The summary reads like a fairly typical YA novel, but that is only the packaging. The City's Son has its fair share of mature themes and plot events that you would never have found spelled out in anything written for kids on the verge of adulthood. In fact this unexpected shift of perception made this a richer read.
I don't want to give anything away, but the ending was unexpected in the best of ways. There's a certain necessary choice made towards the end of the book that cinched the story for me. If you've read it, you know what I'm talking about. I'm surprised the story went there, and that so far it hasn't been reversed -- there's a sequel coming up so I may eat my words.
In an entire book full of implausible events, what I found jolting was how easily Beth chose to throw away her own life in favor of this unbelievable one she just came across. She didn't even question it, which is something you'd expect a saucy young teenager to do.
This is a good read. The city of London comes to life, both literally and figuratively, in The City's Son. Even though I don't live in London, this book has imbued the idea of Cities with a certain kind of magic and sentience. Just being able to see the city you live in in a different light might be something worth picking this book up for.