Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Review: The City’s Son (The Skyscraper Throne #1)by Tom Pollock
Expelled from school, betrayed by her best friend and virtually ignored by her dad, who’s never recovered from the death of her mum, Beth Bradley retreats to the sanctuary of the streets, looking for a new home. What she finds is Filius Viae, the ragged and cocky crown prince of London, who opens her eyes to the place she’s never truly seen.
But the hidden London is on the brink of destruction. Reach, the King of the Cranes, is a malign god of demolition, and he wants Filius dead. In the absence of the Lady of the Streets, Filius’ goddess mother, Beth rouses Filius to raise an alleyway army, to reclaim London’s skyscraper throne for the mother he’s never known. Beth has almost forgotten her old life – until her best friend and her father come searching for her, and she must choose between the streets and the life she left behind. ~ Goodreads
First of all - this is Tom Pollock's DEBUT novel? Say what? Incredible.
The City's Son is one of the most complex, inventive, wild rides I've been on in a long time. No review I write can do it justice or explain even 1/10 of the plot. And honestly I don't want to examine it too closely. I had fun reading it and I want to keep that feeling - not dissect it to death. So here's a brief review instead and I'll leave a few links after my review to people who did it better.
The City's Son is classified as Urban Fantasy, but relies heavily on the fantasy element even though it takes place on the gritty modern streets of London. It is also classified as a YA, but there is enough gore and violence that had me squirming despite my having a high tolerance for such things. I am not usually a fan of the fantasy genre and I have to admit because of that I was almost completely lost for the first half of the book. I didn't care.
Pollock's writing plunges you right into this living, breathing city daring you to keep up. That is no exaggeration - he has created a LIVING, BREATHING city. I don't think I could ever adequately describe it. It's a world where a person can absorb strength from running barefoot across the pavement, glass creatures light the streets, spiders can steal your voice while they calmingly whisper I love you and where construction cranes can come to life from bones of the cities denizens, sacrificed to bring back a God.
The characters are brash, vulnerable and brave and the story just keeps expanding and twisting. It's almost too much plot at times but the ending is so freaking good it's worth all the time and effort of scribbled notes and post it tabs I needed to keep up.
The City's Son doesn't end in a cliffhanger but instead with infinite possibilities. I can't wait to read The Glass Republic to see where Pollock takes us next. I have no clue.
Rating 3.5 out of 4: Brilliant debut novel. I only knock it the half star because of the writing style which comes bursting out of the gate with little preamble or explanation. I absolutely loved it, but because of that choice it took me awhile to understand all the new words/creatures and fantasy elements that were coming at me. That could be because I'm not a big reader of the fantasy genre though.
"Fantasy is hardly an escape from reality. It's a way of understanding it." -Lloyd Alexander
I feel this quote describes The City's Son perfectly. This is pure fantasy, yet as with all good writing, it reflects society and has an amazing amount of depth and understanding of our current issues.
A few more reviews that explain it better:
The Book Smugglers
Vampire Book Club
Author: Website | Twitter
Source: Won the book in a Twitter giveaway from author Ann Aguirre . It was already on my to buy list because of how much she loved this one.
Buy the book! City's Son (Skyscraper Throne 1)
This is the US cover for The City's Son. The one at the top of this post is the UK cover - which I LOVE it! So gorgeous & it's the version I own. In case you're looking for it at the bookstore though, this is what you'll be looking for.