- A Dribble Of Ink
- A Fantasy Reader
- Adventures In Reading
- Bastard Books
- Bibliophile Stalker
- Big Dumb Object
- Bitten By Books
- Boing Boing
- Book Country
- Bookworm Blues
- Caleigh's Blog
- Charlotte's Library
- Cheryl's Mewsings
- Civilian Reader
- Compulsion Reads
- Critical Mass
- Curated Fantasy Books
- Dark Wolf's Fantasy Reviews
- Dreams & Speculation
- Drying Ink
- Edi's Book Lighthouse
- Everything is Nice
- Falcata Times
- Fantasy & SciFi Lovin' News & Reviews
- Fantasy Book News
- Fantasy Cafe
- Fantasy Literature
- Far Beyond Reality
- Feminist SF
- Floor To Ceiling Books
- Free SF Reader
- Gav Reads
- Genre Reader
- Graeme's Fantasy Book Review
- Grasping For The Wind
- Greg Hamerton
- Hero Complex
- Horror Reanimated
- Jeff VanderMeer
- King of the Nerds
- Layers of Thought
- Mithril Wisdom
- My Favourite Books
- Myrmidon Books
- Mysterious Outposts
- Neth Space
- Only The Best Science Fiction & Fantasy
- Pat's Fantasy Hotlist
- Reading The Leaves
- Realms of Speculative Fiction
- Rob's Blog O' Stuff
- Sandstorm Reviews
- Sci Fi Songs
- Speculative Book Review
- Speculative Fiction Junkie
- Staffer's Book Review
- Stainless Steel Droppings
- Stomping On Yeti
- Tez Says
- The Agony Column
- The Antick Musings of G.B.H. Hornswoggler, Gent.
- The Book Smugglers
- The Broken Bullhorn
- The Fantasy Bookshelf
- The Green Man Review
- The Mad Hatter's Bookshelf & Book Review
- The Night Bazaar
- The Nocturnal Library
- The OF Blog
- The Overlook Press
- The Ranting Dragon
- The Speculative Scotsman
- The Stamp (of Approval)
- The Vinciolo Journal
- The Wertzone
- The World in the Satin Blog
- Val's Random Comments
- Variety SF
- Vast and Cool and Unsympathetic
- Voyager Books
- Walker of Worlds
- When Gravity Fails
- Zeno Agency
- "John Saturnall's Feast" by Lawrence Norfolk (Revi...
- Fading Light Anthology Multi Author Interview part...
- Zelda Pryce: The Clockwork Girl by Joss Llewelyn (...
- GUEST POST: Fear Is The Mind Killer by G.T. Almasi...
- Fading Light Anthology Multi Author Interview part...
- Spotlight on Four More Recent Titles of Interest, ...
- King Of Thorns by Mark Lawrence (Reviewed by Mihir...
- Spotlight on Some Independent and Small Press Titl...
- Pines by Blake Crouch (Reviewed by Mihir Wanchoo)
- GUEST POST: Author Update by Ernst J. Dabel
- Interview with Geoffrey Wilson (Interviewed by Mih...
- Spotlight on the BIG September Releases, David Web...
- Cursed by Benedict Jacka (Reviewed by Mihir Wancho...
- GUEST POST: WHY FANTASY? by Amanda McCrina
- The Glimpse by Claire Merle (Reviewed by Sabine Gu...
- "Communion Town" by Sam Thompson (Reviewed by Livi...
- Bonus Q&A with G. T. Almasi (By Mihir Wanchoo)
- Blades Of Winter by G.T. Almasi (Reviewed by Mihir...
- "The Air War" by Adrian Tchaikovsky (Reviewed by L...
- "The Teleportation Accident" by Ned Beauman (Revie...
- “A Game Of Thrones” by George R.R. Martin (Reviewe...
- “Railsea” by China Miéville (Reviewed by Sabine Gu...
- GUEST POST: Fantasy’s Quality Conundrum by Grub St...
- Three Mini Reviews: His Own Good Sword, Black Scar...
- Interview with Anthony Ryan (Interviewed by Robert...
