Ｒａｔｉｎｇ：★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
＊Ｎｏｔｅ：I received this ARC on Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Book 1 Review.
New York City, 2118. A glittering vision of the future, where anything is possible – if you want it enough.
Manhattan is home to a thousand-story supertower, a beacon of futuristic glamour and high-tech luxury… and to millions of people living scandalous, secretive lives.
Leda is haunted by nightmares of what happened on the worst night of her life. She’s afraid the truth will get out – which is why she hires Watt, her very own hacker, to keep an eye on all of the witnesses for her. But what happens when their business relationship turns personal?
When Rylin receives a scholarship to an elite upper-floor school, her life transforms overnight. But being here also means seeing the boy she loves: the one whose heart she broke, and who broke hers in return.
Avery is grappling with the reality of her forbidden romance – is there anywhere in the world that’s safe for them to be together?
And then there’s Calliope, the mysterious, bohemian beauty who’s arrived in New York with a devious goal in mind – and too many secrets to count.
Here in the Tower, no one is safe – because someone is watching their every move, someone with revenge in mind. After all, in a world of such dazzling heights, you’re always only one step away from a devastating fall….
✩ Leda made a pretty big change in this book. It made me like her a little more even though I’m still a little pissed by the way she acted towards everyone in the last one. She really tried to be more trusting, forgiving, and understanding.
✩ I was also glad that we got to spend more time with Rylin. She was hard-working, honest, and dedicated.
✩ Calliope was an interesting addition to the book. I liked how resourceful and intelligent she could be when it came to manipulating people. I also really loved the relationship between her and her mother.
❝ Her arm was outstretched, as though she were reaching toward someone she loved, or maybe to ward off some unspoken danger, or maybe even in regret over something she had done. The girl had certainly made enough mistakes in her too-short lifetime. But she couldn’t have known that they would all come crashing down around her tonight. After all, no one goes to a party expecting to die.❞
This book had me hooked from the first page. Really, I mean, how could it not when it tells you right away in the prologue that you’re going to lose one of the characters?! I really love the way the book is set up for just that reason because once you know you’re worried for all those characters you get attached to along the way. You’re reading carefully for hints about who it could be and what leads up to it.
There was one difference between this book and the first book which was a little disappointing, and that was the big dramatic reveals. In the first book, there was all this drama coming up between characters because we were just getting to know them. We were finding out their secrets and past, seeing how complex their relationships were with one another, etc.
There was a lot of setup in the first book which left the big dramatic reveals kind of lacking in this one. Although, I still really enjoyed the book because all the drama/reveals from the first book made me really invested in the characters for this book. Dazzling Heights took everything from the first book and built on it in a different way. We got to see characters grow and change, to see how they reacted and rebuilt their life after the tragedy on the roof–which I personally enjoyed. Still, I think if you were really into the style of the first book then you should just be aware that this book isn’t necessarily as… I guess “intense” as the last book? The suspense is still there, but this book just went more into their personal lives as individual arcs than in their interactions with one another—at least compared to The Thousandth Floor.
❝ Nadia? he asked, but she didn’t answer, and he knew with a sinking feeling what that meant.
For the first time in his life, Watt had confronted her with a problem that she truly couldn’t solve.❞
As I mentioned, the characters really grew and changed in this book. I think out of everyone I was the most surprised by the turn Leda’s character took. I won’t go into it too much because I don’t want to ruin it, but I really liked watching her development in relation to the other characters and how she gradually turned things around. I especially enjoyed reading her romantic relationship with a certain character. I thought it was funny and ironic, but I also thought it was oddly cute and felt kinda right. Overall, I really approve of how her character developed.
I’m going to also put a spotlight on Calliope since she is the new character added into the book. She made for an interesting addition simply because of the fact that she and her mother were con artists, but it also added some romantic drama when she started going after Atlas as her new target. Really, I think the book needed that since Leda had pretty much given up on him. She was another character whose development I really enjoyed. It was a bit predictable at first, but I was rooting for her towards the end. I really wanted things to work out for her. Again, I won’t ruin what happens with her, so moving on!
And obviously, I have to talk about the star of the show: Avery. In the last book, Avery had declared that the old Avery was gone and that she was darker now, tougher. I think I agree with that to a certain degree. Avery seemed more obsessed with Atlas in this book than in the last. She was definitely bolder in this book when it came to expressing her love for Atlas. She took more risks and pushed the limits, but at the same time, it got a little tiring to see how much she obsessed over Atlas. It was pretty much the only thing on her mind and she was more jealous and petty than in the last book.
As for the ending: WHAT?! The last book ended at a pretty dramatic and intense moment–only made darker by Leda’s threats. But in this book, the ending just leaves you holding your breath in a way because you get to find out who the person is in the prologue, but you don’t get to find out how it really happened or who was behind it. The ending to Dazzling Heights leaves you with more questions than it answers, especially compared to the first book. It’s not necessarily good or bad. Unless you count the fact that it leaves you dying to get your hands on the next book so you can find out what the heck is going on, haha! But seriously, this series would make a fantastic TV show and it’s a book series you need to get your hands on.