Review | CITY OF SHATTERED LIGHT by Claire Winn

Review of CITY OF SHATTERED LIGHT by Claire Winn

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

“Right now, she was a part of one of the galaxy’s biggest crime syndicates–a thief, a runaway, a liar. She was a nobody. And she fit right in.”

CITY OF SHATTERED LIGHT is exactly what I expected of a science fiction novel

A novel about deadly tech is right up my alley. Based on the cover I expected a F/F romance and was surprised that this book involves a love triangle. The writing in CITY OF SHATTERED LIGHT was great and the plot quite fast-paced. I enjoyed these characters, but would’ve loved to get to know them better. The world building was fascinating, and science fiction which I loved.



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.


I am obsessed with the cover of CITY OF SHATTERED LIGHT. It’s absolutely stunning. I love Asa and Riven on the cover. I love the drawing style. It’s STUNNING.

I liked the plot of this book. I’m absolutely a fan of everything science fiction/dystopia, and CITY OF SHATTERED LIGHT definitely did not disappoint. I love intricate technology, guns, ships, and absolutely adored the possessed technology. The book is also quite fast-paced. There are a lot of action scenes that I liked.

I think most of the characters in CITY OF SHATTERED LIGHT are great, but I don’t really feel like we got to know them in this book. We get to see a bit of each character, but Winn doesn’t go that into detail. We get an idea of every person’s character, but I don’t feel like I really got to know them. Also, I feel like some things went too fast in their friendships. They all feel like a crew after a couple of days which is a bit of stretch in my opinion.

Another thing I liked a lot was the backstabbing. It was a bit predictable and I knew it would happen, but knowing something was about to happen didn’t take away the fun!

The love triangle on the other hand … I don’t know. I don’t mind a love triangle if it’s well done. In CITY OF SHATTERED LIGHT there’s a M/F ship which comes quite ‘naturally’ and a F/F ship which is being pushed a bit. I’m a sucker for F/F romances, but this one just didn’t feel right at times. Hopefully this wil change in the sequel!

The writing style of Winn is amazing. I got swept away once I started reading CITY OF SHATTERED LIGHT. She really has got the quirky conversations down.


Would I recommend it?

I would if you’re into science fiction!


Trigger warnings
Death of a loved one, death, sentient AI,
LGBTQIA+ rep, chronic illness rep
Science fiction, dystopia (young adult)
Publication date
October 19th, 2021
About the author
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, her first novel, releases fall 2021 from Flux Books.

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