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An exotic treat set in an entirely original fantastical world brimming with deadly mystery forbidden romance and heart stopping adventureNisha 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. To be uite honest I m not entirely sure what urged me to read City of a Thousand Dolls the day it was released or even at all I m not and most likely never will be a high fantasy fan and usually steer clear of high fantasies in general unless they ve received positive reviews from many friends of mine City of a Thousand Dolls did not receive very many positive reviews from friends of mine so in retrospect I honestly have no clue as to why I picked this one up I suppose I was intrigued by the title The allure of an unpredictable and thrilling mystery intertwined with high fantasy The cover Unfortunately even with my not too high expectations I am left uite disappointed with this poorly structured novel For me the main issue with City of a Thousand Dolls was its pacing which seemed to pick up not once in the entire novel City of a Thousand Dolls could have easily been an entertaining thrilling and briskly paced read given the intriguing murder mystery we re provided with but it felt like the entire murder mystery really only took center stage in the second half and by that point I was a lot less invested in the mystery than I was when the murders were first introduced As opposed to the murder mystery the first half of City of a Thousand Dolls was focused strictly on social aspects of the world such as social classes clothing et cetera And for the first uarter or so I ate that all up After that first uarter however the social aspects of the world only became redundant and what made it frustrating was the fact that murders are piling up and piling up but they were all shoved under the carpet so to speak to make room for the less interesting aspects of the novel And as for the murder mystery it isn t too great on its own either While I did find it to be intriguing at first it has been done before in a similar fashion and has been done better too What frustrated me most concerning the murder mystery though was how blatantly obvious the revelation of the culprit was Character development would have benefitted this book and prominently the mystery a lot but considering the fact that we re given cardboard characters in a cardboard world with a cardboard plot and a cardboard mystery I was able to pin down the murderer within the first few chapters While City of a Thousand Dolls does have some uniue aspects to its characters and world those few uniue and positive aspects didn t amount to much in the midst of all the negatives Without thorough world building developed characters and an exciting mystery and plot which are all practically necessary for a well written high fantasy novel I think it s safe to say that City of a Thousand Dolls only ended up being as thin and bland as the paper it was written on

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City of a Thousand Dolls

F imagine a life outside the walls Until one by one girls around her start to dieBefore 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 her own lif. Miriam Forster s debut novel is glorious Nisha is a resident of the City of a Thousand Dolls The city is a walled off district for unwanted female babies where they are raised to be skilled members of society then sold to be wives mistresses apprentices and It s not a perfect solution but it s better than exposure so says the Matron Nisha s mistressNisha is unwanted than most She came to the city not as a baby but a child She has no caste The Matron took her on as an assistant but as she comes of age her position is uite precarious Plus she s carrying on an affair with a noble boy Devan If the affair is discovered it could cost Nisha her life But when several girls commit suicide Nisha is suspicious of something sinister and begins to investigate Along the way she discovers many things about the cities dark corners and her own pastFittingly since the novel is called CITY OF A THOUSAND DOLLS the setting is uite elaborate Forster goes for a pan Asian feel There are touches of Chinese and Indian history and culture among others and the vast majority of the girls are described as having South Asian features But Forster wisely doesn t make it an analog of a single place And certain touches such as the city itself are pure fantasy I hated that characters kept going Well the City of a Thousand Dolls isn t perfect but things could be worse and easily dismissing reform Nisha addressing her home s problems was as cheering as her own growthI enjoyed the mystery aspect as well I don t think Nisha has a real future as a detective but she did the best she could and kept asking uestions and trusting her gut that something was wrong I liked that Nisha was in a good position to investigate because she had connections to all the Houses CITY OF A THOUSAND DOLLS showcases a variety of feminine strengths Not even the girls of the House of Beauty are defenselessAlso Nisha can talk to cats I ll give you a moment to be jealousCITY OF A THOUSAND DOLLS tackles tough sociology issues in a lush setting with a resilient heroine and an interesting supporting cast I was breathless through the climax and uite happy that Forster leaves a few open threads to hopefully be explored in future books This is the best sort of vibrant exciting adventure that fantasy is capable of

