Diamond City: A Novel

Diamond City: A Novel

Audio CD(Unabridged)

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"A thrilling adventure, through a vibrant city as alive as any character, about a girl willing to do anything to better her circumstances. " – Emily A. Duncan, New York Times bestselling author of Wicked Saints

Good things don't happen to girls who come from nothing...unless they risk everything.

Fierce and ambitious, Aina Solís as sharp as her blade and as mysterious as the blood magic she protects. After the murder of her parents, Aina takes a job as an assassin to survive and finds a new family in those like her: the unwanted and forgotten.

Her boss is brutal and cold, with a questionable sense of morality, but he provides a place for people with nowhere else to go. And makes sure they stay there.

DIAMOND CITY: built by magic, ruled by tyrants, and in desperate need of saving. It is a world full of dark forces and hidden agendas, old rivalries and lethal new enemies.

To claim a future for herself in a world that doesn't want her to survive, Aina will have to win a game of murder and conspiracy—and risk losing everything.

Full of action, romance and dark magic, book one of Francesca Flores' breathtaking fantasy duology will leave listeners eager for more!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250262707
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Publication date: 01/28/2020
Edition description: Unabridged
Product dimensions: 1.00(w) x 1.00(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 12 - 18 Years

About the Author

Francesca Flores is a writer, traveler and linguist. Raised in Pittsburgh, she read every fantasy book she could get her hands on and started writing her own stories at a young age. She began writing Diamond City while working as a corporate travel manager. When she's not writing or reading, Francesca enjoys traveling, dancing ballet and jazz, practicing trapeze and contortion, and visiting parks and trails around San Francisco, where she currently resides.

