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The City's Son (The Skyscraper Throne #1)

3.66 of 5 stars 3.66  ·  rating details  ·  926 ratings  ·  230 reviews
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, a ...more
Hardcover, US, 480 pages
Published September 8th 2012 by Flux (first published August 1st 2012)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Tom Pollock
Jul 16, 2014 Tom Pollock rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Well, I did write it... I'm pretty damn biased.
Jessie  (Ageless Pages Reviews)
Read This Review & More Like It On My Blog!

Welcome to a London come alive with voice-eating spiders, mirror-dwelling aristocrats, and talking lights that literally dance upon the streets. A London where Gods and Goddesses walk the roads unnoticed by the normal human population, and fight one another for preeminence and control over their decaying world. Welcome to Tom Pollock's The City's Son, a novel that redefines both the 'urban' and 'fantasy' in the urban fantasy genre; a novel that brin
Mogsy (MMOGC)
4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

So, on my ongoing quest to read more original and offbeat Young Adult titles, my journey has led me to The City's Son by Tom Pollock. I'd heard great things about this book, along with some descriptions of it that are just way in the realm of the bizarre and uncanny. In other words, it sounded right up my alley.

The novel follows Beth Bradley, a young graffiti artist seeking escape after being sold out by her best friend i
You need to know one thing before you delve into this review: I am making a conscious effort to not continue books I don't feel much for. Ever since I joined GoodReads last year, I've felt incredible guilty about DNFing novels, but on every account, I've either finished a bad book and given it a bad rating or finished a good book that just didn't work for me and given it an indifferent rating. Either way, by reading just over half the novel, I am able to discern whether the book is worth my time ...more
Aug 03, 2012 Tim rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Neil Gaimon, Ben Aaronovitch and Patrick Ness
Recommended to Tim by: The publisher
4.5 out of 5

Firstly, I'd like to do a little backpedaling. To the people who have only given this book a 1 Star or a 'Didn't Finish' because it was either "too difficult" or "there was too much going on" - you are morons and I can only surmise that the writing was at a level of intelligence beyond your comprehension.

This is an intelligent YA book, oozing with charisma, beautifully detailed and not totally fixated on a vapid, predictable love triangle. You only have to watch the author interview
Book Flame
2.5 Stars

I've waited writing my review for this one because I've been trying to figure out what exactly it was that made me not really care for it and even now I'm still not sure, which is nerve wrecking because I always have a list of reasons why I did or did not enjoy a book.

The book itself is a YA Urban Fantasy and the synopsis sounded like something I would enjoy, it's about Fil and Beth. Beth is a sixteen year old girl who paints all of London with her street art. She has a tough life at
Rating 2.5

Having been completely taken aback and confused by this storyline, that didn’t stop The City’s Son from still creeping me out. All I have to say is “What just happened!?!” As far as the creep-factor, I can't quite put my finger on why I felt this way. I do know I was thoroughly confused and perplexed for most of the book, you’ll see why later. However, I have no doubt that the next installments are going to involve an epic showdown. But unfortunately, since this book wasn’t quite for m
Urban Fantasy is a genre defined by setting and the very excellent The City’s Son is a prime example of it: in it, London comes to life and is a character as much as its protagonists. The City has its own arc and its tale interconnects with those of the other characters in both obvious and subtle ways.

The great City of London is at the brink of destruction as an old threat surfaces from the ashes and is building itself up. Reach, the King of Cranes is a God of demolition: be gone old masonry bu
How many times have I seen this story in the last few years, namely ordinary person stumbles into a magical other London and find themselves part of a struggle between these weird inhabitants and some other enemy? I can count at least half a dozen examples that I've read, and I was tempted to knock half a star off for having yet another London based fantasy story.

Of course, if the plot is not new, then the world building and characterisation need to make a book like this stand apart. Of the form
Liz Wilkins
Expelled from school, betrayed by her best friend and virtually ignored by her dad, who’s never recovered from the death of her mum, Beth Bradley retreats to the sanctuary of the streets, looking for a new home. What she finds is Filius Viae, the ragged and cocky crown prince of London, who opens her eyes to the place she’s never truly seen.

So, in my recent book buying spree, one of the things I was specifically looking for was the next book in my quest for terrific Urban Fantasy – this one kept
I love urban fantasy and was excited by the synopsis for The City's Son. When I requested it, I had no idea of the treasure I found. This urban fantasy is bloody brilliant. Pollock took me on one heck of a ride through the streets of London along the Thames River and I am still in awe about how truly magnificent this tale was. Pollock is pure genius! He weaved a breathtaking fantasy, with spectacular characters and a plot that kept me riveted.

