Friday, April 22, 2011

Recommendation: 'The wingless boy' by Jay Amory

The wingless boy by Jay Amory
When I first picked up The Wingless Boy by Jay Amory, I thought ‘Oh yeah, angels. Like that's never been done before'. I then opened it to find a page-long chapter about marrows. So what the hey, I took it home.

This isn't really a book about angels – or marrows – at all. Not really science fiction but not pure fantasy either, the story takes place above and beneath a swirling mass of clouds that separates two very different worlds. The Airborn, a race of people with wings (but aren't angels!), live a cushy life in the Sky Cities while the Groundlings slave away on the ground and lead a generally miserable existence, oppressed by priests who abuse their blind faith to line their own pockets with gold.

Enter Azrael Gabrielson, an Airborn boy (who despite the name is definitely not an angel!) born wingless, which makes him a freak and a cripple in the eyes of the other Airborn. When a mysterious man turns up on his doorstep with a summons from the city’s ruler, he doesn't realise that he's about to change the lives of the Airborn and Groundlings forever.

Fast-paced, action-packed and addictive, with a cast of characters that you can actually care about, it’s easy to immerse yourself in Amory’s unique world. Don't be put off by the door-stop size of The Wingless Boy – it’s the first two volumes of the series in one. You will start to lose track of how far you've really read, as the chapters are bite-sized and snappy, and pretty soon you’ll be saying to yourself 'just one more chapter!' at 1am when your eyelids are drooping and you've got a bus to catch in the morning...

- Harry


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