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Author: Paula Morris

Pub. Date: May 26th 2015

Publisher: Point/ Scholastic Press

From master of suspense Paula Morris comes a tale of gods and goddesses, thrilling romance, and mystery set in present-day Rome.

Laura Martin is visiting Rome on a class trip, and she’s entranced by the majestic Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon. . . . Everything in this city seems magical. That is, until the magic seems to turn very dark.

Suddenly, statues of Cupid and ancient works of art come to life before her eyes. Earthquakes rumble and a cloud of ash forms in the sky. A dark-eyed boy with wings on his heels appears and gives her a message. Laura soon realizes she is at the center of a brewing battle — a battle between the gods and goddesses, one that will shake modern-day Rome to its core.

Only she and her group of friends can truly unravel the mystery behind what is happening. As tensions mount and secret identities are revealed, Laura must rely on her own inner strength to face up to what may be a fight for her life.

Review {3.5 Stars}

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Review copy provided courtesy of Scholastic Canada. This does not affect my opinion or review.

The Eternal City is a very unique book! I really enjoyed many aspects of the book, but I did have some issues overall. Since I’ve been experimenting with different review styles, I’ve decided to do a “Pro and Cons” list style review for this book, so that you can decide whether or not this book is something you’d enjoy.

What I Liked:

1. Gods! Ancient battle! Mythology!

After reading Percy Jackson, I’m pretty much guaranteed to be interested in any book involving mythology, which is why I was so excited for The Eternal City. The concept is very cool, and I really liked the idea of the Roman gods fighting a battle in modern day Rome. Additionally, I loved the way that not only did the author involve ancient Gods, but she also made use of the many mythology-related objects around the city, like paintings, stone fountains, sculptures, etc (For example, making the little cherubs on the fountain come alive during one scene). I definitely applaud the author’s creativity for this aspect!

2. Laura

The main character, Laura, was a pretty good main character. She is taking a class trip to tour Europe  and ends up stuck in Rome when a volcano erupts and the smog leaves airplanes unable to fly. Laura isn’t a blood-sucking vampire, or assassin, or teenage prodigy.  She is kind and smart and thoughtful, but she does get insecure and worried, just like all other teenagers out there. Laura is a regular teenager, and she’s very easy to relate to.

3. Rome!

It’s no secret that I adore travel books, and I loved that this book was set in modern-day Rome. Through the eyes of Laura, we (the readers) can all the sights that Laura and her classmates visit, like the Pantheon. The author vividly describes all the sights, sounds, and smells of Rome. You can tell she did her research! The only problem? Now I want a gelato…

What I Disliked:

1. Lack Of Action

The first 50% of The Eternal City is basically Laura and her classmates getting stranded in Rome, and exploring the city. I have nothing against a good travel story, but that’s not what the description had promised! I wanted fantasy, adventure, and a battle of the gods! None of the mythology aspect was even explained until halfway through the book, when the mysterious “dark-eyed boy with wings” shows up and gives Laura some hints about ancient gods, and some impending fight. Even during the last half, there wasn’t a whole lot of action until the very last few chapters.

2. Laura was pretty nonchalant

Laura did not seem very worried about the impending attack. A supposed ancient Roman god shows up and delivers a long message to her?  Maybe she just imagined it. Her friend gets attacked by a painting?  Well, that’s concerning. The gods are about the start a war that could destroy the world, and the only way she could stop is if she gives up the bracelet her grandfather gave her? The bracelet is important to her, she doesn’t want to give it up! I didn’t understand why Laura didn’t react more strongly to the frightening circumstances.

3. The ending

I feel like the ending should have been lengthened. The entire book is building up to a big, dramatic show-down, but the last few chapters are completely rushed and only a few pages are given to the “big battle”. I was really disappointed, because this was the part of the book I had been most excited for! Oh, well.


Obviously, I have lots of different thoughts on this book! There were a major things that bothered me (the ending, Laura’s nonchalant attitude, and the lack of action) but on the other hand, I really liked several things as well. I wouldn’t say The Eternal City is a “must read” book but if you do see it around, then I think you should give it a try!

In honor of the setting of The Eternal City, I have a question for you! Have you ever been on a vacation? Have you visited Rome yourself?

1 Comment on {List Review} The Eternal City by Paula Morris

  1. Keionda@Keionda Hearts Books
    May 4, 2015 at 12:13 am (2 years ago)

    I’ve never read a travel story nor have I ever visited Rome. *takes a real hard look at life* from your review the book sounds really good, like really good. But I hate characters with no reactions or ones that don’t seem to be affected by anything. BORING..
    Keionda@Keionda Hearts Books recently posted…Losing My Passion for ReadingMy Profile

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