The City's Son (The Skyscraper Throne #1)
by Tom Pollock
What is it about:
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.
What did I think of it:
This could have been a nice read if it didn't have a message to tell.
The setting is interesting, although over the top at times. The characters are kind of cool, even though Beth acts kind of rash and unthinking. The start of the story was decent.
Then I got to know more about Reach. The blurb calls Reach a god of urban decay. Well, that's not true. From the context of the story, I would call Reach a god of urban renewal. And this story screams: urban renewal is bad!!!
Now, I will confess that I think that a lot of urban renewal isn't necessary. We're often too quick in tearing down things that are still good, to replace them with new (ugly) architecture. So if there had been any nuance to the message of The City's Son, I could have related to it. Instead it's all very black and white: Old London good! Renewal bad!
Near the end there's an attempt at showing Reach in a different light, but by then the earlier message had been shoved down my throat so many times it couldn't save this book for me.
Now I will confess it might be just me who picked up this message from this book. Most reviews I've read don't mention this at all, so I might just be reading something into this story that Pollock didn't intent to put in it. Still it ruined my enjoyment of the book and I will not continue reading this series.
Why should you read it:
It has an intriguing setting.