August 15, 2014

The Artful by Wilbert Stanton ~ Blog Tour: Review & TWO Giveaways!

Welcome to my stop on The Artful Blog Tour hosted by Xpresso Book Tours. Click here to follow along with the full tour schedule. 

Title: The Artful
Series: Shadows of the City #1
Author: Wilbert Stanton
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Publication date: May 27th 2014 
Genre: Young Adult, Post-Apocalyptic
Source: Review copy

Purchase: Amazon | B&N 

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. 

I could imagine The Artful being made into a black and white movie like a Frank Miller graphic novel. Think Sin City, which is really fitting here because that's what NYC has become with the Tower Babies living their lavish lifestyles with out of the ordinary sex practices. NYC has become gritty and unrecognizable - there are no crowds, no hustle and bustle. It is, essentially, a ghost town. There are scavengers out and about once in a while, but not while the sun's out. 

Half the world's population has been wiped out by a virus, and those who survived are now allergic to the sun. Tower Babies are known as the wealthy, those who were born in tall buildings and have lived in them their entire lives. They can afford to stay out of the sun in luxury compared to people like Dodger and Twist. Tower Babies have all the medication they want, including the kind to make them forget about how shitty the world has become.  

Dodger and Twist are the two main characters known as Gutter Punks. They're the Robin Hood of stealing meds from the rich to give to the poor. I really enjoy Dodger's no apologies attitude - he's authentic and doesn't try to pretend he's something he's not. Twist is the narrator of this novel, and while he's a good fit with Dodger, Twist is more of a "good guy" in my eyes. He talks Dodger into helping people if it doesn't immediately benefit them.  

Once again wealth divides the classes, and those who are poor suffer. Listen, man, if I didn't happen to be born wealthy, I'd want to hang out with Dodger and Twist's friend Red's group. She leads the group of hippies known as The Tribe. They seem to be better off than where the Gutter Punks were living. If I'm going to die of an illness because I don't have medication, then I'd rather be with the Tribe than anywhere else. 

The Artful took a great idea of mixing a dystopian story with economic class division. The execution of the story was a bit lacking for me, but I enjoyed reading it and will read the next one.   

My Rating:


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. 

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