The Dazzling Heights by Katharine McGee
Publication Date August 29, 2017
Summary from Goodreads:
Manhattan is home to a thousand-story supertower, a beacon of futuristic glamour and high-tech luxury… and to millions of people living scandalous, secretive lives.
Leda is haunted by nightmares of what happened on the worst night of her life. She’s afraid the truth will get out – which is why she hires Watt, her very own hacker, to keep an eye on all of the witnesses for her. But what happens when their business relationship turns personal?
When Rylin receives a scholarship to an elite upper-floor school, her life transforms overnight. But being here also means seeing the boy she loves: the one whose heart she broke, and who broke hers in return.
Avery is grappling with the reality of her forbidden romance – is there anywhere in the world that’s safe for them to be together?
And then there’s Calliope, the mysterious, bohemian beauty who’s arrived in New York with a devious goal in mind – and too many secrets to count.
Here in the Tower, no one is safe – because someone is watching their every move, someone with revenge in mind. After all, in a world of such dazzling heights, you’re always only one step away from a devastating fall….
ARC provided by the publisher via Edelweiss for an honest review.
This is the second book in the Thousandth Floor series, I have tried hard not to spoil the first book, but be warned.
This future world continues to amaze me. I love all of the technology and other fun things that author has created for this world. Most of it is based on current tech but pushed a little farther, which is a sign of a good science fiction book. One of the things I really enjoyed in this book is the 30 story climbing wall with the aeroharness that would catch you when you fell. Then there was the bridge that is made of etherium which is a programable material, so that it can build anything anywhere. Those are just two of the things that jumped out at me as being really science fictiony, but the whole book is just littered with fascinating things. The two towers depicted on the cover is a new one being built in Dubai, but we don’t visit it till the end. We also get glimpse into other places in the world besides the New York tower, such as LA, Nevada and New Hampshire. LA was fascinating, being under a bubble that flashed ads at all times of the day. Except for that it sounded the same as it is now. It was interesting to see these places through characters that had grown up in the tower and really had never traveled anywhere else.
We have the same cast of characters, minus the one who dies at the end of the first book, plus a new one. I continued to like the same characters as before, although I found Avery a little too whiney this time around. She was just a little too self absorbed in her love life and the tragedy that surrounds it which annoyed me to no end. I really didn’t like Leda at all in the first book, she was my top candidate to die, but she grew on me this time around. She went through the most growth in this group, really getting sober and getting her act together. Although I wouldn’t have chosen Watt to get together with her, they end up being very sweet and adorable in the end. Rylin continues to be one of my favorites, Watt is the other one. She has some difficulties to overcome in this book, but I continue to root for her and Cord to get back together. Watt is the lone male point of view, but I really enjoy seeing things through his eyes and I enjoy his talks with Nadia. The new character Calliope was an interesting addition, I didn’t like her or her mother at first but she at least grew on me by the end. Not sure what her role will be in the next book. I was hoping to hear a little bit more from Mariel who was Eris’s girlfriend in the first book, but we only heard from her a couple of times.
The story line this time around wasn’t as riveting as the first book, again we open with someone dead but we don’t know who until the end. Who it ended up being was a bit of a shocker, but not totally unexpected once it happens. The rest of the story reads more like a contemporary teen book with a lot of teen angst and stabbing each other in the backs. There were a lot more parties in this book than the last, and friendships and love affairs made and then broken. Plus a teacher with perhaps bad intentions.
A light science fiction book with many contemporary themes and plots but a very enjoyable one that was hard to put down.