Review: Shatter City by Scott Westerfeld

Shatter CityAuthor: Scott Westerfeld
Series: Imposters #2
Publisher: Scholastic
Released: September 17th, 2019
Received: Own
Warnings: Disasters, dependency on medications
Rating: 4 kitties

Shatter City is the second novel in Scott Westerfeld’s latest series, The Imposters. Set after the events during The Uglies, this is a series sure to draw in all of his old fans once again.

Frey and Rafi are twins, though until recently the world only ever knew about Rafi. Thanks to the brutal tactics of their father, Frey has been forced to go above and beyond – joining her father’s enemies in order to save as many lives as possible.

Okay, and it doesn’t hurt that Frey will finally be allowed to be herself in the process. Or so she hoped and thought. Things haven’t gone quite as planned during her rebellion, and that somehow leads her right to Paz.

Paz is one of the few truly free cities in this world. It’s also her father’s next target. Frey doesn’t know what is in store, but she’s not going to sit idly by and watch her father destroy an entire nation for the sake of his greed.


“The vast silence rings my whole body. My lungs are full of dust, my vision swimming.”

Spoiler Warning

Warnings: Shatter City did contain some graphic elements to it. Mainly there is one disaster that occurs – it appears to be a natural one, but it brings about it so much destruction and death. The descriptions are graphic and make it all feel painfully real. Also worth noting: there’s a dependency on chemicals for emotions in Paz. I won’t say more than that, for the sake of spoilers.

As a major fan of The Uglies, I was so unbelievably excited when Scott Westerfeld announced The Imposters series. The first novel was not what I expected, but a blast to read nonetheless. This time around I felt like I had a better idea of what to expect for Shatter City. And once again Westerfeld surprised me.

Shatter City was a tumultuous experience all around. By all appearances, Frey has bitten off more than she can chew, when she decided to go to war with her father. And yet there’s never been any doubt that it was the right move.

I think what really shocked me about this novel was just how emotional and impactful it was. I think I had forgotten some of the gut punches The Uglies threw my way, back in the day (some, not all. It’s impossible to get over some of what was done there). Frey has not had a happy life, and this is the novel where she was finally given a chance to come to terms with all of that.

It was powerful to read her ordeal and introspections. It made Frey feel more real, and in a way, it made the war with her father feel so much farther off. But that’s a dangerous mistake to make.

Honestly, while I really enjoyed reading Shatter City, I found myself stuck on one part in particular: Paz. I’m utterly fascinated with this city. Or more accurately, I’m fascinated by the AI that runs the city. I desperately want to know more about it. And I want to see more of the other cities that function in similar but different ways.

To my knowledge, there’s going to be at least two more books in this series, though they don’t yet seem to have titles (here’s hoping we learn that information soon!). I’m looking forward to seeing what will be next for Frey and Rafi. And the rest of the rebellion too, for that matter.

About Liz (AKA Cat)

I am an avid animal lover, photographer, reader, and much more. While my photography blog is feeling a bit neglected at the moment, the other sites I'm involved in are going strong. ✧I review books, comics, and basically anything else in the literary world over at Quirky Cat's Fat Stacks (of Books). ✧I review comics and books, as well as write content for Word of the Nerd. ✧I review comics for Monkeys Fighting Robots. ✧I write content for Screen Rant and CBR. ✧I write book reviews for The Review Crew.
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