A spider this way crawls....
Blackstone was a thriving metropolis before the Dark Summer - a wave of violence and crime that swept through the city eight years ago and left a boy called Caw to fend for himself on the streets, his only companions a small group of crows.
Caw has never known why he can understand the crows. But when he rescues a girl named Lydia from a vicious attack, he discovers others like him: ferals who can speak to certain animals. And some of them are dangerous.
Now, the most sinister feral of all - the Spinning Man - is on the move again. And to save Lydia, her family, and all of Blackstone from being caught in his web, Caw must quickly master abilities he never knew he had...and prepare to defeat a darkness he never could have imagined.
©2015 Jacob Grey (P)2015 HarperCollins Publishers
It flowed nicely, and was a good story. Unique setting, and I liked the authors dark writing.
The ambiance. Story was interesting.
Really great job by the narrator. He showed good diversity, jumping between voices, accents and the like.
Ferals Book Review
by Jacob Grey
I give this book 3.5 crow talkers out of 5. What? I liked it...
Ferals Alternate Book Cover
First of all, let's start with the book cover. The cover above is absolutely beautiful (the one above.) I say its one of my favorite covers of all time. The color palette is tight, the typography plays into the scene and helps create an effective ambiance. In fact, it was the cover that attracted me to the book initially.
To the left is the alternate cover. I assume the intent here was to try to target the Young Adult demographic, and make the story feel bigger. It, too, is nice, but I prefer the original cover.
Ferals is a book about a boy named Caw (I know you caught the crow reference there...) who was abandoned by his parents at a young age, and raised by the crows. Talking to them is nothing out of the ordinary to him as that is all he has known. He and the crows live in the "nest," and they scavenge the city for food and their upkeep.
The inciting incident initially starts as a bully scene, but then turns into a scenario where some escaped convicts of the worst kind show up, and Caw takes note. He ends up intervening, something he doesn't typically do, and saves the day initially. The first theme brought up is whether his loyalties are to the people, or the crows. The crows end up supporting him, but his interference tangles him in this adventure with the escaped convicts. He'll end up finding out that they are more similar to him than he thought.
Caw partners with the Prison Warden's daughter and they try to hunt down the criminals while protecting their families, and learning about Caw's past, and parents in the process. The world becomes a bigger place as Caw learns he has more to do with all of it than he had originally thought.
The writing in this book is pretty good. This twists and turns were okay, but the writing was good. There is a slightly creepy element to Jacob Grey's style, and I like that. I didn't feel it ever really went overboard, but it was darker, for sure.
Overall, Ferals is a good book. The pacing was smooth—moved along nicer than most books I've read recently—the writing was clean, and ambiance was moody and palpable. The characters surrounding the protagonists were okay. I wouldn't call them flat, but they were just what they needed to be to move things along. All in all, I think I will be reading book #2 when it comes out. On that note, I got a look at its cover today, and it turned out pretty good, too!
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