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City of Secrets

(City of Secrets #1)

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  682 ratings  ·  142 reviews
Ever Barnes is a shy orphan guarding a secret in an amazing puzzle box of a building.

Most of the young women who work at the building’s Switchboard Operating Facility, which connects the whole city of Oskar, look the other way as Ever roams around in the shadows. But one of them, Lisa, keeps an eye on the boy. So does the head of the Switchboard, Madame Alexander . . . a r
ebook, 131 pages
Published July 28th 2020 by Viking
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Average rating 3.78  · 
Rating details
 ·  682 ratings  ·  142 reviews

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3.5 stars. This was a fun read, with its secret societies, orphan boy, adventurous girl, assassins, massive gears, codes, maps, secrets and betrayals. It was also a little derivative, and I could predict a few events, though I didn’t expect the Pacific Rim reference/homage. The story’s full of adventure, and the characters were a little predictable in their actions, but I loved the illustrations.
rachel ☾

Trigger warnings for (view spoiler).

Rating: 4 Stars ★★★★ (maybe 4.5? Still deciding on a rating!)
City Of Secrets is a steampunk graphic novel that tells the story of a shy orphan and an upper class girl named Hannah who embark on an adventure to uncover the secrets of a safe within their city! Friendship, adventure, followed by magnificent artwork bring this world to life!
This was such a fast-paced and cinematic graphic novel! I loved the main characters, learning about the mechanical city of Oskar and all the mystery envelop
Jan 24, 2021 rated it really liked it
A fast paced steampunk graphic novel about a boy named Ever who has an important secret and a girl named Hannah who’s a rich girl with a taste for adventure. Together they uncover the secrets of the city they both dearly love.

Overall, a great start. It does wrap up fairly nice with a somewhat open ending for a sequel. The only thing I didn’t like was that the action scenes are somewhat difficult to tell what’s happening. Otherwise, I love the art, the story, and I wish there was more!!
Dec 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
SO CUTE. And yet so violent. I was pretty afraid for most of it and loved it all. Will be looking out for the sequel!
the art in this comic was PHENOMENAL, victoria ying's colors are so warm and lush. the steampunk setting is super fucking cool too—if you love clockwork cities and 1800's mechanical aesthetics, the world of this book will be a delight. i did expect it to be a standalone though!!! i really thought this was a little too short and not as emotionally gripping as i'd hoped it would be, but i'm definitely looking forward to any sequels to the story if they ever arrive. ...more
Mrs. Mazzola
Interesting and action-packed, steampunkesque fantasy. The writing felt a little clunky and the plot was a little hard to follow at times, but a perfect readalike for fans of the Amulet series.

*Thank you to Edelweiss+ and the publisher for a digital copy. All opinions are my own.*
Miss Banana
Sep 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Incredibly cute, and an absolutely lovely world! I really hope there are more, because I would love to learn about all of the secrets revealed within.
Samantha W.
I definitely enjoyed reading this graphic novel. The artwork is excellent, the characters are well developed, and the storyline was interesting.

Perfect for kids around 7 and up.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 11, 2021 rated it liked it
Series Info/Source: This is the first book in the City of Secrets series. I bought this book as a Christmas gift for my son.

Story (3/5): This book focuses on the Switchboard Operating Facility and the characters who work, live, and visit there. Lisa is one of the operators who keeps an eye on the mysterious boy Ever. Ever is charged with keeping a very big secret that his father told him about before his father was killed. Hannah is the daughter of the building owner and determined to ferret ou
This was a fast-paced, fairly interesting graphic novel with lots of action. Overall, I enjoyed it, though I agree with many other reviewers who wanted more world-building. There is a lot going on in the background with how the city is structured in levels that appear to act almost as a caste system, as well as the different secret societies. But we only scratch the surface of all that. Also, from an adult perspective, everything is pretty far-fetched and certain story elements don't really make ...more
City of Secrets is a graphic novel about a young boy who is guarding a secret about the city from people who are trying to kill him and his friendship with a girl who is willing to do whatever she has to to help him. I really liked the premise behind this book but for me, I struggled a little with the execution. It doesn't take place in our world, and I think that wouldn't have been an issue except there really wasn't any world building. I know that this isn't like a traditional novel where more ...more
May 23, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this steampunk fantasy! Other GR reviewers seem less impressed but it was just the ticket for me. Charming, richly drawn illustrations with just enough techno details, a (literally) wheels within wheels plot, an intriguing world and resolution that made me smile AND promised more adventures. Not demanding particularly or containing panels that required intense scrutiny but a really entertaining romp! Perfect for readers who want a diverting and entertaining GN.

