Genres: Paranormal, Fantasy, Horror
Age Group: Young Adult
Publication Date: 1st October 2013
Number of Pages: 387
Source: Netgalley (Published by Strange Chemistry)
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London's true essence portrayed and paired with fantasy elements that perfectly match it's urban setting.
Skulk was truly one of those fantastic books that you only come across every so often. It was gripping and gruesome, and kept you guessing as to who the bad and goods guys actually were. The London setting within this book was perfect as it portrayed London's tourist, business and 'upmarket' areas brilliantly as well as showing the other side of London through its gritty back alleys and run-down tube stations.
The main character, Meg, is also not your typical YA heroine. She's a curvy, food-loving graffiti artist from the luxurious and expensive Kensington in West London. Her mother, a Member of Parliament, would be mortified if she knew her daughter roamed the streets at night painting graffiti art on the side of bridges or run-down buildings but Meg (aka Thatch) has high aspirations of becoming as well known in the underground graffiti scene as her idol, E3.
As Meg is out one night painting graffiti on her school's wall, she encounters an injured fox carrying a gem-like stone in its mouth, but what shocks Meg more is when the fox turns into a naked man and utters the words 'the fog' as his last words. What fog? What's the significance of this gem-like stone? A fox turns into a man? What the f***? All these questions are answers throughout the book and as more twists and turns are thrown at Meg (and us as the readers), we learn more and more about the shape-shifting world and how Meg fits into it all.
My favourite aspect of this book is the seamless joining of all the 'normal' London elements with the urban fantasy elements. I mean shape-shifters whose animal shapes are foxes, spiders, ravens, rats and butterflies - these are all such British, especially London, creatures and not the most luxurious ones at that. It this true sense of London mixed with such realistic urban fantasy elements that makes for such great world-building within this book. I mean evil pigeons- perfection - name me one British person who likes pigeons?
I strongly recommend this book to everyone, whether you're British or not, you will no doubt love this book!