Miriam Forster î 9 characters

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 hersel. ACTUAL FULL REVIEWOriginal will be posted on my blog on January 10th 2013 here Note due to copy and paste formatting and links have been lostI m going to try really really hard to make this review as gentle as I can let it be But make no mistake I did not at all like this bookLet s just discard some misinformation first That first line in the summary An exotic treat set in an entirely original fantastical world brimming with deadly mystery forbidden romance and heart stopping adventure That is not true At least not for me Let me explainThis book is not exotic because I felt the writing was very bland The story was told with a sort of detachment and no real emotions were really explored It was very this happened now this now oh look here s something else that s happened and oh my this is all very tragic Now don t get me wrong I m not saying that Ms Forster can t write Surely she can But her style was just really not my type Also this book is not entirely original Sure it sounds absolutely amazing and original I thought so too But upon reading it I realized that it utilizes the same variation of court intrigue that Alison Goodman s Eon series does so well except it doesn t do it so well It s a flurry of events that do have conseuences but are not developed It s like watching a movie unfold when nothing seems important to you because nothing connects Not the two dimensional characters not the paper cut out world not the misuse of Asian culture and certainly not the absolutely unscintillating romance Romance first I m so unsure as to where the whole thing was going It was a nice tentative thing at first no insta love here and yay a backstory but it was so flat I wished I could proclaim what so profoundly breathes life into characters because then and only then will some people deem me ualified to talk but as a reader and a bloggerreviewer all I can say is that I didn t feel anything It was meh to me than anything else and the whole thing seemed to be going in a thousand different directions at once do you see the pun tucked in there I told you this review was going to be negative so I ll wrap it up with this last bit of complaint that is uite personal and most likely won t affect most of you The cultureterminologyI m 100% Chinese I grew up in China I m uite sure I m of enough caliber to analyze my culture so let s look I realize that Miriam mentioned somewhere that this book is based off of South Asian cultures and I also understand the gap in translation I ve gone to enough museums to know that the green leafed Spring is an acceptable translated painting name etc But this book had so many of the long named translations like in the name of the Long Tailed Cat that it was ludicrous I ve never read an Asian based fantasy that used this many translations Most of them didn t even contain any or just onetwo This whole bizarre use of Asian cultureterminology whether or not it s Chinese I ve Asian blood in me and I ve studied this whole shebang enough times that I see a book not fully researched when I read it the first time was just distracting I could barely focus on the story when the meh writing and misused cultureterminology made me want to just oh I don t know headdesk really really hardOverall you definitely can give City of a Thousand Dolls a try Warning though if you want a good Asian based fantasy that will rock your socks off I cannot say that this book is it


10 thoughts on “City of a Thousand Dolls

  1. says:

    As seen on The ReadventurerMy first read of 2013 and well my advice is skip it I finished it so you don't have to It is sad mostly because City of a Thousand Dolls is written so earnestly and with such good intentions You can tell that the author meant this novel to be about diverse characters and diverse cultures Too bad

  2. says:

    Girl hangs out with cats solves mysteries and kicks ass Me gusta

  3. says:

    To be uite honest I'm not entirely sure what urged me to read City of a Thousand Dolls the day it was released or even at all I'm not and most likely never will be a high fantasy fan and usually steer clear of high fantasies in general unless they've received positive reviews from many friends of mine City of a Thousand Dolls did not receive very many positive reviews from friends of mine so in retrospect I honestly have no clue as to wh

  4. says:

    There's something uite nostalgic about Miriam Forster's CITY OF A THOUSAND DOLLS I've always been a reader a rather voracious one but I remember a span of years in my early teens when reading was pretty much all I did I read at school my books hidden between textbooks I read when I got home even during meals I read before bed often

  5. says:

    ACTUAL FULL REVIEWOriginal will be posted on my blog on January 10th 2013 here Note due to copy and paste formatting and links have been lostI'm going to try really really hard to make this review as gentle as I can let it be But make no mistake I did not at all like this bookLet's just discard some misinformation first That first l

  6. says:

    For me at least City of a Thousand Dolls is a cautionary tale in style versus substance Stylistically this is a book that hits all the right notes it’s rich and inviting and takes inspirations from several different Asian cultures to create a rather uniue reading experience; it’s certainly not a book that lacks for world building Yet at the same time substantively I really don’t feel the actual story liv

  7. says:

    A fantastical murder mystery with a creative premise heart pounding pacing and characters with secrets to keep

  8. says:

    Enriched with cultural details and patterned with vibrant descriptions City of Thousand Dolls was an exotic fantastical story mingled with murder mystery and ancient cultsAn isolated estate that gave refuge to orphan girl ab

  9. says:

    Miriam Forster's debut novel is glorious Nisha is a resident of the City of a Thousand Dolls The city is a walled off district for u

  10. says:

    I don't get itthis book is uite good and yet it's not that popular? Well it's not perfect BUT IT'S GOOD I still remember adding City of A Thousand Dolls to my TBR in 2012 really looking forward to read it once it comes out But then it kinda got lost in the sea of other YA new releases in 2013 and the early reviews are not that promising even now the average rating is 37? So I lost interest back thenBut dang