Friday, December 8, 2017

Book Review: The Glass Spare (The Glass Spare #1)

Release Date: October 24, 2017
Author: Lauren DeStefano
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Length: 402 pages
Source: OwlCrate Book

A banished princess.
A deadly curse.
A kingdom at war.

Wil Heidle, the only daughter of the king of the world’s wealthiest nation, has grown up in the shadows. Kept hidden from the world in order to serve as a spy for her father—whose obsession with building his empire is causing a war—Wil wants nothing more than to explore the world beyond her kingdom if only her father would give her the chance.

Until one night Wil is attacked, and she discovers a dangerous secret. Her touch turns people into gemstone. At first, Wil is horrified—but as she tests its limits, she’s drawn more and more to the strange and volatile ability. When it leads to tragedy, Wil is forced to face the destructive power within her and finally leave her home to seek the truth and a cure.

But finding the key to her redemption puts her in the path of a cursed prince who has his own ideas for what to do with her power.

With a world on the brink of war and a power of ultimate destruction, can Wil find a way to help the kingdom that’s turned its back on her, or will she betray her past and her family forever?



Protagonist: Wil, like all children of the king, has grown up without anyone (aside from her family and those in their employ) knowing what she looks like, thus she can be used to be a spy for her father the king, however she has yet to see the world she desperately wants to. When she discovers a curse where everything living she touches turning into gemstone, she fears she'll never get to see the world, however, once tragedy strikes she'll leave her home and all she holds dear to find a way to end this curse once and for all. I really liked the character of Wil, but honestly, as the story unfolded I never felt like she developed that much as a character, she has her trials and tribulations sure, but I never really saw any flaws to her character that weren't justifiable given her current situation. I didn't necessarily NEED her to be flawed, but having a character with realistic and developable flaws just make characters far more interesting.

Romance: The romance kind of fell flat for me. Whenever there is a main character whose touch is deadly I'm always interested to see how the author writes the romance and unfortunately it always goes the same way, with a love interest who isn't affected by the touch. Now barring that I did like the slow burn of this romance. While you could see from, well honestly from the synopsis, who Wil's love interest would be, their relationship develops rather slowly and I really enjoyed that. I'm all for a will they/won't they relationship even if I'm sure they will, but it was at one point, where the romance took a huge leap forward that I was turned off by it, there's still enough to keep me rooting for these two characters, but honestly I sort of felt like the author jumped the gun for emotional impact rather than believability.

World Building: So, not much happens in this book. Well, that's not true, a lot happens, but it all felt like set up without any actual pay off. I'm completely fine with a first book in a series having a significant amount of set-up since well, it's the first book in a series, but I felt like the author spent so much time setting everything up just right that when she was done she didn't have time to actually do much of anything. Don't get me wrong I'm excited to see where this story is going, but I was hoping for some real development with the story instead of a lot of set up and the establishment of characters and Wil's relationship to them. I do really like the world, however, and the author's take on a bit more of an Industrial Age fantasy. I like that the two kings caught up in this war are both rather flawed with one being power hungry and the other too stubborn and prideful to make alliances beyond his own kingdom.

Predictability: Well, to be honest most of the twists that this book has are all spelled out in the synopsis, well, that's not completely true, though there are things in the synopsis that are "revealed" rather late in the story which confused me since I forgot that they were never fully established. Anyway, there are a good few twists to this story that really caught my interest and caught me off guard. However, those twists usually fed into the set up that I've already said my peace on.

Ending: The final climax of this story was really interesting but was sort of over before it truly began which led into an extended cooldown period before picking up just a bit before sending the reader off. It's where the story picks up for just a bit that's the most interesting part of the story. There's a lot that's revealed and a lot that sets up the next book in the series. This story doesn't really end of a cliffhanger, but it's not exactly plateaued either. the main idea for the next book is pretty clearly spelled out and while I'm intrigued to see what happens next I'm not chomping at the bit to re-enter this world just yet.p


This one was really hard to rate as there was a lot to this story I liked but again, it felt like the author spent too much time setting everything up, and honestly setting too much up as there were definitely a few things that could have waited until future installments, at least from what I could tell, that there wasn't enough time to truly play within this world and develop the plot more. I'm still excited to continue this seriesand I'm hoping for a more exciting book 2.

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