Author: Amy Ewing
Release Date: September 4th, 2014
Book one of The Lone City series
The Jewel is the story of Violet Lasting in a world where the royal women are unable to bear their own children and so use young girls, from the poorest area of the city, as surrogates. All girls from this area are tested and those who carry a genetic mutation that counteracts the genes of the royal women are taken from their families and held in holding facilities. They are then sold at auction (yes, sold) to the woman who bids the most.
Violet Lasting has been in a holding facility for four years and has now been sold at auction. Her “owner” is cruel, as to be expected, but Violet is somewhat of a rebel and finds an ally who vows to help her escape.
The biggest theme throughout the book is the disgusting treatment towards women. The royal women treat their surrogates as property. They use leaches, they parade their surrogates around having them perform at a moments notice and murder is far from beneath them. It’s truly horrible.
If you are a fan of The Hunger Games then I think there’s a good chance of you liking this as there are similarities. Firstly, there is the royal part of the city with the technology, fancy clothes and copious amounts of food. (Just like the Capitol). Before going to auction, Violet is prepared by a man (clothing/make-up/general appearance) who shows her kindness despite it not really being the correct procedure. She also has a lady in waiting, Annabelle, who is a mute. She was born as a mute, however, which is a lot less brutal than the Avoxes in The Hunger Games. None of these similarities really bothered me. The plot was still significantly different that I don’t think it’s a problem.
I can’t say that I have particularly strong feelings about the romance because it felt a little rushed. It was a secretive relationship which meant there aren’t many encounters together and when they are it can only be for a short time. It’s for this reason that it feels very much like insta-love. Even though weeks pass, they aren’t spending a lot of time together before those three words are declared. Ash was quite hot-and-cold. Sometimes I liked him, other times I wanted to shout at him. I think he has potential to be a great character but I’d like to see more of him. I feel like there must be more to him.
The writing is great and flows really well. It’s very fast paced and I flew through it. The cliffhanger ending did take me by surprise and I’ll definitely be reading the sequel.
Recommended to fans of: The Hunger Games and The Winner’s Curse.