I've been contemplating for a while where to start with The Hypnotic City. I really enjoyed The Heartless City, although I complained about it being a zombie book without zombies. My experience this time was much the same, it felt like there was not a lot of the first book in the second, making it feel more like standalone novels.
Philomena is - for most of the story anyway - the returning main character and with the quarantine lifted she's decided to leave London and move to New York to finally become a star. She learns quite quickly to hide her London origin and things don't really go as planned, so she ends up working in a small theater which isn't at all what she had in mind. However, at some point she's offered the chance of a lifetime.
Besides feeling disorientated, because I had no clue where the story was going in the beginning, now that most of the characters were far away and didn't seem to play a role in the story, but it turned into a fast read quickly. I wasn't too much surprised with the turns the story took, because all the way I was expecting something to happen, and this was the more obvious choice, but it was nice to read anyway. What I didn't particularly liked was the romance plot, once again, since it was rather cheesy with him complaining about things which made Philomena feel insecure and hide her past and then much 'misunderstanding' and the like. The re-introduction of the characters from the first book only took place near the end, and that part felt a bit rushed.
I seem to remember this was going to be a duology, in which case I can reflect that it certainly is not a standard read. The two books are very different, but in all honesty I preferred The Heartless City.
Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!