Monday, June 29, 2009

Book Review: Storm Glass [2009]

Storm Glass is the first book in Maria V. Snyder's new trilogy, loosely connected to the earlier Study series (Poison Study, Magic Study, and Fire Study), but with a new, young protagonist, Opal Cowan. [Snotty aside: The back cover of the copy I got from Agawam has her last name spelled "Cowen"--whoops. Way to edit, guys.] I really enjoyed Poison Study and thought it was fresh and original, but felt that the other books in the series lost something in terms of plotting, pacing, and overall coherence, although the sequels were still enjoyable. Unfortunately, Storm Glass continues this trend, following in the footsteps of Bloodhound in that it could have spared a good hundred pages without losing much of substance. Opal is a hesitant, damaged narrator (which is interesting, and Snyder isn't afraid to expose her to additional torment), who has perhaps too many love interests (who knew that was even possible?). The plot is convoluted so I'm not going to attempt to explain it here, and there is too much traveling about the countryside from plot point to plot point for my comfort. The conclusion of the book leaves many threads unresolved for the sequels, so much so that I have a lingering sense of dissatisfaction. Cameos from characters in her other novels are welcome, but there wasn't a good way for her to work in the two characters I really wanted to see again: Valek and the Commander. Here's hoping Snyder will be able to remedy that in Sea Glass, in which I hope fervently that she will return to the form of Poison Study.

Grade: C+

Random thoughts: The book read a lot like a Young Adult novel and could be recommended as such, although it does have some disturbing scenes of torture.

The author's website.

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