The novel is set in the suburbs of Dublin and it FEELS like I imagine the 'burbs of Dublin should be -and really, it's not so different from any suburb, anywhere. The prose is rich and evocative, the dialogue clear and unique in my mind's ear and it's just an all-round feast of a read. Kingdom of Scars is Macken's first novel and I hope not his last. He has a talent and flair for writing that needs to be shared, and read by all ages. Macken remembers what it's like to be a teenage boy and shares with us all the uncertainty, bravado, hope and despair of being 15 years old with an artful hand.
I don't read many YA books any more - they don't hold my interest, but this one had me hooked from beginning to end. These kids are real. Flawed, imperfect, growing, dumb as posts and brilliant in the most surprising ways. I knew boys like all these boys here, hell, my own son fits in there somewhere. :) And I knew girls like the girls that make up part of the story, I was one of them way back when.
Treat yourself. Read this book.
An extra bonus is the interview with the author at the end of the book. Eoin Macken has talent, folks!