Thursday, December 20, 2012

Review | The City's Son by Tom Pollock

The City's Son
Tom Pollock
The Skyscraper Throne #1
Published September 2012 by Flux (Llewellyn)
YA urban fantasy
4 stars

Running from her traitorous best friend and her estranged father, graffiti artist Beth Bradley is looking for sanctuary. What she finds is Urchin, the ragged and cocky crown prince of London’s mystical underworld. Urchin 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 Urchin’s goddess mother will soon return from her 15-year exile, Reach, a malign god of urban decay, wants the young prince dead. Helping Urchin 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.

Bite-Sized Review
The City's Son was a well-written book with an absolutely brilliant concept. I loved it, and I will definitely be reading the rest of the series.

-The best thing about this book was the unique and amazing premise. Basically, the city of London is alive in a very literal sense -- streetlamps, statues, trains, cranes, all come to life and interact with the son of the city's goddess. It's something I've never seen before, and I really loved it.

-This is a very well-written book -- some of the prose is just beautiful. It's also well organized. Point of view switches mainly between two characters, Beth and Filius Viae. Beth's perspective (as well as that of the secondary characters) is in third person past, while Fil's is first person present, making distinguishing between them very simple.

-I loved that this didn't feel like a typical YA book. The romance is very understated and not just a whole bunch of pent-up lust. The characters have depth and credibility. The danger is real and intense.

Brussels Sprouts
-The book got off to a little bit of a slow start, but honestly, that's not really a complaint. I just had to put something here.

Recommended for
Fans of Charles de Lint and China Miéville, or anyone who thinks a living city and a war between its gods sounds interesting and who doesn't need everything laid out for them.


  1. Never heard of this one before but it sounds really good and I love the cover. Great review!
    -Kimberly @ Turning the Pages

  2. I haven't heard of it before, either. But the premise is so cool!


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