Wednesday, October 12, 2011

"Glimmerglass" by Jenna Black (Faeriewalker Book 1) Review

Glimmerglass (Faeriewalker, Book 1)

From Booklist

This new series begins smartly with 16-year-old Dana, tired of coping with her alcoholic single mother, running away to find her father in Avalon, which, in this arch and insightful version, is situated between twenty-first-century London and the world of faerie. Black handles the mash-up of genres and cultures deftly, giving Dana a credibility that keeps readers cheering her on through such dismal adventures as being dogged by a bodyguard while trying to spend her newfound father’s euros and getting attacked by would-be assassins, as well as those of a more delicious variety, like discovering that bad-boy hunk Ethan may not be all that bad after all. The world building here is brisk but accessible, the issues range from teen angst to faerie politics, and the skills needed to negotiate both include some magic-spell work and some sharp-tongue work. This is a promising start to a series that should have broad appeal among teens tiring of vampires but not dangerous romance. Grades 8-11. --Francisca Goldsmith

For me to give a book two stars, I have to finish it and think, "I really didn't enjoy that at all." That rarely happens, and even an "It was just OK" earns three stars in my ratings system. 
Glimmerglass just wasn't for me. The plot was promosiing: political intrigue in Avalon, the only city where humans and Fae coexist. Dana, the main character, doesn't know who to trust or what side anyone is really on. That should've made for a dramatic and twisty-turny book. Instead, I found myself noticing how simplistic the writing style was and that Dana was kind of whiny and immature. She tells us how responsible and grown up she is, but when an author has to tell us things instead of showing, it's not nearly as effective. Plot-driven, first person POVs often have this problem, but I can overlook it if the narrator has a distinct and well-created voice. Glimmerglass didn't make me overlook its flaws. 
It could almost have been written for middleschoolers, but the profanity wasn't approriate for that age group. Nor was the fact that everyone wanted to give Dana alcohol, and she willingly accepted, even though she was underage and her mother is an alcoholic whose drinking has ruined Dana's life. 
I just couldn't get behind the main love interest, Ethan. He is, of course, "hot." We're told that repeatedly. (Everyone is hot in this book, except for Dana who mentions over and over again how average and painfully human she is compared to the gorgeous fae.)*Minor Spoiler* He secretly uses magic to "help Dana relax" while they are kissing and I'm sorry, but that's just a little too close to "You know you'll like, have another drink" for my taste. This is supposed to be a book for teenagers, so that didn't sit well with me. Neither did the description of can I put this delicately?...very visible physical sign that Ethan was into their makeout session.I've heard the descriptions get more graphic in the next book in the series. 
Plus, there are hints of a love triangle in the future. There's no reason for Dana to like any of the guys she's into, other than that they are...yet again..."hot." 
One more thing: I can't stand it when a character does not ask the obvious question that is staring her in the face. If you had a mysterious necklace that seemed to get warm whenever magic was being used nearby, wouldn't you ask someone who knew about magic what the deal was? Dana doesn't. I could've dealt with that had the rest of the book held my interest, but it didn't. I'm not going to read the rest of the series.
2 Cupcakes
*Review also on*

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