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Tuesday, August 12, 2014


Title: The Artful
Author: Wilbert Stanton
Series: Shadows of the City #1
Published by: Curiosity Quills Press
Publication date: May 27th 2014
Genres: Post-Apocalyptic, Young Adult

New York City, 2025: Everything is changed. The city that never sleeps is now a land of death and decay. A rampant virus has taken over and the survivors have become carriers, quarantined from the rest of the world.

Twist and Dodger grew up in the streets, the sewers and underground tunnels – their playground. They aren’t heroes. They just like attention; and stealing meds from the rich and giving them to the poor is their golden ticket.

On their latest raid, they unknowingly steal a cure that puts them square between the ailing Emperor of Manhattan and the war hungry Governor of Brooklyn and forces them on a quest into the darkest shadows of their putrefying world.

Purchase at: Barnes & Noble | Amazon


Before reading The Artful, I had no idea that it was based loosely on the characters of Oliver Twist and The Artful Dodger. Oliver Twist is a classic that I’ve always wanted to read but never actually gotten to doing, so I have no idea how truthful Stanton’s characters are to the original. Though honestly, after reading The Artful, I couldn’t care less about the originals because IMO this book’s already got it. I may have had a lot of issues with this book in the beginning, but once I got past those the story became way better and exciting to read.

Dodger is the type of guy you wouldn’t ever dream of encountering in real life except if you need the meds. A guy I’d be damned to meet in real life, so why I liked him the most is way beyond me, smh. I usually despise his archetype. He’s way arrogant and comes off as rather offensive most of the time. Really, I wouldn’t even try to justify his character. But perhaps it’s because of what happened to him that he changed and I began seeing him in a new light. That, and he and Twist are thieves. Thieves are such interesting characters to make story of so that alone is already a plus for this book. The other main character, Twist is less extreme than Dodger. He is younger, but more responsible. He hates that everyone thinks that he’s living as a shadow to Dodger and although it’s actually quite true, we see him wanting to prove himself otherwise.

I wouldn’t say that Twist and Dodger are the most likable characters out there. From the beginning, the readers can already see that their characters need a lot of fixing, which is why I am astounded by how amazing Stanton delivered both characters’ growth, especially Twist. It’s also worth mentioning that the relationship between Twist and Dodger as friends is really compelling. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book with two boys as protagonists who are really good friends. I’m so glad that I Rock Chick Fairy found this book for me because I starve for this kind of story but it’s so rare in the world of YA novels that I turned to shonen manga this past several months.

I say that this book’s strongest point though is anything that has to do with build-up. Character build up, plot build up, as well as the world building. The Artful is a great start to a series with a great setting and a world construction that puts vivid images to your mind. It has a lot of potential and I’m excited to see more of the characters’ development because although they all did a 180 in this book, there’s still a lot of room for more growth and hopefully more adventures to embark.

A review copy was provided by the tour host, Xpresso Book Tours, for free in exchange for an honest review.


4 Fairy Wings

Author Bio:

Wilbert Stanton was born and raised in New York City. From an early age, Wilbert decided he would either write books or take over the world; everything else was just a precursor to his end game.

Along the way, he has studied Psychology, English, and Computer Science. He's held jobs in a wide range of fields and met people from all walks of life. Wilbert is constantly learning and growing as a person, in order to solidify his dreams.

In the end world domination was a bit tedious, so he decided to focus on writing books.

Visit the Author: Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads


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1 comment :

  1. Great review! Dodger sounds like an intriguing character, for sure. Complex, too. I also like the big aspect of friendship this story seems to have. Glad you liked it! :)