Beth Bradley runs away after her friend betrays her
Elizabeth May
Hello, you beautiful thing! :lovingly strokes book:

I loved The City's Son so much, I worried that I won't have the words to describe how I feel. It turns out that I have a lot of words for how amazing this book is.

You see, this city is built on a lot of things: brick and stone and river clay, but under that, under everything, the city is built on bargains. Those're the true foundations of the city, those intricate contracts. Deals are sacred here.

Firstly, we have to talk about Pollock's London, because in many ways, this book is an ode to urban
Aug 11, 2013 Suzanne rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommended to Suzanne by: Collyn
In the black and white reactions to fantasy, I come down here on the dark side of just not buying it.

A hidden living mechanical aspect to London in which a boy holds dominion over a variety of urban creatures that serve him, loyal to his absent Mater Viae, mother of the streets: streetlamps and an adviser newly created each day of prime trash and malevolent spectral locomotives. Filius faces a challenge from Reach, another power player in the shadow world of the City, and he meets a girl called
Kate (VerbVixen)
Friendship is man’s greatest good. It’s a sentiment from time immemorial or at least back to Socrates. And most wondrous strange, The City’s Son feels like an old friend already. Though it is completely new and wholly unique, it sings the song of old human truths—of friendship and love, sacrifice and bravery, of fear and loss. It is the type of book that has you holding your breath to the very last page, and upon coming to that end your exhalation brings painful, blissful relief. The plot remind ...more
London City is alive. When Beth and her best friend Pen are caught spraying graffiti at their school, Pen turns Beth in. Reeling from the betrayal, Beth stumbles into another London, one where railwraiths transport memories of passengers, where the lights are living glass people who dance at night, where the statues are imprisoned men, repaying their debts to their absent goddess, and where a danger threatens the very essence of the city that no one sees. And that city has a son.

Wow, I’m not sur
Dark Faerie Tales
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: This novel puts the URBAN in fantasy, with the magic found in the oil and asphalt and metal that make London, pulling the reader in with developing characters and high stakes, even if the plot runs thin in places.

Opening Sentence: I’m hunting.

The Review:

Beth Bradley is a talented tagger. Her work stains the walls of London in everything from paint to chalk—her most recent work the portrait of a certain teacher at her school. It isn’t a flatt
My sad, sorry attempt to finish this has been dragging on dragging on for well over 2 months now (What? Are you sure? TWO WHOLE FLIPPIN' MONTHS?!) so I think it's safe to say that The City's Son has now been quietly moved into limbo -- that lonely place between to-read and read that is titled "did-not-finish."

I guess it's time to justify why I did that. I actually liked the idea of urbanized fantasy wars when I started this book, after all. The whole setting of a sort of animated city was reall
Tabitha (Pabkins)
Railwraiths, lightbulb militia, punishment priests, and scaffolding wolves!

Tom Pollock did something marvelous with The City’s Son. He created a populace of people that inhabit a city and yet are made of the city itself! The story has a quick enough pace to have you sitting up and paying attention as the action flings you through the pages.

The details are rich and often disturbing. Pollock has a great descriptive writing style that wasn’t over the top for me. I could visualize the creatures and
This review is also featured on my blog :

Thank you Flux Books for letting me read this book for free on NetGalley!

Uhhh.. Okay so- hm. I DON'T KNOW. Okay I started this book super excited because the synopsis sounded fabulous and Filius was described as "ragged and cocky" which is my type of guy but... I just don't... *le sigh* Okay so this book is about a girl named Beth who is a graffiti artist with her best friend Pen, well one night they almost get c
One of the best urban fantasies I've read in years. Better than China Mieville's "Un-Lun-Dun", which is a very high praise indeed because Mieville's book is excellent. I feel tempted to add it to my City and Literature class and perhaps I will if I ever do a specifically London version of it. The imagery is as compelling as a lucid dream and the subtext - gentrification, urban history, the city as a living body - is as topical as it is timeless. Cannot wait to read the sequels -which for some un ...more
Sharon Tyler
The City's Son by Tom Pollock is an urban fantasy novel which marks the debut of the author. Beth Bradley is a rebel, and a girl great with a can of spray paint. She spend her fee time tagging the city, while her friend Pen scrawls poetry to accompany it. Beth's father is lost in grief over his late wife, and Pen is trapped by the expectations and demands of others. After a daring evening an apparent betrayal separates the friends and sends them both out into a world born of the very essence of ...more
Carolyn (Book Chick City)
Reviewed by Rebecca for - 2.5 Star on the blog

THE CITY’S SON by Tom Pollock is a fast-paced urban fantasy, set in the modern streets of London, revealing the city’s secret war that lurks within its streets.

