Reviewed by: Chelsea
Rating (out of 5): 5 stars
I’ve been waiting for a new series to fangirl over. I needed a book to crawl under my skin, to pull me in with remarkable world building. Tom Pollock does that and more with The City’s Son.
The lush descriptions of The City’s Son will immerse you into its world. So much so that you’ll see beauty of concrete, oil and urban refuse. The natural state of the urban environment sustains Fil. He’s the son of the city’s goddess Mater Viae. She disappeared 15 years ago, and left Fil with the duty of protecting the city of her enemy Reach.
The skyscraper god Reach destroys the city, killing the beings that sustain it. And it’s these beings that add to the rich world created by Pollock. There are beautiful glass creatures that light gas lamps, communicating through dance and brilliant flashes of light. Pylon spiders who live off the voices of others. There there is Fil’s guide is Gutterglas, a being that must form a new body every day out of the city’s garbage and scavenging animals. He’s often a blend of rats, eggshells, chewed-on pen caps and deflated footballs. Sometimes Gutterglas is male, other times female. But Glas is always determined to keep Fil going, to keep him focused on rallying an army to stop Reach from killing the city. The City’s Son is full of new creatures that feel so organic. You never question their existence or get grossed out by their composition, because of the way Pollock paints them.
Fil wouldn’t stay the course on this journey without meeting Beth. She’s faked bravery long enough that it’s easy for her to get Fil to do the same. She’s human, but determined to help Fil and the city. She’s found a home in them — not as a street kid, but as a graffiti tagger. Her drawings mark the city, as a visual diary embedded into the urban landscape surrounding her. She already has such a connection, it’s not a leap to see her join up with this boy to save the city, and, eventually, her friend.
The City’s Son will leave dirt under your nails, make you question what you’re told and leave you with a new appreciation for the city surrounding you. Brilliant visuals make this one a must read, and every urban fantasy fan will adore seeing the city truly come to life in the novel.
Side note: Fil never wears a shirt in this book. How many times have you read a YA and wished the guy was shirtless more?
Sexual content: Kissing