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random library adventures

Intermittent reviews & commentary. Preferred genres: YA; contemporary lit; sci-fi/fantasy; comic books

Currently reading

One Hundred and Forty Five Stories in a Small Box: Hard to Admit and Harder to Escape, How the Water Feels to the Fishes, and Minor Robberies
Dave Eggers, Deb Olin Unferth
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
Ransom Riggs
The Best American Short Stories 2009
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Susanna Clarke
The Graveyard Book
Neil Gaiman
Cornelia Funke, Anthea Bell
Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls
David Sedaris
The Quick-Change Artist
Cary Holladay

Storm Glass (Glass, Book 1)

Storm Glass - Maria V. Snyder I picked this up randomly off the new fiction tables in the library because the summary looked interesting. I'll say one thing: I learned a lot about glass-making. The author describes the process in precise detail numerous times, and her descriptions of the glass and storm magic form the best passages of the book. The actual character interactions are less compelling (except for the briefly touched-on relationship between Opal and her school nemesis, Pazia), particularly when it came to Opal and her sorta boyfriend, Ulrick--it wasn't bad, precisely, just boring. The other issue is that, for the most part, the writing felt aimed at a young audience: it was simplistic stylistically, and while the sections on glassmaking were very interesting, it sometimes felt like I was listening to a teacher rather than being told a story.

This is all fine, except that the last section of the book suddenly swerves into very explicitly unpleasant territory (nerve torture via clamps oh god ow), not just because of the torture but also because Snyder presents the torturer as a possible love interest for Opal :< Luckily Opal eventually decides to stick with the person she actually has feelings for (Kade, who is interesting but underused), but there are more books in this series and I reckon Devlen (aka Mr Clampy) will be back. I'll probably have a look at them if the library purchases them, but generally speaking this wasn't one of my favorites. So hard to find good romantic fantasy.