Our Lady of the Streets by Tom Pollock

August 28, 2014 Reviews 0 ★★★★★

Our Lady of the Streets by Tom PollockOur Lady of the Streets (The Skyscraper Throne #3) by Tom Pollock
Published: 7th August 2014 by Jo Fletcher Books
Format: Hardcover, 438 pages
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Source: Publisher
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5 Stars

Ever since Beth Bradley found her way into a hidden London, the presence of its ruthless goddess, Mater Viae, has lurked in the background. Now Mater Viae has returned with deadly consequences.

Streets are wracked by convulsions as muscles of wire and pipe go into spasm, bunching the city into a crippled new geography; pavements flare to thousand-degree fevers, incinerating pedestrians; and towers fall, their foundations decayed.

As the city sickens, so does Beth – her essence now part of this secret London. But when it is revealed that Mater Viae’s plans for dominion stretch far beyond the borders of the city, Beth must make a choice: flee, or sacrifice her city in order to save it.

The concluding volume of The Skyscraper Throne series will not disappoint fans! Our Lady of the Streets brings Beth and Pen together to take on the Mirror-Goddess and save London from an unimaginable fate.

This series is the story of two best friends who take on an urban goddess. Beth and Pen have gone through so much since we met them, but the hardest part of their journey is yet to come. Beth has transitioned from having a human body to one made of concrete, crisscrossed with London’s streets, and Pen still has the scars from the Wire Mistress. They’ve transformed not only on the outside but on the inside as well and I’m very proud of them 🙂

Let me just talk about Pen here. Unsurprisingly, I identified with Pen more than Beth: I don’t get to see many girls who look like me in fiction, and even fewer who share my faith. And Pen is this amazing, gorgeous, vibrant, hijab-wearing Pakistani girl who attends salat (prayer). She’s my hero!

The presence that the secondary characters have in this novel is extraordinary because a great number of them are physically not even around! Filius Viae is a baby trapped inside the body of a Pavement Priest, Espel is still behind the mirrors, and Pen’s parents don’t remember her any more (and think they’re insane because her aunt still remembers her). And yet they are all so very present in Beth and Pen’s thoughts and memories, which I loved.

There are a bunch of other great characters, including Gutterglass, who is still following Beth, and the Pavement Priests, who don’t know whether to serve Beth or the Mirror Goddess. There is uncertainty in every facet of life in London, and even long-standing allies can switch sides when pressed.

I guess I’ve always wondered what’s happening to the ‘normal’ people while this (literal) underground war has gone on, and we see this vividly in Our Lady of the Streets. Pen and Beth scramble to protect and save as many of London’s inhabitants as they can from the Fever Streets that melt everything and the Blank Streets that trap people inside buildings. The entire city is sick and Beth, who feeds from the streets, slowly takes poisons into her body.

I’ve developed an attachment to the world and its characters, so everything that happened seemed extra emotional to me. I raced through the book, and even though I knew this journey wasn’t going to be easy, I was taken aback by the things that Pen and Beth had to do, the extent to which they were willing to go. On a side-note, I was unexpectedly moved by the roles that Johnny Naphtha and the Chemical Synod played in the novel. I think they’re the best element in the series and I’ve always loved them, so it was especially emotional!

I didn’t want Our Lady of the Streets to end, even as I wanted the torment to stop. I’m going to miss Pollock’s London and his nuanced, vivid characters. I’ll comfort myself with the thought that he’ll hopefully be giving us new adventures to swoon over in the future. If you like urban fantasy and you haven’t checked out these books, then you’re really missing out!

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