Novel Newcomers 2018 is currently on hiatus due to real life commitments.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

, , , , ,

Review: City of Secrets by Mary Hoffman

Stravaganza #4
Author: Mary Hoffman
Released Date: June 24, 2008
Publisher: Bloomsbury

'You have to choose whether you will learn the discipline to control it. Or whether you will use it to curse. Either way you have power.'

When Matt turns seventeen, he is shocked by how drawn he is to an old leather-bound book — especially since he is dyslexic and has never liked to read. But the book turns out to be far more powerful than Matt could have imagined. It is his talisman, an object that allows him to stravagate through time and place to a country called Talia. There, Matt arrives at Padavia University, where he meets other Stravaganti — including Luciano, who is in great danger after killing the head of the powerful di Chimici family in a duel. Together, Matt, Luciano and Arianna, a duchessa in disguise as a boy, must fight the di Chimici family before they make a terrifying breakthrough into our modern world....

     Stravaganza. Just another one of those series I apparently enjoyed and then abandoned and then realized that I need to go read the other books in the series... and also realized that I read one book ahead and skipped the fourth book. Whoops. I think I'll thank Goodreads when I checked. :p
      No wonder I didn't know who Matt was when I read City of Ships (aside from the very obvious...). Another whoops.
     And yes, there's a third oops (or whoops). I'm sure I looked odd sticking my nose near the computer screen at home doing a quick read for a refresher, so sorry Mom if I've been crabby (no claws) for a few days. Though, I must say, getting me the tenth book in some series when I haven't read even the first book is a very bad idea. Good thing the eight-year-old me was pretty naive and didn't complain.
     So, aside from totally neglecting a series (speaking of neglecting... I do have quite a few that I need to get back to one day...) for at least 2-3 years... it's nice to go back to a series that involves time travel and Italy. Because Italian cuisine can be on the menu. ;)
     But first off, the new covers are ah-mazing (I know I'm years late to say that, but don't they say 'better late than never?'). I apparently have a better view of the characters in my “complex” imagination of a mind.
     Second, my attempt in trying to read Dethridge's Elizabethan English is apparently as terrible as me trying to learn another language. I hate saying this, but I can read Shakespeare without stumbling... (sort of).
     And third, though I really think the di Chimici need to find other things to do than trying to take over Talia and Mary Hoffman should probably write about something other than trying to capture Luciano (or something that does him harm...) or the Stravaganti or trying to find some way to take over the independent cities (okay, that pattern has repeated quite a few times in the prior books of the Stravaganza series)....
     I still find myself a bit drawn to the books like I am to dystopian fiction (though in the case of dystopia, I'm a moth and there's a light. Go shape-shifting).

     I think Italian culture is getting to me. *puts on a Venetian mask* Masquerade? :p

Review: 4 out of 5 Owls

~Happy Reading!


Sophia is the owner and founder of Bookwyrming Thoughts, but also found on various parts of the internet. She's a 19-year-old communications major who has weird humor and doesn't fit the Asian stereotype (maybe a little). Books, chocolate, technology, and music are among some of her favorite things. For more of her work, visit her personal website.


  1. I loved this series, though you're right about the books repeating each other. I enjoyed them nonetheless as well. :)

    1. I'm so glad I'm not the only one, lol :D
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting! :3