The Gold-Sonby Carrie Anne Noble
Published on June 20, 2017 by Skyscape
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All sixteen-year-old Tommin wants is to make beautiful shoes and care for his beloved granny, but his insatiable need to steal threatens to destroy everything. Driven by a curse that demands more and more gold, he’s sure to get caught eventually.
When mysterious Lorcan Reilly arrives in town with his “niece,” Eve, Tommin believes the fellow wants to help him. Instead, Lorcan whisks him off to the underground realm of the Leprechauns, where, alongside Eve, he’s forced to prepare to become one of them.
As Lorcan’s plans for his “gold-children” are slowly revealed, Tommin and Eve plan their escape. But with Tommin’s humanity slipping away, the fate-crossed pair has everything to lose unless they can find a way to outsmart a magical curse centuries in the making.
I could fill a shelf with books that have the potential to be amazing but don’t quite live up to what they claim to offer. This was the case with The Gold-Son, featuring an intriguing cover and a synopsis that promises a tale unlike any I’ve read before. And, indeed, it was certainly original, taking the tale of Leprechauns and breathing new life into it. There’s your potential. The execution, however, fell flat leaving me with little attachment to the plot and characters.
This is the story of Tommin, a shoemaker’s apprentice who happens to be one of the chosen gold-sons of the leprechauns, a fate left to him since his birth. At first, I thought this was a middle-grade novel which, totally fine, but not my kind of read. I think Tommin is actually older than he’s originally portrayed and, at first, I thought that was why I wasn’t as interested in his character. But as the story progressed, I realized I just wasn’t interested in him.
The Gold-Son alternates between the perspectives of Tommin and Eve, a female gold-son (which is an anomaly in this world). From her first scene, I wanted to know more about her than him which made reading this book dreadfully longer. Much of that came down to the fact that you read an entire book and Tommin never really changes. It’s the same thing, over and over.
His story is told in a similar manner, not differing in style from beginning to end. There’s a lot of “telling.” You hear over and over that you should “show not tell” but telling is okay in some cases. Not for an entire book. I felt like I was reading an old folktale. Which, this kind of looks like, if you go off the cover. And maybe that was the intention. The only issue with that is that I spent 300 pages where I wasn’t invested in the story.
What little tension could have existed in the story was offset by the characters’ actions. Tommin is essentially kidnapped from his home and threatened if he doesn’t obey, but I never really felt any real danger behind all the words.
Finally, the story is broken up into parts. Why, I don’t know. They felt disjointed and the pacing was all over the place. I spent a lot of the time either reading sections quickly with the hope that the story was FINALLY picking up only for it to take the opposite turn and leave me with little interest in continuing.
The Gold-Son has a unique premise and I think that it could have been a great read, but when it came down to the execution, I was left bored. Unfortunate since I was excited for a story about leprechauns.