Author: TM Goeglein
Genre: YA, thriller, crime
Publication Date: July 24, 2012 (expected)
Summary: Jason Bourne meets The Sopranos in this breathtaking adventure
Sara Jane Rispoli is a normal sixteen-year-old coping with school and a budding romance–until her parents and brother are kidnapped and she discovers her family is deeply embedded in the Chicago Outfit (aka the mob).
Now on the run from a masked assassin, rogue cops and her turncoat uncle, Sara Jane is chased and attacked at every turn, fighting back with cold fury as she searches for her family. It’s a quest that takes her through concealed doors and forgotten speakeasies–a city hiding in plain sight. Though armed with a .45 and 96K in cash, an old tattered notebook might be her best defense–hidden in its pages the secret to “ultimate power.” It’s why she’s being pursued, why her family was taken, and could be the key to saving all of their lives.
☆: 4.5/5 stars – an AWESOME new YA debut!
Review: Oh man. This is definitely on my best of 2012 so far list! From the first page on, once Goeglein gets the action started, it doesn’t stop until the last page. And then it leaves you begging for more. Please say there’ll be another book in this universe, because I am LOVING it. If you like strong YA heroines with minimal romance and maximum ass-kicking, “Cold Fury” is the book for you.
What’s most surprising about this book, I think, is that Goeglein manages to write a first person POV with the female voice – and he does it very, very well. There wasn’t any one point within the entire book where it felt like a masculine POV was intruding – Sara Jane sounded completely and totally like a real girl. Cross-gender narration is very difficult to do right, and it’s doubly hard to do right when you’re writing in first person. Third person close is easier to do because it’s more like the POV is the camera on the character’s shoulder and it allows the author some distance and a buffer zone for any shortcomings within it. So major props to Goeglein for getting it right.
The characters and the world are very tightly wrought and constructed – leaving very little to be poked or prodded at by me. I really found nothing to pick at, and there was little left to be desired, except for the ending, which I felt sped up the pace a little too quickly. I wanted to linger on Sara Jane’s time with her brother a little more (hence not quite five stars), and I’m wondering why Goeglein did this, if it was intentional.
I think the blurb of “The Sopranos meets Jason Bourne” is a pretty apt description for the book – it’s that kind of mashup. There’s the same intensity squished into the story and its plot, and into Sara Jane herself. I like the supernatural aspect of having the “cold fury” within only parts of her family, and I LOVE that she’s the first female (that we know of) within her family to have the ability. I really want to know more about it, though, so I’m hoping more will be exposed in a second book, if there is one coming. But this one can still read as a standalone, for those sick of series, so either way, it’s a really solid book. It can stand by itself, or it can serve as a wonderful first book in a series. I’m sincerely hoping for the latter.
Bottom line? We need more female-oriented books like this in YA. Less love triangles, more urgency, and more strong heroines. Goeglein does us girls a solid in this one, and I’m thankful for it.
“Cold Fury” will be out July 24th, 2012 from Putnam Juvenile in North America. This book definitely deserves the read, so be sure to check it out when it drops in July. Seriously. Definitely has a more than worthy place on the best of 2012 so far list.