Skulk by Rosie Best
|Skulk by Rosie Best|
|Reviewer: Robert James|
|Summary: Wonderful urban fantasy with an outstanding heroine and an excellent plot. Rosie Best popped into Bookbag Towers to chat to us.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 400||Date: October 2013|
|Publisher: Strange Chemistry|
|External links: Author's website|
All Meg wanted to do was go out and create a real work of graffiti art. Then she sees a dying fox transform into a man, and pass onto her a mysterious gem, and all of a sudden she's inherited a whole new world of problems. Skulk sees its heroine plunged into a secret London, where raggedy groups of people transform into animals. The shapechangers have never got on with each other, but with a mysterious stranger trying to claim the strange gemstone Meg's forced to try to unite this ragtag bunch.
The main strength is a wonderful narrator in Meg - bullied by a tyrannical mother for being a size sixteen and not fitting in with the image her family are trying to project, and catapulted into a world she doesn't understand. The character development here is brilliant and I loved the way the fantasy seems to match so well with Meg's real-life problems in relating to her family. (Speaking of her family, her mother is completely vile - one of the most compellingly horrendous characters I've ever read about, emotionally abusive and bullying.) Sadly, her behaviour is all too believable.
There's an interesting supporting cast which really reflects the diversity of London, with characters of many different ethnicities and sexualities. My favourite is definitely Addie, a younger fox shapeshifter, who's absolutely adorable - a really sympathetic character.
In addition, it has an excellent plot - including a strong ending which resolves part of the plot while leaving me really keen to read the sequel. The world-building in creating the shapeshifters is well-done, and it's good to see a romance which doesn't dominate the plot - it takes a definite backseat to the action here.
Overall, this is a strong recommendation for fans of urban fantasy, and confirms that Strange Chemistry are one of the best imprints out there.
Lots of other great books from Strange Chemistry - my favourite being Pantomime by Laura Lam. For another heroine getting drawn into a fantasy version of London, Un-Lun-Dun by China Mieville is a wonderful read.
This review was kindly given to us by the ever-generous Ya Yeah Yeah
Rosie Best was kind enough to be interviewed by Bookbag.
You can read more book reviews or buy Skulk by Rosie Best at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
You can read more book reviews or buy Skulk by Rosie Best at Amazon.com.
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