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.
Release Date: September 8, 2012
Published By: Flux
Review Copy: Hardcover, 480 pages
*provided by publisher
Where to start... This book takes a little to get into. There is so much going on that it took me a bit to absorb but once you get into the story it really is worth it. If I am I honest with you this novel turned out to be more than I had expected and extremely well executed. There is also the detail that there is not a love triangle in sight or even any form of romantic drama going on. If you pick this one up hold on through start, the rest will be well worth it.
Mr. Pollock did such an amazing job with not only the story but the world. My gosh how he worked London and made it into something new and wonderfully dark. A world where the light you see, the buildings you know are so much more than you see. The city is at war with itself with everyone fighting for their own ground. There in the center of this is Filius, the city's son. The son of a Goddess long gone and his fight to keep what is left of his mothers legacy alive. When he happens upon Beth and they save each other he doesn't realize just how stuck with he is and she doesn't understand exactly what she has walked into. But she will and life for both of them will change.
Beth and Filius were two completely different people and yet something about them is alike. To start as I said I had a hard time grasping the story but when it comes down to it Pollock created well fleshed out and unique characters that can hold your attention. Beth's life felt broken but she was strong, even losing her best friend didn't stop her or break her down. She seriously brings out the best in Filius and makes him a better leader and a better person. This being said Filius is not a weak character but he has a lot on his shoulders and more than his own life on the line. Between the two of them you get all you need in a main character but in two.
There is also a plethora of other uniques characters to enjoy and a unique enemy to become acquainted with. Gutterglass the one that raised Filius is kind of odd. He/She is composed of what decomposing food is around, with eggshell eyes and maggots and rats that hold him/her together. Though I never fully trusted Gutterglass he/she is a pillar in Filius life and really the story. There are also the Pavement Priests: people that are damned by the goddess never to actually die but to come back trapped inside their pavement prisons over and over again. Blankeits: dwell inside street lamps and dance in the streets and have no care for the Sodiumites that live inside modern buildings, though they are both people of he light. There are many more but really you should pick it up and find out.
Though this novel and I had a rough start, we had a spectacular ending. Little crushing, little cliff hanger moment but still wonderful. I would recommend this one to people that are willing to hang in there through the details. Once you are brought them fans of Urban Fantasy and dark thrilling worlds will love this one. Pollock has created something new and I can wait to move into the next book because once the story got rolling I didn't wan it to stop.
"Do more than run. That's what you told me. This is me trying, all right? So if you trust me like you say you do, if you believe me, then believe in Mater Viae, like I-like I have to. 'cause for me it's not faith. It's family."- Filius
She hadn't run away from home. This was her home: her home, her people.Her people, her fight.She looked at Fil. His face reflected the same anger back to her. -Beth
"So that's where we're going, Beth, if you're willing: out to the chemical marsh, to put petrol in your sweat and steel in your bones. We're going diving for a new you amidst the opium and tea and the old bloody brick...."
Beth snorted. "Bitter much?" she said. "Well, I'd love to have the time to care." She clapped her hands abruptly. "Get it together, stoneskin. Sober up, rally your troops. There's a war on, or haven't you heard?"