Review: The City’s Son by Tom Pollock

Title: The City’s Son
Author: Tom Pollock
Published: September 8th 2012 by Flux Books
ISBN: 1780870078
Links: Goodreads
Received: Received on Netgalley
Rating: 3 of 5

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.

My Thoughts:Tom Pollock brings us to an underground world of enchantment and mystery, where garbage is glittering jewels and street rats are kings. The problem with all of this? He takes it all away by the end of the book, which left one heck of a bad taste in my mouth.

I tried to like it. I understood Beth running away. I understood her finding Urchin and various other people with nicknames, Timon, Dr. Salt, Pen, Fil, Reach, etc. etc. There are Pavement Priests and a Motherweb and Mater Viae’s Priesthood, and a Demolition Clergy. It’s truly a full out underground world that Beth becomes a part of.

The problem is the truth stinks. If you want to get technical, this is a story about a girl named Beth who runs away and joins a band of homeless people who glorify themselves by believing all sorts of crazy religious things. They have a society all their own, villains, heroes, elders, and friends. Beth gets caught up in it until the end when she basically goes home. The story is supposed to continue but after revealing that the guy they thought of as immortal, or their underground version of Jesus is just a regular kid that’s been on the streets at a very young age, I think it sort of ruins it. I guess after spending all of this time getting to know these people and how they live, I wanted something of their lives and beliefs to be real. I didn’t want to be brought back to reality and basically told that they’re just bums, that what they believe they could see and do was really all fake. It’s like being shown a scepter of power and then being told it’s just a rusty pipe. I could have done with more fantasy and less reality in this book.

Do I think you should read it? By all means. The writing is lovely the characters are well fleshed out, the story itself is great until the end. I still want to know what book two is going to be about, even if book one didn’t completely suit me.

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