- "The Tyrant" by Michael Cisco (Reviewed by Liviu S...
- The City’s Son by Tom Pollock (Reviewed by Sabine ...
- Spotlight on August Books
- A Wolf At The Door by K. A. Stewart (Reviewed by M...
- ▼ August (29)
- ► 2011 (317)
- ► 2010 (346)
- ► 2009 (466)
- ► 2008 (376)
Friday, August 3, 2012
Read An Excerpt HERE
Watch a Video Interview with Tom Pollock HERE
INTRODUCTION: Earlier this year, I had a chance to read The City’s Son by Tom Pollock as I was working as a literary scout for Quercus, and this book is definitely one of the highlights of Jo Fletcher’s 2012 catalog. As for Tom Pollock, he is for me one of the year’s debut authors worth discovering…
AUTHOR INFORMATION: Tom Pollock is a graduate of the Sussex University Creative Writing Programme, and a member of the London-based writers' group The T-Party. He has lived everywhere from Scotland to Sumatra, but the peculiar magic of London has always drawn him back. The City’s Son is his first novel.
FORMAT/INFO: The City’s Son is 422 pages long and is the first volume of The Skyscraper Throne YA series. August 2, 2012 marks the UK Hardcover publication of The City’s Son via Jo Fletcher Books. The US version (see below) will be published on September 8, 2012 via Flux.
OVERVIEW: Hidden under the surface of everyday London is a city of monsters and miracles, where wild train spirits stampede over the tracks and glass-skinned dancers with glowing veins light the streets.
When a devastating betrayal drives her from her home, graffiti artist Beth Bradley stumbles into the secret city, where she finds Filius Viae, London's ragged crown prince, just when he needs someone most. An ancient enemy has returned to the darkness under St Paul's Cathedral, bent on reigniting a centuries-old war, and Beth and Fil find themselves in a desperate race through a bizarre urban wonderland, searching for a way to save the city they both love.
The City's Son is the first book of The Skyscraper Throne trilogy: a story about family, friends and monsters, and how you can't always tell which is which…
ANALYSIS: The City’s Son is a dark, compelling urban fantasy highlighted by very rich prose—especially for a YA novel—and mythology that is sophisticated and well thought through. For instance, the metaphorical fight against the expansion of capitalism without a conscience is subtle enough not to be sanctimonious, yet is coherent and gives the book a wide impact—I personally like fantasy literature that possesses a strong symbolic meaning, such as the books by J.R.R. Tolkien or China Mieville, and from that perspective I was delighted by The City’s Son.
Of the story, The City’s Son reminded me of Un Lun Dun by China Mieville—an ordinary girl finding herself entangled with a not so ordinary boy, in a parallel urban world made out of rubbish, fighting against the effects of capitalism, etc.—yet no simple answers are provided. The plot is cleverly set up and carefully constructed, with an exciting twist in the ending that made this reader very keen to see volume two of the trilogy. Pollock’s world also works well, with a number of creative, well thought out fantasy characters, such as Glas, a spirit who can reassemble his body from any available rubbish.
Characterization is good in general. The male protagonist, Filius Viae, is cheeky yet touching, noble but not too self-sufficient, and overall is a really good hero aided by a first-person narrative that conveys the book’s reflection on death and sacrifice. I found Beth Bradley slightly annoying at first, even though she evolves well enough and is credible in her role—it takes a strong-headed character to survive through this kind of an adventure. Unfortunately, the relationship between Flilius & Beth is clumsy—what is I presume an attempt to represent the turmoil of first teenage love simply does not work, as it happens too fast and seems somehow irrelevant and predictable at the same time!
CONCLUSION: As a (fairly) new Londoner myself, I must say that I have been stricken by the brilliant, original, and poetic vision of London captured in The City’s Son by Tom Pollock. As every good urban fantasy should, this book transforms London into a magical experience, where you will find yourselves looking out for Whiteys and Railwraiths and so on… I won’t reveal more, but I strongly recommend you go run to your favourite bookshop and pick up a copy of The City’s Son…
12:01 AM | Posted by Robert | | Edit Post