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The City's Son

Tekijä: Tom Pollock

Sarjat: The Skyscraper Throne (book 1)

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
2732098,395 (3.66)4
Expelled from school, betrayed by her best friend, and virtually ignored by her widowed father, Beth Bradley is introduced to the magic and wonder of a hidden London by Filius Viae, then helps him protect it from Reach, a malign god of demolition who wants to claim the skyscraper throne for himself.
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Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 20) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
Not for me but I think other reader's would enjoy the story more especially if you a fan of Neil Gaiman add a couple of stars if you are. ( )
  Eclipse777 | Jun 27, 2021 |

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Three and a half stars

Starting with a strong burst of excitement, The City's Son by Tom Pollock immediately places the reader in Filius Viae's London -- a dirty, yet fantastical London where nothing is as it seems. The characters each feel individual, Beth is as different as Pen is as different as Electra is as different as Petris etc. Pollock excels at creating unique, fleshed out characters and cultures, if you will. The main story is solid, a war brewing between old and new London, if you will; between the growing need for industry and the nostalgia for simpler, more organic times.

The various groups of Viae's London are all pretty distinct. The eternally punished gravestones are bitter of all that aren't encased in stone, and for good reason. Their fated eternity of torture keeps their brotherhood tight and their outlook on life bleak. Even still, they take comfort with one another. Then there's the mirrorstocracy, snooty blue bloods that focus solely on appearances, which makes sense as they are living reflections.
Something really great that Pollock does is create a strong female-female relationship with BFFs Pen and Beth. There's no female jealousy or competition. Both accept the other as they are. Both have their own strengths, their own minds. It's amazing to see that in a YA book. Especially since Pen is of Pakistani descent with what seem to be traditional parents. It's great to see a bit of representation and have that representation not be the sole defining feature of a character.

Where The City's Son falters, however, is in its pacing and attempt to do too much too fast. There are various points in the book where you might just find yourself bored. Then, there are times when there is so much action or story building that you have to take a breath. There isn't a balance. This might have to do with Pollock trying to introduce too much, as though he wasn't confident enough in the main story to focus on that. Instead, we have the side story of Pen and her professor, Beth and her father, Filius/Electra/Beth, etc. If this were a longer book, perhaps all of these stories would have mattered, but as it stands, we didn't need them to further the story. In fact, they served as a distraction to the main conflict instead of building momentum towards the climax.

Then, we get to the end, and I must say, I was really surprised! What Pollock did was pretty brave and I half expected a last minute "miracle" to change things up. When that didn't happen, and a major secret was revealed, I felt shocked, a little happy, and a bit cheated. Happy because Pollock seemed to stand by his decision, shocked because the ending came out of nowhere, cheated because the ending seemed unearned. There had been nothing in the novel that would lead you to reach the conclusion we ended at.
The City's Son by Tom Pollock, through all of its faults and merits, is a good, fun YA book that feels like a solid start to an interesting series reminiscent of Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere.

// I received this title for free in exchange for an honest review // ( )
  heylu | Jan 8, 2020 |
A fresh fantasy sent in London. Brimming with new ideas and a few twists. ( )
  PhilOnTheHill | Sep 8, 2019 |
There were a few ways this book just didn't quite work for me (that possibly say more about me than the book). It's clearly YA, despite its occasional spates of filthy language - all its protagonists are teenagers, and though it does sliiiiightly better than a teen movie at having the adults either absent or evil, it's still pretty notable. It's constructed in a pretty simplistic manner, a linear plot following two protags with frills of ancillary stuff. And its anthropomorphising of various urban elements are fairly straightforward - things talk and think. It's a little like dancing teapots or fairies at the bottom of the alleyway, urban style.

It's very readable, fairly nicely phrased, with characters who go through good challenges and growth, but I just found myself nigh constantly wishing for more depth, more complexity, more exploration of the ancillary stuff, more transcendentally creative concepts in bringing London to eerie, gritty life. Basically, I spent most of this book wanting to re-read Kate Griffin's Madness of Angels, which is unfortunate and probably not in any way Mr Pollock's fault. ( )
  cupiscent | Aug 3, 2019 |
Ok. Decent story line and interesting characters. The story is fast-paced and you really do want to see what's going to happen next. I will read the next book in the series so it was good enough to hold my interest! ( )
  J_Colson | Nov 30, 2017 |
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 20) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia

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Expelled from school, betrayed by her best friend, and virtually ignored by her widowed father, Beth Bradley is introduced to the magic and wonder of a hidden London by Filius Viae, then helps him protect it from Reach, a malign god of demolition who wants to claim the skyscraper throne for himself.

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