained story will be disappointed as this is very much a story that progresses over the three novels that will be in this series. If you detest waiting for answers, this may be a binge read series for you. I, personally, enjoy getting to theorize and discuss with fellow readers and this book offers plenty of opportunity for that.

This offers another frothy, drama filled installment in this series. It is perfect for those who are missing Gossip Girl, and love their CW television shows as much as they love reading. It is, in my opinion, a fun way to end your summer reading as it offers a little bit of everything - romance, murder, secrets, glitz, and lush settings.

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