The book begins with a chapter that is a bit confusing, as it is told from the first person account of a character we haven’t been introduced to and details a hunt for a creature we know nothing about. This wasn’t the best start to a book I’ve ever read, and I could easil
Beth and Pen are the closest of friends. Beth is an artist and Pen a poet and together they cope with school and family issues, but they have a particular problem at the moment with a teacher who is repeatedly bullying Pen. Beth supports her friend through this as best she can, and indulges in a touch of late-night graffiti on the school grounds in revenge.

But this leads to a schism between the two friends and Beth's expulsion. She has no support at home (her father is in a deep many-year depres
Leo Elijah Cristea
The City’s Son, an urban fantasy début by Tom Pollock, is a book that has me umming and ahhing and chewing my bottom lip.

I’m still not entirely sure what I thought of this book, but I am sure that it was not what I expected. Somewhere between the synopsis and the story, something was lost, swept away in the murky, magical ether between, and I’m left unsure how to explain my feelings about it.

There aren’t many books that have left me scratching my head, trying to figure out whether I’m coming or
Chelsea [Vampire Book Club]
This review was originally published at Vampire Book Club.

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 dis
When I finished to read this book, I had to sit back, let myself breathe deeply and give myself a while to decide if it was a stroke of brilliance or a stroke of madness.

I’ve decided to go with the genius theory until proven wrong by the sequel.

The City’s Son is a young adult urban fantasy at its best... Meaning that the city itself is the main character. But I’m getting ahead of myself:

We’ll follow Beth, a character I found I could simpathize with. She’s the child of a broken home, with a fath
Gretchen Hohmeyer
So, if you follow me on Goodreads then you know this already, but this is for everyone else.


Not all of them are good. Not all of them are bad. I don’t even know how to deal with many of them right now. But I’m going to try to hash them out for you right here.

I’m going to start with the world, because it makes me drool. Seriously. That awesome set up the blurb gives you? IT’S EVEN COOLER THAN IT SOUNDS. Pollock has an awesome way of writing it, and every s
Well-crafted and at times transcendent, The City's Son is a stunning debut novel with a few narrative flaws, most of which are overcome by the brilliance of both character and setting.

Beth is brash and reckless and angry. When her best friend, Pen, betrays her, she doesn't handle it well - she runs away, rides a demon train, and falls in love with the London she always knew was there, but never truly saw. Beth's relationship with Pen is a complicated one, and Pen's betrayal is obviously not as d
Egalley thanks to Flux Books
It looks like I'm really rooting for British YA authors these days, doesn't it?

Tom Pollock has a sick and brilliant mind. The City's Son is an overpowering, overwhelming cascade of strong emotions and harsh images, urban jungle and beauty in completely unexpected settings.

I'm in absolute awe the more I'm thinking about this book. So very clever...

The author has taken an old idea - hidden fae court, heir reclaiming his legacy, a common enemy bent on destruction,
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Tom is a long-time fan of science fiction and fantasy, and has failed spectacularly to grow out of his obsession with things that don’t, in the strictest sense of the word, exist. He studied Philosophy and Economics at Edinburgh University. He now lives and works in London helping to build very big ships. The City’s Son is his first novel.
More about Tom Pollock...

Other Books in the Series

The Skyscraper Throne (3 books)
  • The Glass Republic (The Skyscraper Throne, #2)
  • Our Lady of the Streets (The Skyscraper Throne, #3)
The Glass Republic (The Skyscraper Throne, #2) Our Lady of the Streets (The Skyscraper Throne, #3) The Skyscraper Throne eBook Omnibus The Rising : Journeys in the Wake of Global Warming Glass Republic, The

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“Our memories are like a city: we tear some structures down, and we use rubble of the old to raise up new ones. Some memories are bright glass, blindingly beautiful when they catch the sun, but then there are the darker days, when they reflect only the crumbling walls of their derelict neighbours. Some memories are buried under years of patient construction; their echoing halls may never again be seen or walked down, but still they are the foundations for everything that stands above them.

"Glas told me once that that's what people are, mostly: memories, the memories in their own heads, and the memories of them in other people's. And if memories are like a city, and we are our memories, then we are like cities too. I've always taken comfort in that.”
“I like you as much as I like much prettier sane girl.” 3 likes
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