blo Teens Read and Write: GLIMMERGLASS by Jenna Black

Thursday, July 29, 2010


by Jenna Black
pub: May 2010/St Martin's Griffin
Teen Fiction

Dana Hathaway doesn’t know it yet, but she’s in big trouble. When her alcoholic mom shows up at her voice recital drunk, Dana decides she’s had it with being her mother’s keeper, so she packs her bags and heads to stay with her mysterious father in Avalon: the only place on Earth where the regular, everyday world and the magical world of Faerie intersect. 

But from the moment Dana sets foot in Avalon, everything goes wrong, for it turns out she isn't just an ordinary teenage girl—she's a Faeriewalker, a rare individual who can travel between both worlds, and who can bring magic into the human world and technology into Faerie.

Soon, she finds herself tangled up in a cutthroat game of Fae politics. Someone's trying to kill her, and everyone wants something from her, even her newfound friends and family from her newfound friends and family to Ethan, the hot Fae guy Dana figures she’ll never have a chance with… until she does.  Caught between two worlds, Dana isn’t sure where she’ll ever fit in and who can be trusted, not to mention if her world will ever be normal again… Suddenly, life with her alcoholic mom doesn't sound half bad, and Dana would do anything to escape Avalon and get back home. Too bad both her friends and her enemies alike are determined not to let her go . .

GLIMMERGLASS delivers fast-paced faerie fun!

Dana gets hit with disaster after disaster from the moment she steps into Avalon. Life sucked with her mom but at least she knew what to expect and where people stood. In Avalon, very little is what it seems. Her dad’s in jail when she arrives and her aunt’s “hospitality” proves dangerous. She gets rescued by Ethan – gorgeous and charming – and his sister Kimber. But they have ulterior motives as well. Then Dad finally shows up and turns out his happiness at her arrival may not be simple paternal love. And because of her powers as a Faeriewalker, people want to kidnap or kill her.

I loved Dana’s voice – sassy, tough, witty - yet she's often lost and vulnerable. She didn’t always make the best decisions. Her behavior could change from mature and smart to juvenile and silly but she was always sympathetic and seemed to be doing the best she could in her new-found crazy situation.

Her initial ga-ga reaction to Ethan was annoying but then he proves less than honest, and she makes some smart decisions on how to deal with him. Kimber turns out to be a sweetheart and they develop a nice friendship. Dana gets this terrific bodyguard, Finn – you know, the dangerous dude with a soft side. His son, Keane, is initiated to help train her how to fight. He’s the brooding bad boy – who’s really not so bad, and one of the only people who’s honest with her. There’s a potential love triangle here and so far, I’m leaning toward Keane…but Ethan is adorable.

There’s so much action going on in GLIMMERGLASS that I didn’t mind that Dana’s powers aren’t developed. Actually, she hardly uses them or even understands them. Yeah, it’s a set-up book but one of the better ones with exploding action and dangerous intrigue dragging you into dazzling drama - what a good time!

The romance stays on the reserved side. While things initially burn hot with Ethan, his deceit cools that fire. And Dana only has a potential spark with Keane. He’s not even around much - it's great when he is and look forward to more. But the action, combined with interesting characters and trying to figure out who’s doing what and why – lots of twists - kept me riveted.

The ending is exciting and satisfying, and while hopeful in some ways, it’s also rather sad because Dana keeps getting hit with disappointment. I’m looking forward to seeing her develop into an even stronger character who masters her powerful potential, and her destiny!

SEXUAL CONTENT: Mild. Doesn’t go beyond a hot kissing make-out session.
COVER: Love it – beautiful and magical!

BOTTOM LINE: Little light on romance, or development of Dana’s powers but packed with action! Spunky protagonist, engaging secondary characters, intrigue and danger peppered with plenty of twists. Love faeries? Grab it! Highly recommended for older and younger teens.

Jenna Black is your typical writer. Which means she's an "experience junkie." She got her BA in physical anthropology and French from Duke University.

Once upon a time, she dreamed she would be the next Jane Goodall, camping in the bush making fabulous discoveries about primate behavior. Then, during her senior year at Duke, she did some actual research in the field and made this shocking discovery: primates spend something like 80% of their time doing such exciting things as sleeping and eating.
Concluding that this discovery was her life's work in the field of primatology, she then moved on to such varied pastimes as grooming dogs and writing technical documentation. Among her other experiences . . .
  • Ballroom dancing.
  • Traveling all seven continents. Yes, even Antarctica.
  • Becoming a Life Master in Bridge.
  • Singing in a barbershop chorus.
Shadowspell (Faeriewalker book 2) will be released on 1/4/2011 by St. Martin’s Press – I’ll definitely be reading this one.  You can read a free Faeriewalker prequel short story here. Jenna is also the author of several popular adult urban fantasy/paranormal novels.
Jenna Black on the Web

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Blodeuedd said...

Great review. It sounds nice, I know there are many fairie books out there now but haven't read many

Savannah said...

I have heard sp much about this book. I need to pick this up.

Jemi Fraser said...

Thanks for the review - sounds like a great book :)

Liz @ Cleverly Inked said...

I have not had a chance to grab this one yet. I have 5 more before it.

Kate said...

Oooh, this sounds great! Superb review!

Anonymous said...

Sounds great! Love the concept, read first chapters and loved it! Will try and find it, here in the other side of the world.

Missie, The Unread Reader said...

I hadn't even heard of this title! Thanks for the great review! Now I am looking forward to getting my hands on this book!

Tales of Whimsy said...

Magical? OK! I want :)

Lola said...

I've only read one other review of this one, and it was negative. It's good to read an alternate perspective! :)

YA Book Queen said...

I wasn't too sure about this one, but it does sound like a fun book with some action. Definitely glad to know that the ending is satisfying, cliffhangers are pure evil!

Ladytink_534 said...

Oh very cool! I love how many fae YA book there are out there lately.

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