A few weeks ago I was tidying the kids table at work and picked up a book called Stoneheart. Now I'd been picking this up and looking at it for a while. I liked the cover and loved the first part of the back cover blurb...
Deep in the City something had been woken, something so old and so ordinary that people had been walking past it for centuries without giving it a second look...So I opened it up and read the first couple of pages. Then I walked over to the shelf and picked up the second book Iron Hand. Then I put them on our reservations shelf until lunchtime when I bought them both (as well as the new Sarah Dessen book, Lock and Key).
I read all of Stoneheart in my lunch break then I polished off Iron Hand at home that evening. Then I read them both again a week later.
Now I read a lot of kids books, I read a lot of books full-stop, but these... It was like the first time I read The Hobbit/Howl's Moving Castle/Saffy's Angel/I Capture The Castle. Just oh-my-god-that's-so-good!
Someone else loves them too.
I now have to wait until September for the third book Silvertongue - I may just explode with impatience before then.
One of the reasons I found these books so amazing was the way that while I was reading I was in London. There is a wonderful passage where the Raven has been sent to fetch the Minotaur...
In a direct line between him and the gherkin, about half a mile in front of it, was the eastern edge of a massive complex of concrete and glass, like a fortress assembled from ziggurats and thin spiky towers. Inside the boundaries of this futuristic urban citadel there were fountains and walkways on different levels, and there was more concrete. The Raven knew that below the surface of the southern end of this sprawl had once run the ancient city wall. And he could remember when the dwarfed white church marooned in a startling patch of green within the cement bastion had been the tallest building in the area.Now as soon as I read that, I knew it was the Barbican. I've been there enough times to know it, I'd just not necessarily have described it like that, but it's a perfect description.
These books have meant that my much wanted trip to London will now be featuring a tour of the statues mentioned in the books. I've managed to find some photos of a couple of them, The Sphinx and The Royal Artillery Memorial, but I want to see all of them. I want to see the Grid Man, the clock where they hide, the statue of Icarus and the lair of the Minotaur.
If these books had been published twenty years ago, I would have been taking that tour with my dad as he'd have loved these books. Instead I shall take my camera and Anthony (bribed with a visit to the F1 shop and the Imperial War Museum) and make it my third reason for my trip to London.