Beautiful and brutal: THE CITY’S SON by Tom Pollock

Posted 24 August, 2012 | Mary @ TheBookSwarm | | 15 Comments

YA Urban Fantasy
480 pages, hardcover
Available September 8, 2012
Publisher: Flux
Review copy provided by publisher via NetGalley
Running from her traitorous best friend and her estranged father, graffiti artist Beth Bradley is looking for sanctuary. What she finds is Filius, the ragged and cocky crown prince of London’s mystical underworld. Filius opens Beth’s eyes to the city she’s never truly seen-where vast spiders crawl telephone wires seeking voices to steal, railwraiths escape their tethers, and statues conceal an ancient priesthood robed in bronze.

But it all teeters on the brink of destruction. Amid rumors that Filius’s goddess mother will soon return from her 15-year exile, Reach, a malign god of urban decay, wants the young prince dead. Helping Filius raise an alleyway army to reclaim his skyscraper throne, Beth soon forgets her old life. But when her best friend is captured, Beth must choose between this wondrous existence and the life she left behind.

Positive: The city that that lives beside (within? beneath?) London. There’s a war going on right beneath Londoner’s noses. Reach, the god of cranes, wants to be king and he’s willing to tear apart London to do so. Filius, son of the current (and missing) ruler, must step into her shoes and keep his mother’s throne safe. But the humans who share the same space as those who support Reach and those who back Filius are completely clueless.
Positive: The creatures of this world. Rampaging ghost trains who transport the memories of past travelers, a creature who reconstructs itself from garbage each day, a barbed wire woman who steals humans to speak for her, and groups of “people” made entirely of glass and light…oh, the creatures of Pollock’s world are creative, disturbing, and stunning all at once. And then there’s Filius, the crown prince of this world who’s more human than the others but, at the same time, he’s got incredible strength and durability and an odd, oily skin that sets him apart.
Positive: Beth and Filius. Filius is unlike any person Beth has ever encountered and she’s desperate to find out more about him. His life–running through the streets, colluding with unusual creatures, fighting to maintain his mother’s crown–seems so much better than hers that she willingly suspends her disbelief and runs away to be with him, I didn’t really feel that there was a romance between the two. Despite their attachment, the two didn’t have much chemistry.
Wish: That Pen’s troubles weren’t *that*. I didn’t feel what happened to Pen, Beth’s BFF, at the school was necessary to facilitate her development into what she became later on–it seemed a bit too overly-dramatic and could have been cut altogether. Her life was challenging enough, I felt. (Sorry to be so mysterious but…spoilers!)
Overall: Twisted, creative and unique, THE CITY’S SON is a feast for your imagination and an intriguing start to a new series (with no cliffhanger! An ending that satisfies while teasing readers with loose ends and questions…fabulous).

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15 Responses to “Beautiful and brutal: THE CITY’S SON by Tom Pollock”

  1. I usually keep up with Flux titles but somehow missed this one. It sounds very interesting and I love the idea of a London underground.

  2. Oh wow this sounds so different! I love the cover, too. I think I saw this on Netgalley is it possible!? I’m gonna go hunt for it because it sounds awesome! I Love the London setting and the ghost trains!! Heck yeah!!

  3. I just discovered this book yesterday and I am wicked curios about this setting! My favorite book evar, Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman, takes place in “London Below” so it’s a setting that I am always excited to read about. The world-building and creatures just sound out of this world!

  4. Yikes, now I’m all nervous about what happens to Pen! I think maybe you need to tell me before I pick this one up so I can be prepared. I do wish there was more chemistry between Beth and Filius, I love me some romance, but the world itself and the story sounds so dark and creative that I might be intrigued enough to gloss over that flaw!

  5. I’ve never seen this book before but I like the world seems cool. It sounds super unique. I hate when characters don’t have chemistry but other then that this sounds like a great read.

  6. DMS

    I haven’t heard of this one before. I like that it was unique and you felt it had a satisfying ending. I am curious to know more about the London underworld. Thanks for sharing. Great review.

  7. Okay, so you’ve got me curious, especially after “a barbed wire woman who steals humans to speak for her, and groups of “people” made entirely of glass and light” – now that is intriguing.

    Fabulous review!