Friday, August 15, 2014

The Artful Blog Tour and Review

The Artful by Wilbert Stanton
(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.



My Review!

I wasn't sure what to expect from this novel, except that it was a dystopian in an upside down New York City. At first I wasn't quite sure I'd like it, wasn't sure I wanted to push through it, and I still don't know what to make of it. But it was a highly entertaining and quick read.

Rating: 4 Stars!

There are some characters who are just so immature, childish, and vulgar that it's hard to find any likable quality to them. However, because of this story-line and dystopian world, it made complete sense that the characters would act how they did. They're orphans who lost their childhood innocence to a virus that wiped out thousands of people. And now they're doing all that they can to survive in a world that keeps telling them to give up. Their attitudes, personalities, and brazen dialogue fit their characters, though it still grated on my nerves a little bit.

This book is told in the POV of Twist, a Gutter Punk who steals from the rich to give to the poor. A real-life Little John to his buddy Dodge's Robin Hood. Twist was an interesting character. He was quick and intelligent, brash and brave. But he was still a kid who felt like his best friend's shadow and who still had insecurities as any boy would. His voice was that of a boy who grew up without his parents and who survived in this messed-up world as a thief. I liked him a lot, and his character development was genuine. He grew into someone who did whatever it took to save his friends, even if it meant a hard road for him.

The two main side characters, Dodge and Gia, were also likable ones. I wasn't the biggest fan of Dodge in the beginning; he comes across as rude, arrogant, selfish, and the vulgarest of them all. But he slowly grew on me, and I found him to be most interesting. I wish he'd had a deeper personality, but his dialogue was highly entertaining. Gia, on the other hand, is someone that I was unsure about when she met up with our main boys. She was a mystery, someone who had secrets and a past that's questionable. I liked her strength and sassiness. But she did feel a lot less mature than I would have thought, especially considering her background. 

I loved Dodge's and Twist's friendship; they're practically brothers. They look out for each other, tease mercilessly, and will go to the ends of the earth for one another. For so long, it's just been the two of them. But throughout this quest, Twist takes the time to wonder about his relationship with Dodge, doesn't want to keep leaning on him for everything, and finds the inner courage he's always had to be the hero for once. Their friendship might have been changing, but in the end, they will always have each other.

In terms of story-line, this was more about a race against time and the growing uneasiness between a lot of groups of people in New York. Dodge and Twist happen at the wrong place, wrong time and they become pawns in a deadly game. Everyone wants something, and they'll have to navigate a treacherous world and people that are only out for themselves to save each other. There was a little bit of romance mixed in with the suspense and dangerous New York City, amid the turmoil and fighting. There was also a lot of introspection on Twist's part, which I liked. 

This book was like a mix of The Gladiator, The Hunger Games, and Divergent. I know, weird combination, right? It's the best I could come up with. And that last one has left me with mixed feelings concerning where the story-line is headed. But that ending killed me! I hadn't realized I'd become so invested in the characters until I wanted to throw my kindle in anger at the injustice of it all. And now I'm left wondering what the sequel to The Artful will entail.


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.

Author Links: 


  1. This sounds like a really exciting book and i Love PA stories. I also love the NYC setting! The whole Robin Hood type of character is cool, too. I'm glad you liked it, Holly!

    1. Thank you, Giselle! I really liked it, and I hope you can read it soon. It was definitely an interesting post-apocalyptic book. :)

  2. Did you know you can shorten your long urls with Shortest and get dollars for every visitor to your short links.


Comments always make me smile. :) Seriously. Even if you comment on the post weeks or months later, it makes my day! So don't hesitate to leave your thoughts even if it's been a long time since the post was published. I'll try to reply to you, especially if you ask a question, but sometimes life happens. But I do read and appreciate every single one of them because I know how hard it can be to find the time or energy to comment. So a heartfelt THANK YOU for brightening my day when you do. <3