Monday, 30 January 2012

City of the Falling Sky by Joseph Evans - Book Review

I began reading this book last Tuesday and stayed up a lot longer than anticipated. Four hours of reading later the only thing that stopped me from going on was falling asleep with a Kindle on my face, and I knew this was going to be a good book.

Summary Courtesy of Amazon: When Seckry Sevenstars is forced out of his village by the greedy Endrin Corporation and relocated to the daunting metropolis of Skyfall City, he harbours resentment for the company and vows to get them back one day for taking away his home, his school and his friends.

Fortunately, the marvels of the city do a good job in distracting Seckry from his anger and homesickness, and it isn’t long before he’s competing at Friction (the city’s most popular multiplayer video game), slurping awe-inspiring multicoloured milkshakes, and getting butterflies on his first date.

Then, when a mysterious email asks Seckry to break into the headquarters of the Endrin Corporation and steal a container full of worms for a hefty sum of money, his anger resurfaces, and he can’t resist the revenge he promised himself.

Alone at night, Seckry creeps through the sewers whilst wondering what experiments Endrin might be doing on the worms, and emerges into the silent complex. But the worms aren’t the only thing that he finds. Staring at him through the darkness, with wide, innocent eyes, is something that makes Seckry’s heart almost stop.

A girl.

She’s shaking, petrified, and has no recollection of who she is or what she’s doing there. Floodlights bleach the area and Seckry has no choice but to grab a hold of the girl and escape with her. Suddenly the question of what Endrin were doing with a few worms becomes the last thing on Seckry’s mind. What were Endrin doing with a human?

This book was a suggestion from Amazon, and without even reading the description, I decided to purchase it on a whim for just 99p. 

My first impressions of this book was its recommendations on its cover, in this image it is a little to small to see, but one recommendation says it is "even better than Harry Potter" from one young reader who claims it was the best book they have ever read. This is a big statement to make. One I didn't think much of and read on regardless of this claim.Yet there is a serious similarity to J K Rowlings characters within the book. Snibble, the class bully, for example bears an uncanny resemblance to the character of Draco Malfoy accentuated by his thug-like body guards that follow him around. The headmaster of the school and Mr. Vance & could almost be translated into Professor Dumbledore and Prof. Lupin at a push. 

Despite this, the narrative is surprisingly original. Drawing influences from the bible, (with "for Geddins sake" being my new expletive of choice!), current debates of genetic modification, corporate responsibility and even school budgets it is topical and engaging. It is like a neatly tied braid, with no detail being provided that is not essential to the story line, no complex red herrings are used or for that point needed, but a clean and satisfying narrative that is almost impossible to put down. The only unanswered question which is teased upon the entire book is enough motivation for me to read the next book in the series. 

The need to be creative, and invent new names for things, was a little annoying. God is now Geddin, and Jesus = Sekry (or his nick name anyway). Ellonberrys sound delicious, but was it really necessary to rename blackberry's? I am just not sure it adds much too the book. 

One of the books unique creations on the other hand is something I do wish was real. Friction. A virtual video game that suspends your body in a pod while you play though an avatar in a virtual game of treasure hunt. Sign me up now! This book is set in the future, so I will keep my fingers crossed. 

As a young adult (YA) book, at first I found it a little tedious. These are young protagonists currently in senior school and you can tell that. But when Seckry fell in love, I fell in love with this book. It is beautifully written (some Kindle books feel like they have missed out on the editing process but this is almost perfect) and I was sad to finish it.

From one lover of fantasy fiction to another, I loved this book. This is one of the best YA fictions I have ever read. And one day, with the right publicity maybe it could be as big as Harry Potter. I struggled marking this but as a YA I have to give it:


Since purchasing this book, it has now gone up to £2, but I still think this is great value for a good book. You can download it from Amazon here.

Thanks for reading,

Love Rie x

[since purchasing this book, it has now gone up to £2, but I still think this is great value for a good book!]

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