The Breedling and the City in the Garden
By: Kimberlee Ann Bastian
Published: September 27, 2016 by Wise Ink Creative Publishing
Format: eARC courtesy of NetGalley
Genres: Fantasy, Historical Fiction
Absolute obedience, servitude, neutrality.
These were the laws that once governed Bartholomew, an immortal soulcatcher, until one ill-fated night when he was forced to make a choice: rebel against his masters or reveal an ancient, dangerous secret.
He chooses defiance.
Imprisoned for centuries as punishment for his decision, Bartholomew wastes away—until he creates an opportunity to escape. By a stroke of chance, Bartholomew finds himself in the human world and soon learns that breaking his bonds does not come without a price. Cut off from the grace that once ruled him, he must discover a new magic in 1930s Chicago.
Armed with only a cryptic message to give him direction, Bartholomew desperately tries to resume the mission he had started so long ago. Relying on the unlikely guidance of the streetwise orphan Charlie Reese, Bartholomew must navigate the depressed streets of the City in the Garden. But in order to solve this riddle, he must first discover if choice and fate are one in the same.
The Breedling and the City in the Garden was about Bartholomew, an immortal soulcatcher, who escaped from his prison and ended up in 1930’s Chicago. After the orphanage he arrived in burnt down, Bartholomew was taken under the wing of Charles Reese, an orphan, who helped Bartholomew navigate the dangerous, gang-ridden city. All the while, Bartholomew was trying to find a man who was supposed to help him right a wrong he committed long ago.
I thought the concept was really interesting; I love when characters from other worlds/times/etc. are transported to different ones. I also thought that the mythology introduced in the book was quite interesting, but I think that a more in-depth explanation would have been helpful. However, I had a very difficult time with the narration. The Breedling and the City in the Garden was written in third person omniscient. I found jumping between different points of view with each paragraph to be quite disorienting, which had a strong negative impact on how much I enjoyed the book. There were also a number few typos and formatting problems. However, since I read an ARC, those might have been addressed in the final version of the book.
Overall, I had a pretty difficult time making my way through The Breedling and the City in the Garden and following the plot. The first 2/3 of the book really dragged for me – I felt like there was too much of a focus on Bartholomew and Charles dealing with problems in Chicago, rather than the otherworldly problems Bartholomew had to contend with. The focus shifted towards the end, and things started to get more interesting, but it was kind of too little to late for me.
In all, the concept of The Breedling and the City in the Garden was very unique, but I’m not invested enough in the story and characters to continue on with this series.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.