Book review – The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty

Caidyn's review (1)

The City of Brass (The Daevabad Trilogy, #1)

1/5 – DNF at ~50 pages

I DNFed this book so quickly I didn’t even have time to add it to my currently reading list on Goodreads. That might be a record for me, tbh.

However, on with the review.

The disclaimer is more for the Goodreads reviewers who loved this book and might come at me in the comments to make me feel bad. (Head’s up, it doesn’t work.) I did stop reading this book quickly. But I had serious issues with it in a short amount of time. Don’t like it? Don’t read this.

Clear? Great.

The book has an awesome premise and I want to read more about mythology from cultures outside of what I consider the Big Three mythos. Aka, Greek/Roman, Norse, and Egyptian. I want to broaden my knowledge of mythology so I thought how this tackled djinn and other creatures, it would do it.

Didn’t get far enough in to find out.

So, what were my issues?

First, the plot. It felt rushed. It felt slapped together. In many ways, this reminded me of how I felt about Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi. I DNFed that because the plot felt like it was all about the next “big” plot point/cliffhanger OR was all about some romance that was just a bad idea. And this book felt like that. I could tell it was going to be constant action without any meaningful world or character development.

Which leads me to my next point. The characters. Oh jeez. Like with Children of Blood and Bone, they didn’t feel real. Nahri felt like a woman who could fit into any role that was asked of her and then succeed at it. Aka, she felt like a Mary-Sue. Then, the guy who was introduced felt like the most obvious love interest who was going to have zero personality of his own.

Finally, the setting. Jesus, the setting.

When I started reading it, I noted how modern the dialogue was. Yes, it had more traditional stereotypes and actions, but the dialogue was completely modern. I felt like I was reading some alternate universe of the present where magic was still very real in the world.

Then, it started mentioning Napoleon and how he had taken control of Egypt.

Which put the setting around 1798-1801. Yet. It’s modern dialogue and it felt anachronistic. I know people don’t care about historical accuracy. I can’t count how many times I’ve been told to pull the stick out of my ass — and, yes, in those words by multiple people — but I find it incredibly lazy when authors DO NOT do the required research to make me feel like I’m really there. It’s a HUGE red flag to me that the author doesn’t care.

(It’s constantly said it’s set in the 18th century, so it’s probably in 1798 or 1799, but who fucking knows since the author obviously didn’t research.)

So, that’s my review of this book. I didn’t read much, but there were immediate red flags set off by the second chapter. Hardcore DNF for me.


Talk to me!
How long do you read before DNFing? (If you DNF books!)

9 thoughts on “Book review – The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty

    • Well, I hope you like it better than I did! I was so upset by it because I was excited about it, but it felt so distinctly wrong that I honestly can say I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Definitely interesting! I haven’t read this one yet but it’s been recommended to me by lots of people so I’m definitely planning to read it soon. One of the major reasons I love Samantha Shannon so much is because I know how much research she does for historical and etymological accuracy.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: September wrap-up – BW Reviews

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