"To find out what a story's really about,' the Librarian said,

'you don't ask the writer. You ask the reader."

- SNOW & ROSE by Emily Winfield Martin

Saturday, July 21, 2012

A Buzz-Worthy Review: Cold Fury by T.M. Goeglein

by T.M. Goeglein
Release date: July 24th, 2012
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Genre: YA Mystery
Format read: ARC 

(from Goodreads) 

"Jason Bourne meets The Sopranos in this breathtaking adventure. 

Sara Jane Rispoli is a normal sixteen-year-old coping with school and a budding romance - until her parents and brother are kidnapped and she discovers her family is deeply embedded in the Chicago Outfit (aka the mob). 

Now on the run from a masked assassin, rogue cops and her turncoat uncle, Sara Jane is chased and attacked at every turn, fighting back with cold fury as she searches for her family. It's quest that takes her through concealed doors and forgotten speakeasies - a city hiding in plain sight. Though armed with a .45 and 96K cash, an old tattered notebook might be her best defense - hidden in its pages is the secret to "ultimate power." It's why she's being pursued, why her family was taken, and could be the key to saving all of their lives. 

Action packed, with fresh, cinematic writing, COLD FURY is a riveting and imaginative adventure readers will devour." 


"I like history. My mom always says, if you don't understand what happened in the past, how can you understand what's happening now?"
~ Max, Cold Fury (ARC) page 73

"It sounds like a silly bumper sticker, but a hug can keep a person alive." 
- Sara Jane, Cold Fury (ARC) page 222


This is definitely a book for those who love mafia-type stories! Once you get past the first 80-90 pages, the book is full of suspense and picks up speed. There are just enough descriptive passages about how this 'mafia' works without having the the story not lose it's momentum. The main character, Sarah Jane, is one kick-ass chick I don't ever want to mess around with! As scary and uncertain her life gets with every moment that she breaths, she is fierce and determined to find out what has happened to her family. 

This "ultimate power" and a few other small details in the story (trained rats?) made me think that this series may have an underlying supernatural thing to it, which is hard for me to describe because it did not go into too many details about the "ultimate power" yet... this is definitely an intro type of book, but do not be mistaken, there are no boring details here -  every single moment is to be accounted for. 

My only issue is that every single female character, other than Sarah Jane, were deeply flawed and unrelatable. Her mother, though loving and loyal, was secretive and seemed absent a lot. Her female classmates and friends were either gossips or bullies, and even her aunt was mean, controlling and vindictive. And although the male characters had their flaws too, they were more supportive and caring towards Sarah Jane. (The love between her and her little brother is heartwarming and adorable.) Which is wonderful to see. But I felt like it wasn't enough... it might just be me being a bit sensitive to how these female characters were portrayed.

However, I really did enjoy the typical aspects of the story where the mafia is involved - the typical stereotyped characters and their and names, quite humorous and fun. Yes, the whole book has a Bourne Identity meets the Sopranos vibe to it, but it is definitely the young adult version of it. The fight scenes and action are there, but not so extreme.

The ending just about killed me, but I couldn't see it ending in any other way! It's definitely a cliffhanger - not one that I expected at all! And it was such a good one too! One that you'll definitely appreciate and will keep you biting off your fingernails until the next book!


T.M. Goeglein began his career as a writer of print and television ads for a host of advertising and media companies. As a screenwriter, he created both original scripts and worked as a script doctor for several production companies in Los Angeles. He was an original contributor to the Huffington Post 'Living' section, and continues to write for both the national edition and Huffington Post Chicago. Read T.M. Goeglein's stories on the Huffington Post.

His debut young adult novel, COLD FURY, will be published by Penguin/Putnam in 2012 and is the first in a trilogy; he’s currently working on the second book. He lives in Chicago with his wife, Laura, and two young children.


  1. Oh noes a cliffhanger ending.. But this one sounds so so good that I cannot wait to get a copy myself :))

  2. Sounds like something I would like. Ever since White Cat, I've been feeling that mafia vibe. Great review.

  3. Thanks for the great review! I had no idea this was the first of a series. I'm still excited to read it though, despite the massive cliffhanger.


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