I'm ready for book two imme
Feb 08, 2021 rated it liked it
Definitely hope this book is part of a series because there is so much left unexplained!

I wish there was space/time dedicated to laying out the specifics of the city and how the parts are manipulated. Without it, I was left disbelieving in the convenience of the levers to save the kids- like the levers and pulleys were just there to drive the plot the way Ying needed it to go during fight scenes.

Looking forward to more!
Ken Yuen
Jan 20, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Saw this book this morning and was instantly intrigued by the cover. One of the summaries promised a Ghibliesque adventure with kids and this book fulfills it. Love the cute drawings and the thrilling conspiracy and secrets.
Lovely Day
Jun 20, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: current-tbr

A fun middle grade story of a steampunk town with a main switchboard station, a hidden boy in the shadows, a girl who loves adventure a secret society, and a traitor who employs assassins
Lily Williams
Jul 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A beautifully painted action packed story. Recommended for any kid who loves fantasy or sci-fi!
Jan 12, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great concept and art, but the writing itself is not strong.
I loved the concept and the artwork for this book, and even though the writing is not particularly strong, I still thoroughly enjoyed the story.
Jul 24, 2020 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
That ending! What?

Putting all that aside, I wanted to know so much MORE about this world; there is much that is taken for granted here. Why are the two countries at war? Why is the city built in levels/layers? Why are there secret societies/spies? What are their goals/purposes/missions? This book is very aptly titled as there are just so many secrets! If there is to be a series here, then I can live with the slow revealing.

The art alone makes it worth the guessing and the wondering and the not q
Mar 26, 2021 rated it liked it
Hannah and her family went to a mechanical factory to have a look around. Hannah wandered off and she thought she saw something in the out of bounds section. She started to go to find out what she had seen. Then the owner of the factory caught her and told her to stay out of there. But she lingered to see if the person would come out of the shadows, but she had no luck. She went to one of the people that worked at the factory and asked if there was anyone living at the factory. She said there wa ...more
Anna Lewis
Nov 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: gn, 2020-challenge
Bought the book for the Ghibli-esque review, but it's so much more. After I read it, I gave it to my husband and my 20YO film student son - told them they had to read it. Loved the character development, story, and the thrilling action.
And Hannah. Gotta love a strong, confident, take-action girl.
Hope this book becomes a series.
Definitely not perfect but the ending was cool and I’d be interested in reading more installments
Sep 05, 2020 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 03, 2021 rated it it was ok
Um.... no.
This book was a whole mess and I'm CONFUSED. I put the 2nd book in my want-to-read because it's not that long and I need to know how this plays out.
First off, Hannah. Hannah is this privileged girl that likes to have adventures. The first time she sneaks out to meet Ever, her mom finds out and tells her that she must never do it again because she has to learn to be a proper lady.
THEN, it's as if the mom and dad disappear because she follows Ever into dark alleyways, where Ever gets
Tatiana Dengo
City of Secrets is a middle grade fantasy set in an intriguing city of vintage steampunk aesthetics, hot air balloons, giant cogs, and levers with surprising consequences.

This graphic novel is a good example of how to allow the text and the images to do different parts of the same group project, rather than having them both repeat the same information. Most of the world-building is implied through the pictures, rather than explicitly stated in the text, letting your mind fill in the blanks of w
Alyssa (Intotheheartwyld)
While this was a cute read, I can’t help but feel like there is so much depth missing from the story. The story progression felt very rushed at times and a lot of the panels didn’t do a good job really expressing what was suppose to be going on. The pacing felt jumpy and inconsistent, it gave this mixed feeling of trying to explain to much with too little time, and tried to heavily rely on the images to fill in the blanks but it just wasn’t successful.

The character building was so quick it left
Katie Lawrence
Oh what an intriguing plot and world! Levers that move staircases, hidden safes, assassins, secrets galore. This was very intricate and I felt like it almost worked for me, but was just a tidge confusing. For a while I thought the city was inside the switchboard building, the levels were not developed a lot and I'd love to see that aspect of the world developed more. I'd have liked to see more character development too, although I think Ying was trying to leave some secrets and development for v ...more
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