Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Review: Cold Fury

Author: T.M Goeglein
Release Date: 24th July 2012, preorder a copy!
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Add it: Goodreads
Sara Jane Rispoli is just a normal sixteen-year-old girl coping with school and a developing crush— until her parents and younger brother are kidnapped, and she discovers her family has been a key figure of Chicago’s Outfit (aka the mob) for decades. Her father, grandfather and great grandfather all used their special ability, cold fury, to settle disputes between the two mob factions—the muscle and the money. And unless Sara wants the mob to think her now missing family has turned state’s evidence, she will have to fill her father’s shoes as the mob’s peacemaker, using her own cold fury.

Turning sweet 16 is anything but sweet for Sara Jane Rispoli. When she comes home to find her family missing, the place trashed and walls smeared with blood, her entire life is rocked straight into Crazy Town. Population: Her, a ski-masked freak, crooked cops and a dizzying rollercoaster that has no intentions of letting her off anytime soon. The further she digs into her family's disappearance, the more she tangles herself in this scary new world and the more dangerous her life becomes. On the run with only a gun, a suitcase full of cash and a notebook that if in the wrong hands, could bring down an entire criminal society, Sara Jane must not only fight for her family, but her own survival if she has any hope of reaching them alive. But perhaps her greatest weapon is one buried deep within her, a cold flame of fury that could give her a power far greater than that of guns and fists.

I have to say (as a compliment!), Goelgein really managed to into his inner teenage girl! Sara Jane is the kind of heroine you instantly find yourself liking. She could have easily become a character who was too badass, with her fighting skills and inner steel, but he balanced her power and strength with vulnerability and your typical teenage worries. She still cares about going to prom dateless and longs for her gorgeous friend to treat her like more than a friend, but they're subtle notes in her life. She has far more pressing issues to worry about like the fact that there's always someone in hot pursuit of her, she has no idea if her family is alive or dead and one of the few people she once thought she could trust has made the ultimate betrayal. Add to that a powerful ability burning at her core and it's a wonder the poor girl is still emotionally stable. She's an incredibly admirable heroine who you can still relate to, even if your right-hook is a pitiful intimidation of hers. Don't feel too bad, she's had years of boxing training under her belt.

I love the whole idea of the Outfit. Who isn't fascinated by the mob? It's a dangerous world for the best of the baddies, but for a 16 year old girl to have to navigate her way through this corrupt underground society wrought with all kinds of criminal dealings, it's going to take some serious strength, brains and determination to see it through. And Sara Jane has that in spades. It's definitely a shock to her though, the family she's shared such a close bond with all these years has been hiding some pretty big secrets. But no matter what, she's still fueled by her love for them and it's endearing to see just how strong those bonds of loyalty are. Through flashbacks and memories we gain a deeper understanding of her home dynamic before the events that changed everything and slowly we're given pieces to the mystery that lay at the heart of this novel. Both Sara Jane and the reader must figure out who to trust, the secrets of the family business and what the heck is waiting around the corner, because you can guarantee something is. And it's not likely to be anything good.

Goeglein balanced the realism of High School and the danger of the Outfit perfectly. He also touched on the gritty reality of bullying in a believable way; not with a sugar-coated resolution but one that rang true for this story. I liked that while Sara Jane was still caught up in intense mob drama, she still tried going to school, still tried for that for that tiny shred of normality in life with her friends and perhaps even a touch of romance. Something I think she needed amongst the brutality of her new life.

Goeglein's writing leaps off the page in a way that is so easy to visualise. Packed tight with a thrilling mystery, explosive action and a heroine who you'll be cheering for until the very last page, Cold Fury is an addictive novel. It feels fresh compared to what's lining the majority of YA shelves at the moment and those are the type of books I love discovering, the ones that offer something new and engaging. I can't wait to see what new dangers and discoveries lay ahead for Sara Jane, because it's clear that her journey is far from over.

4.5/5 Golden Apples!

Be sure to check out the Extra's section of T.M Goeglein's website, where you can find Sara Jane's notebook and the first in a series of webisodes to give you a taste of the novel!

Also, Kai from Amaterasu Reads is be hosting an interview and giveaway of COLD FURY today as part of Dystopian Domination, so be sure to head over and enter!


  1. LOL at 'Goelgein really managed into his inner teenage girl'! I'm glad to hear that, since I'm usually a bit hesitant to read books where an author tries to write the story from the POV of the opposite gender ( but of course HP is an exception :D) Sara Jane sounds like a fantastic heroine! Cnt wait to meet her!! Now you have me itching to preorder a copy for myself,even though I'm in a semi-book buying ban :( Fantastic review Brodie! ( but it would help if you were less convincing next time- my poor money!)

  2. Awesomeness. I'm glad you enjoyed this book. This is actually the first review I've read for Cold Fury so thanks to you I'm so excited to read this. Who doesn't love the mob? Great review.

  3. Because you are the most awesome Brodie in the world, I shall tell you that the giveaway is up on the blog now: http://amaterasureads.blogspot.com/2012/01/interview-w-tm-goeglein-cold-fury.html

    I tried asking Theodore if he's a part of the mob, but I think I failed. Haha! Great review (as always), Brodie!

  4. Like Erin, this is the first review I've read of Cold Fury. I find it intriguing though, especially since you gave it a 4.5. I'm not quite sure I understand the whole aspect of the cold fury special power, but they probably go into more detail in the book (at least, I'm assuming they do).

  5. Haha I'd apologise Shirley, but.... you definitely need to read it! Thanks for your lovely comments, ladies! <3

    I linked up to the right giveaway link, Kai! Haha love the interview you did :)

    Nat, I probably should have went into more detail about that, sorry! I was just wary of spoiling anything. But yes, it does go into more detail in the book :)

  6. I need to look out for this book! I'm glad you loved it, Brodie!! The cover looks awesome and of course, your review is amazing as always!!!

  7. Haha, I remember being curious about your thoughts when I saw you reading this on Goodreads. Awesome review as usual!

    The beginning sounds a bit like Strange Angels (:P), except instead of zombies and other paranormal creatures, it's the mob or criminals. Or something. I definitely cannot wait to read this book. Another kickass heroine? Yes please!

  8. Eeeeep!! I've been wanting to read this (I'll borrow Kai's copy ASAP) LOL! I love the sound of this. Goeglein seems like a guy of balance and realism. Love that. I've met badass girls too but I like it when they're soft. ;) Makes everything much more real. I can't stop reading your review!! Awesome!

  9. This looks so great!! I LOVE MOBSTERS! LOL. The book sounds fantastic from beginning to end ;) Great review!

  10. Ahhhh, now I'm definitely going to be reading this book! I was already set on it, but your review just pumped me up with excitement for this. Go, Cold Fury!

    - Asher (from Paranormal Indulgence)

  11. Awesome review Brodie!! I've been looking forward to this one :)

  12. love maffia not that i would love 2 encounter them/ so not brave h a ha

    my first review of it I've read
    tnx 4 sharing your thoughts
    tnx brodie

  13. Glad this one is as good as it sounds! The premise is what interested me initially (like you said - who wouldn't be fascinated by Outfit? :P) but I really like the fact Sara Jane is likeable and the story seems realistic too. Great review, Brodie! Looking forward to reading this :).

  14. Ahhh this sounds so good! Your enthusiasum has me carving to read it now. It's been on my TBR pile for quite a while now. Yay for the mobs! Thanks for the great review :)


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