Series: The Lone City #1
Published by Harper Collins on 2014-09-02
Genres: Fairy Tales & Folklore, General, Girls & Women, Pregnancy, Social Issues, Young Adult
Source: Hardcover, My Own
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The Selection meets The Handmaid's Tale in this darkly riveting debut filled with twists and turns, where all that glitters may not be gold.The Jewel means wealth, the Jewel means beauty—but for Violet, the Jewel means servitude. Born and raised in the Marsh, Violet finds herself living in the Jewel as a servant at the estate of the Duchess of the Lake. Addressed only by her number—#197—Violet is quickly thrown into the royal way of life. But behind its opulent and glittering facade, the Jewel hides its cruel and brutal truth, filled with violence, manipulation, and death.Violet must accept the ugly realities of her life . . . all while trying to stay alive. But before she can accept her fate, Violet meets a handsome boy who is also under the Duchess's control, and a forbidden love erupts. But their illicit affair has consequences, which will cost them both more than they bargained for. And toeing the line between being calculating and rebellious, Violet must decide what, and who, she is willing to risk for her own freedom.
“The Jewel” by Amy Ewing is really great but it could use improvement. I will be honest though, I loved every bit of it. Violet was ripped away from her family at twelve years old and placed into South Gate holding facility where she is trained to become a surrogate for the royal family. The royal family isn’t able to have kids because there is something wrong in their genes. The surrogates have a special ability where they are able to fix whatever is genetically wrong with the unborn children. Surrogates are trained to heighten their abilities so that way they can also help with the genetics of the children besides just fixing them. Some can make them grow faster or change to a specific eye color different things to make the children unique. The surrogates help create the personalities of the children. Once the surrogates reach a certain age they are given a lot number and are auctioned off to the highest bidder. Once they are sold they are considered property and then their mistress can basically have them do whatever they want but their soul purpose is to birth the next child.
Violet is chosen because she scored a 10 in the growth ability which is the highest score a surrogate can get in the categories. Violet is purchased by the Duchess of the Lake. The Duchess of the Lake isn’t the nicest mistress but she isn’t the cruelest either. She seems to be a bit temperamental. The Duchess of the Lake doesn’t seem to like Violet at times and then at other times she seems to want to try to be a loving mother type figure to her. In the end, everything is about trying to get the crown.
Garnet is probably the only character I could visualize perfectly in my head. He reminded me so much of the Charming, the prince from Shrek II. So many of his quirks and actions remind me of Charming. Every time Garnet was brought up that is who I would visualize as him. I have to say that Garnet was pretty interesting because he seemed to pop his head in at the most inconvenient times but it fit perfectly in the story.
I do wish that Raven was in the story more. Maybe by doing a dual perspective with Raven or something because it would have been nice to know more about what was going on with her. I feel like she played a bigger part in the beginning of the book than she did in the middle or end. What ever happened to Lily? She was mentioned a few times but was never seen again.
The plot was definitely interesting. The testing and experiments that go on with the surrogates. Some people are trying to save them and others want to get rid of the person part of them and keep them as an incubator. It is definitely interesting to see who is on which side or maybe even who is on the fence of both sides. What could have happened so long ago to make it to where the royals weren’t able to have healthy children anymore? Why is Violet the most important? The Duchess of the Lake really wanted her but it also seems like Lucian wants her too? Why Violet? That is what the big question is.
The world building wasn’t that great but it didn’t hinder me from enjoying the story. I think the story could have been a whole lot better by having better world building. I hope the sequel will have better world building in it now that the debut novel is out hopefully the second one will be a whole lot better than this one because I really enjoyed the story I just wish that aspects of it were done differently or better.
The romance wasn’t very good in this story. I think Ash could make a great love story for Violet but I feel like the romance is very instant puppy love and that it isn’t anything worthwhile. I think the love story needed to be developed more rather than being as instant as it was. Ash and Violets interactions and conversations seemed to repeat a lot. I feel like their romance or love story could have been developed a whole lot better and maybe taken a little bit slower.
Last but not least I feel like the ending was lacking. I understand having a cliffhanger at the end because you want to draw readers in for the second book but I also felt like it ended in the middle of a chapter. It didn’t feel like that was where it was supposed to end. I think the Ewing could have kept everything a cliffhanger at the end but wrapped up the story a little bit more than what she did. I enjoyed this novel a lot. I think I read it in two days. I can also see where Ewing has room for improvement, so I will be looking forward to the sequel to not only learn what else is in store for Violet but I also want to see how the writing has improved. I think “The Jewel” is worth reading. I had a great time reading it even with its flaws.