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Monday, May 20, 2013

NICOLE'S REVIEW: Cold Fury by T.M. Goeglein

Title: Cold Fury
Author: T.M. Goeglein
Format Acquired: Hardcover
Publication Date: July 24 2012
Publishing House: Putnam Juvenile
ISBN: 9780399257209
Source of Copy: Purchased from National Bookstore


Sara Jane Rispoli has just turned sweet sixteen, but so far, it's anything but sweet. She'd planned to spend this birthday at the spring dance with the handsome Max Kissberg, not being chased and attacked by a masked assassin, dirty cops, and a turncoat uncle. She certainly didn't plan on discovering that her family is deeply embedded in the Chicago Outfit (aka The Mob) or to come home and find them gone.

Now on the run but determined to find her family, Sara JAne fights back with a flame burning in her gut - a deadly cold fury. Though also armed with a .45 and a briefcase full of cash, an old tattered notebook may be her best defense. It holds the ket to "Ultimate Power." It's why she's being pursued, it's why her family was taken away, and it could be the key to saving her life.

Action packed with fresh cinematic writing, Cold Fury is a riveting and imaginative adventure announcing a compelling new voice in YA.

(Image and information courtesy of Goodreads; Summary lifted from actual book)


I was sick when I read this book and I'm actually still sick as I write this review. Despite my ailing state I couldn't help but notice how well crafted Cold Fury is with regards to my initial trepidation.

Sara Jane Rispoli just turned 16 and while some girls get parties or maybe ponies, Sara Jane gets her family taken away from her and finds herself the unwilling and unwitting guardian of a notebook chock full of her family's secrets - most of which she had no clue about whatsoever, like oh her family being deeply enmeshed and highly integral to the Chicago Outfit/the Mob. Sara Jane just wants her family back and with the aid of the notebook, a .45 and a briefcase full of cash, it's time to unleash the full force of her cold fury on those who dared take from her.

Sara Jane is a strong character, emotionally and physically. Sure, she has crying jags and a few breakdowns but she always manages to get back up on her feet, keep a cool head and keep on fighting. She keeps to herself most of the time and refrains from making scenes.  Although there are times where she does act like a normal girl, especially if it's in the vicinity of a cute guy. Kudos to the author for managing to get inside the head of a teenage girl, even one as chill as Sara Jane. If there's one thing my co-blogger and I can't help but appreciate are male authors who manage to portray a very believable female protagonist.  

While it's also true that the first chapters were a bit slow in their pacing, that is in no way detrimental to the overall story. The first chapters give readers a sort of background on the Rispoli  family dynamics and how the protagonist was like before her family was taken away. Seeing how close Sara Jane was to her and how she depended on them for attention and such made her family's abduction and her uncle's betrayal all the more devastating. It was actually really interesting to see how secretive Sara Jane's father really was and how everything was just hiding in plain sight.

I wasn't expecting much on the romance front because really, you're on the run for your life, bad people are out to get you and you're worried about your love life? Yeah, not exactly believable. But what little romance I found in the story - it's very minimal - proved to be undeniably endearing and made me want a happily ever after for Sara Jane. 

I also loved the setting in Cold Fury, the intricate mazes built into the city's underground that serve as escape hatches or passages for transportation of illegal goods, it was interesting seeing a different side to Chicago.

So Cold Fury reads like a movie, action-packed and filled to the brim with mystery and thrills, told in the engaging voice of protagonist Sara Jane Rispoli and provides an interesting take on Chicago's underworld. 



  1. I love the cover and the summary of "Cold Fury". I haven't read a book that didn't have magic or fantasy in months so I'm definitely picking this up. That and also action-packed and light romance! Count me in! I hope you get better soon!

    1. I'm all better now! And yes, this book surprised me, I didn't really think it'd turn out this good. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did! Thanks for stopping by.