by Paula Morris
Age Range: 12 and up
Grade Level: 7 and up
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Point (May 26, 2015)
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Laura Martin is visiting Rome on a class trip, and she's entranced by the majestic Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon . . . Everything in this city seems magical.
That is, until the magic seems to turn very dark.
Suddenly, statues of Cupid and ancient works of art come to life before her eyes. Earthquakes rumble and a cloud of ash forms in the sky. A dark-eyed boy with wings on his heels appears and gives her a message. Laura soon realizes she is at the center of a brewing battle -- a battle between the gods and goddesses, one that will shake modern-day Rome to its core.
Only she and her group of friends can truly unravel the mystery behind what is happening. As tensions mount and secret identities are revealed, Laura must rely on her own inner strength to face up to what may be a fight for her life.
While The Eternal City was an enjoyable read, I can safely say that I was a disappointed after reading it. While I saw the potential in the story, it was lacking the development and characters to make it great.
The one thing that really drew me to this book was the concept of Rome, and the history that came with it. While that was definitely present in the story, The Eternal City didn't have enough background about the gods, goddesses, and "other world" mentioned for my liking. I really wish that the historical and mythical aspects were better developed and made to be more a part of the story, with the gods being larger characters when it came to the plot. For example, I would have loved it if the character of Mercury was explored more instead of just random and brief appearances here and there.
The characters were another aspect of the book that I just didn't love. Laura, the main character, was silly and kind of annoying, much like how I found the story to be. The events were very repetitive and unexciting, expect toward the end.
Lastly, the synopsis calls The Eternal City a "thrilling romance," but it was barely present at all in the story. When something did finally happen, it was sort of cringeworthy, unfortunately.
Overall, The Eternal City had the bones of a good story, but lacked the development, characters, history, and myths that I was hoping for. While it was still a good read, I wouldn't go any further than calling it just that, "good."