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Diamond City 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Denice_L 5 days ago
As the first book in a new series, Francesca Flores has taken the time to build a city, Diamond City, and paint it in black and white for us to "see". She has populated the city with several differing communities, including the main community of assassins. The main character is a young woman who was "saved" when she joined the assassins' group. As she grows and matures, we learn more of the back story and in turn, can see where this flawed community is destined to help save the world. It will be interesting to see where the next book takes our heroine.
Jill-Elizabeth_dot_com 7 days ago
I could NOT get into this one... It sounded intriguing and was offered to me as a review book and I tried, but I just couldn't find myself caring about the characters or following the gangs or feeling compelled at all by the story. I think it just wasn't a good fit - others seem to really like it so I just must not be the right reader! Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my obligation-free review copy.
DiiFL 12 days ago
Hang on tight for this one, from start to finish it is non-stop tension, action and fabulous character interaction! Even more of an attention-getter is that the heroine is not your typical good girl! Aina is a master thief and assassin, raised on the streets after her parents’ murder in a city that is as terrifying as it is fascinating. Taken in by the cold-hearted leader of a gang of young thugs, Aina strives to be the best at what she does, sadly, all for the praise and acceptance of someone who doesn’t deserve her loyalty and proves it in spades when an assassination goes very wrong and in retribution, a hit is put out on Aina. Welcome to a world of magic, mayhem and murder, where the haves have all of the power and the forgotten become less than human. DIAMOND CITY is a rapid-fire tale of survival, discoveries, deceit and unlikely alliances as Aina’s eyes are opened to brutal truths and her heart is opened to love and trust. Now she must learn to survive at all costs and beat the bad guys at their own game. Francesca Flores had me from page one and never let go with her amazing character development that flew as high as the scenes she brought to life. High energy, creative and incredibly mesmerizing! Written for young adults, but perfect for any age of dystopian adventure loving readers! I received a complimentary ARC edition from Wednesday Books! This is my honest and voluntary review.
Anonymous 13 days ago
Aina is a girl who just can't get a break. Her parents are dead, she has nowhere to live, and the air she breathes is thick with the smoke of industry. Lucky (or is it?) for her, one day a man gives her a chance to make something of herself, though getting there means treading on the dreams of others as a blood-fueled assassin. Then, it all comes tumbling down as a job goes horribly wrong and Aina winds up with a target on her own back. Diamond City is a story of a girl who wants to rise above her circumstances, but the economic and cultural system she lives with aims to keep her running in place, or failing that, to stab her in the back. It is a story of an elite class, a shady religion, and a seedy underbelly churning about in the same hazy city, a city full of magic, intrigue, and enough black market diamonds to make any girl happy. Aina is a girl you want to root for, even when she makes mistakes, can't escape her past, and especially when her path is marked by betrayal. Given time, maybe she can stay alive, make some good money, and get the guy, but until then she'd better hope she can disappear into the shadows and find (and make!) her mark in Diamond City.
Yolanda Margolin 16 days ago
Thank you to St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for giving me a chance to read this eARC. I am a sucker for female assassins and here we have Aina Solis, a Blade, who works for the Blood King. Aina kills whoever the Blood King tells her to kill and her specialty is with knives. She has a history with the Blood King, Kohl, who runs the city with his motley crew of spies and assassins. Kohl molded Aina into the killer that she is, but is that all she is? Aina is a survivor in Sumerand, a kingdom torn apart by war, rebuilt with industrialization controlled by the Steels. The world building is interesting. There is conflict between the Steels (industrialists) versus the Inosen, a sect of religious followers that believe in using magic from long ago. But in a kingdom where Steels rule, magic use is outlawed so it creates secret worship places and a black market for raw diamonds used for magic use. So far the book talks mostly about how the magic can be used to track people and also do healing spells. Kohl presents Aina with a big contract hit, to take out one of the most untouchable and wealthiest Steel in Sumerand. The money she can make from the hit can bring her dreams to fruition – but what happens when everything goes wrong? Here is when I kept on reading, because Aina’s world starts to crumble and she’s trying to survive again. I wonder if she could do it and if she could get out of this book alive! Seriously at some parts, I was like, oh she’s dead – she’s so going to die! There is an interesting relationship brewing in this story between Aina and the brother of the man she’s supposed to kill. I wasn’t sure this would work out for either of them and it was even somewhat sort of unbelievable how Ryuu handles the events that take place. I don’t think I’d be as forgiving as he is! Like…really?! She also has a best friend in this story, Teo, who’s luck is as bad as Aina’s but he’s a really good friend. And around these men she finally makes some female friends too – because seriously, she needed that too. The story is violent with lots of action, blood spilling, body counts and fighting, which I enjoyed because I love female assassins kicking butt. But there is also the issue of Aina’s past drug use and her unhealthy relationship with Kohl. I think it’s believable that it’s hard for her to break away from Kohl, because he manipulated her to get what he could from her. It was frustrating to see her waver though, stay strong Aina! But Aina, poor girl, she just seriously needs a break! I want to see her just take back herself and her power! Overall, this story sucked me in and it’s a fantastic debut. I look forward to reading the sequel just to see if Aina can redeem herself and kick more butt.
McKenzie-Allyshia 20 days ago
Diamond City was absolutely incredibly written and kept me completely caught up in the story. An orphaned girl being turned into a highly skilled assassin, I love it. The main character Aina had an interesting back story that was brought up throughout the book. The author continuously gave hints to how Aina became the Blade she is today. Admittedly, I love books that have a darker side to them. Toss in some ruthless killing and incredible skill and I am all in. The supporting characters help move the story along at such an amazing pace. At first, I was a little unsure who I wanted to like and who I felt something was off about. In the end, I actually fell in love with each main character because they were so... themselves. You could really tell who was who and the characters truly played into that. The author did a wonderful job shaping them. I only struggled a little bit with one character, just because I was not sure if I could truly justify his feelings and such willingness to forgive. Now, the world building was incredible. I could easily recall the city layout and I had a very vivid image painted in my mind of the Stacks and Amethyst Hill. With warring gangs, numerous assassins, tons of plot twists, this book had me completely hooked. I easily give Diamond City four stars. If you like books that keep you guessing, have lots of action, and are overall incredibly well written then this is the book for you.
marongm8 20 days ago
This book was received as an ARC from St. Martin's Press in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own. Right from the cover I knew this book was going to be a different story than any other book of this caliber. Diamond City tells the story of twelve-year-old Ania who is a slave under her boss Kohl who is recruited to become one of the most lethal assassins in all of Sumerand and with her first assignment gone wrong and the Kouta the victim escaping, she is determined to find Kouta with risking asking the question of who wants Kouta dead and why? This book is filled with suspense, thrill and excitement that will leave you at the edge of your seat with such a shocking twist that will leave you breathless. We will consider adding this title to YFiction collection at our library. That is why we give this book 5 stars.
