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City of Shattered Light: Top 5 Reasons to Read + 15 Reactions

City of Shattered Light, by Claire Winn

Imprint: Flux

Publication Date: October 19th, 2021

ISBN: 9781635830712

Page Count: 400 pages


⭐⭐⭐⭐


Content Warnings: violence, death, blood, mild gore, emotional abuse/manipulation, mild body horror (cybernetics), references to suicide, terminal illness, drug and alcohol references


*I received an e-arc from Flux and TBR and Beyond Tours free of charge, and my opinions are completely my own.*

As darkness closes in on the city of shattered light, an heiress and an outlaw must decide whether to fend for themselves or fight for each other.

As heiress to a powerful tech empire, seventeen-year-old Asa Almeida strives to prove she’s more than her manipulative father’s shadow. But when he uploads her rebellious sister’s mind to an experimental brain, Asa will do anything to save her sister from reprogramming—including fleeing her predetermined future with her sister’s digitized mind in tow. With a bounty on her head and a rogue A.I. hunting her, Asa’s getaway ship crash-lands in the worst possible place: the neon-drenched outlaw paradise, Requiem.

Gun-slinging smuggler Riven Hawthorne is determined to claw her way up Requiem’s underworld hierarchy. A runaway rich girl is exactly the bounty Riven needs—until a nasty computer virus spreads in Asa’s wake, causing a citywide blackout and tech quarantine. To get the payout for Asa and save Requiem from the monster in its circuits, Riven must team up with her captive.

Riven breaks skulls the way Asa breaks circuits, but their opponent is unlike anything they’ve ever seen. The A.I. exploits the girls’ darkest memories and deepest secrets, threatening to shatter the fragile alliance they’re both depending on. As one of Requiem’s 154-hour nights grows darker, the girls must decide whether to fend for themselves or fight for each other before Riven’s city and Asa’s sister are snuffed out forever.

MY TOP FIVE REASONS TO READ City of Shattered Light:

  1. Asa and Kaya are the new golden standard for sibling relationships. Move over Ramona and Beezus - the new kids are in town and they are out of this world!

  2. The queer love triangle is peak bisexual confusion. There are two romantic subplots - one M/F and one F/F, and are connected by Asa, who is bisexual/pansexual.

  3. The plot twists may have given me a heart attack, but they were worth it. If I had to live through City of Shattered Light happening to me, I would not be doing good during/afterwards - this story makes you jump as the sound of tech powering up in your home, unplug your A.I.s (sorry Siri), and camp out with non-electronic entertainment.

  4. The side characters are just as important as the main characters. I have found that some authors struggle with making the reader care for the side characters as much as the MCs. In City of Shattered Light, you grow to care for each member of the Boomslang crew and to fear each villain, no matter how minor they are compared to the BBEG or MCs.

  5. It is such a unique worldbuilding experience. I loved how Winn made so many little details about her world of Requiem that we never would have thought to ask for, but make everything that much more realistic.

15 SPOILER-FREE REACTIONS TO READING City of Shattered Light:

  1. WAAAA SO COOL! *heart eyes*

  2. Mom, it’s creepy in here, i wanna go home

  3. Hot? Deadly? Um um um um

  4. Keeping your identity secret because you know the hot space gunslinger in front of you wouldn’t hesitate to put a bullet between your eyes if she knew? Couldn’t be me

  5. Banshee (the AI) taking over random people who have cybernetic modifications…bruh, this is some spooky microchip discussions gone wrong.

  6. “Dozens of matriarchs - mostly women, some outside of the binary - had risen and fallen over the past sixty-odd years since Requiem had gone to the gangs.” AWWWW YISSSSS, ENBY REP

  7. Oh, Riv…*heart eyes/crying*

  8. *Mission Impossible theme song plays*

  9. Jurassic Park meets Mission Impossible meets outer space? Oh fuck yeah

  10. *SCREAMING*

  11. I am honestly not sure whether I am rooting for AsaTy or RivAsa more, they are equally cute and heartwarming.

  12. I am not okay, I want to go home.

  13. Ummm, it is 2:17 a.m., but I still have another three chapters left, so obviously, I have to keep going?!

  14. NO CLAIRE NO! BAD CLAIRE!

  15. Wow…can I have the sequel now please? I need to know that everything is going to be okay.


Are you still not sure about reading City of Shattered Light? Well, if you like these books:

  • The Ones We’re Meant to Find, by Joan He

  • Cinder, by Marissa Meyer

  • Iron Widow, by Xiran Jay Zhao

  • The Sound of Stars, by Alechia Dow

Then you’d definitely want to grab a copy of City of Shattered Light!


Excited to read City of Shattered Light yet? I feel you, and the super awesome thing is that City of Shattered Light is out in two weeks! You can preorder your copy from your local bookstore or library, or you can get a copy online. Click on these buy links and you can get your own copy at.

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | IndieBound

Many thanks to TBR and Beyond Tours for allowing me to join the City of Shattered Light book tour! You can check out the rest of the tour stops on their Tour Schedule webpage.


Claire Winn spends her time immersed in other worlds—through LARP, video games, books, nerd conventions, and her own stories. Since graduating from Northwestern University, she’s worked as a legal writer and freelance editor. Aside from writing, she builds cosplay props and armor, tears up dance floors, and battles with boffer swords. City of Shattered Light is her first novel.

Website| Twitter | Instagram| Goodreads |Facebook| Tik Tok

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