Jolie 21 days ago
I couldn’t put this book down. The author sucked me in from the beginning and spit me out at the end. Aina wasn’t a likable person. But she was shaped into who she was by the death of her parents and the training of her boss. By the end of the book, the world she used to view in black and white morphed into many shades of grey. I do have a warning. The world that Diamond City is violent and bloody and the author doesn’t hold back. So, if this isn’t your thing, I would skip it. Other that that, strap in and enjoy the book.
tpolen 21 days ago
I liked the sound of the world-building in this novel - it gave me some Ace of Shades vibes (a book I adored!), so I immediately requested it from NetGalley. If you love action-packed books that move at a brisk pace, Diamond City checks those boxes. From nearly the first page, the story takes off and rarely slows down - which makes sense given the MC is an assassin. And she's very good at her job. Other reviewers have mentioned difficulty in connecting with Aina because of her profession. Admittedly, she's racked up quite the body count, but she was also orphaned at a young age and lived on the streets. She could choose to either give up and die or kill others to survive. Someone from her walk of life doesn't have a long list of choices. The world-building is dark and gritty with gangs, rampant religious persecution, and a wide divide between the rich and the poor. Magic is connected to religion and is outlawed, but there are still those who still practice it and risk their lives. Initially, I became annoyed with Aina and the way she's attracted to nearly everyone she meets, but the reason becomes obvious to Aina and the reader by the end of the book, and I was glad romance isn't a prominent element of the story. There are some fascinating, complex dynamics going on between some characters, and I'm anxious to see where this goes in the next book. Diamond City is a dark, bloody tale and requires suspension of disbelief in a couple of places, but it's a solid debut novel and a series I plan to continue. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Michele-G 21 days ago
Diamond City was a jewel! This YA fantasy is multi-layered and deals with several kinds of magic, grief, revenge, romantic attraction, although nothing is ever acted upon - not even a kiss. I thought Ms. Flores did a great job with the world building and character development. For me, that can be a downfall in the fantasy genre if it isn't done well. If it drags on too long, you lose my attention or if you rush through it, there isn't enough detail. I think it's a fine line to do it with just the right amount of description. I found Diamond City to be action packed from beginning to end. Life has been anything but kind to the main character, Aina. She was orphaned at a young age and is working as an assassin in order to survive herself. It seems as if every time it looks as if she might get ahead, something else happens and she is back where she started from again. This book is the first in a new series. Fortunately, even though you can tell the story is left unfinished, it is not a cliffhanger type ending. Thank you to NetGalley and Wednesday Books for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
BobbieLCLA 21 days ago
I received a free copy of DIAMOND CITY by Francesca Flores, through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. Aina Solis works as an assassin for a powerful crime boss. Aina’s primary ambition is to earn her freedom and become a powerful crime boss in her own right. Finally, her boss tells her he has one last job for her, and it’s a big one. She has to kill the highly protected heir of the Steel fortune. It’s hard to get to him; all he does is read inside his library. This is the story of Aina’s quest for independence. I just couldn’t connect with the primary character. Aina’s a sociopath; she has no empathy or value for human life. Though she has brief flashes of attachment or guilt; they’re shallow and completely overruled by her own selfish goals and desires. Aina has no desire for a better life; she’s perfectly content killing for a living; she only wants more power. Please note that, though nothing sexual happens in this book, Aina appears to be bisexual, so the next book may explore her more carnal desires.
JackieBCentralTexasJB 21 days ago
My Thoughts I will be honest, started the book the first time too close to reading another that was similar lines and with a strong female lead character so put this one down in favor of others for the past 4 or 5 books to cleanse/reset my memory. It worked and upon second try got totally on board with the authors vision for her characters. The world of Diamond City is one filled with extremes, there are those with extreme power and wealth right along which those with absolutely nothing. Pretty much a realistic scenario for a lot of places that exist outside of fantasy fiction. However in this world the one man who holds the most power also happens to be the one Aina Solis is most beholden to as well as most fears his disappointment in her, which in her well informed knowledge of the Blood King means death to those he deems unworthy. At 12 years of age orphaned Aina is rescued from her life as a Street Child and taken in where she is trained as an assassin by her boss/master/mentor Kohl Pavel whose nicknames The Durozy Nightmare, The Blood King and Surgeon are aptly earned by the powerful man in question. Now 18 Aina is tasked with her most formidable assignment since she started taking lives for pay. The target is one that even Aina knows is not really worth the coin she would earn, but the end reward of more than money is one she has worked toward since the very beginning. A dream for her longed for future life now in Aina’s grasp she accepts the challenge with reservations and as events unfold those very fears prove tenfold over to be true. For me the setup of the reveal of why this particular person must be eliminated comes with its own buildup that proves fast or slow depending on the mood my brain was in upon discovering each aspect of the authors plot points. Once all was revealed the complexity of multiple betrayals, conspiracies and lies is intertwined in ways both horrific to Aina and finally makes sense of it all to the books reader The adventure of this read has several layers that are well worth exploring, the characters are at times frustrating or easy to sympathize with depending on the setting in which they are introduced and overall I found the book interestingly easy to understand as well as easy to get lost within its pages as I read. Upon finishing my first thought was when is book 2 coming out and will it be available to review? [EArc from Netgalley]
Marta Cox 21 days ago
Three and a half Ok I was really keen to read this story about a female assassin as I have adored that particular trope recently and honestly I wanted to be fully immersed in another piece of fantasy fiction. Well yes ok our protagonist is female and yes Aina is an assassin but she's almost detached at times, felt strangely weak and wasn't really that likeable. I do understand when anyone could be out for your blood every day that it's hard to trust or form attachments but Aina seemed to lack loyalty and empathy and for me any explanations given just weren't strong enough. I will endeavour not to rehash the plot but essentially we have a world divided into an industrial elite class and then a much poorer group who follow an outlawed religion. Into this odd mix the author drops deadly street gangs and perhaps the part I really needed more information about is diamond mining because the diamonds are used for magic amongst the poorest and jewellery by the richest or Steels as they are known. There's a strong sense of both Victorian like slums coupled with a more modern world with electricity and technology that sadly just wasn't descriptive enough. I wanted to picture things in the theatre of my mind but just couldn't. The story and overall plot isn't bad it was just that with my lack of empathy for the flawed Aina and her Stockholm attitude towards her boss it just didn't convince me enough. I wanted to be completed sucked in and yes the author leaves possibilities for romance if Aina survives the next book but who will actually get her to truly feel is anyone's guess ! This voluntary take is of a copy I requested from Netgalley and my thoughts and comments are honest and I believe fair