Friday, July 23, 2010

Review - Storm Glass By Maria V. Snyder

Grade: B
"All distractions disappeared as I focused on rolling the pipe and shaping the glass. My mind open to the slight nuances in the glass, I used my tweezers and tugged until a shape formed. Then I blew magic into the piece. The core glowed as if on fire."

Video: Watch on youtube

 Maria Snyder wrote the fairly well-known "Study Series", with her books on Yelena and her magic abilities. You can read good reviews about it at Lit Addicted Brit's site  - Poison Study (Book #1),  Magic Study (Book #2) and Book #3 Review: 'Fire Study' by Maria V. Snyder.

The Glass series is an offshoot, still featuring the same world with some character overlap.
Opal Cowen, who features in the Study series, now has her own story to tell.
Unlike Yelena, Opal is a magician with only one useful skill, and is perenially not speaking up for herself. Her lack of confidence and friends constantly haunts her actions in this book.

What is similar about both series is the journey of inner discovery that the heroine has to undergo in order to fully understand her capabilities. Opal is unsure about her place in the academy, her magic skills fail her at every turn, and her classmates despise her for being a below-average student with one big invention to her name. This invention is the creation of magic-infused glass objects which can also allow communication across distances.

Plus: A very nice little story with excellent descriptions of the glass-making process and craft. I enjoyed these sections the most. 
Minus: Opal's failure to bolster her confidence even halfway through the book was a little wearying. Maybe I've been reading too much Malazan Books of the Fallen, or George R R Martin, I wanted more world-building and suspense, and less internal worrying!
Overall:  A pleasant read, and interesting enough to finish once. I wouln't be reading this again, with nothing new to discover on the second readthrough.

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  1. I liked both Storm Glass and Sea Glass but I haven't read the Study series yet. I think Opal is a conflicted character. I read Sea Glass last year but I think that I found her to be improved in this book. I am hoping that Spy Glass will be a strong finish to the series.

    Nice review. I enjoyed the glass making sections too. I missed that in book two.

  2. I agree with you that Opal really is a downer of a character. She does progress with the following books, but if you've read Maria's other series (Study series), she never seems to reach Yelena's strength. I think it was a bit of a tough follow up to her first trilogy.

    Also, read Inside Out if you like Dystopian - I think that book is maybe my favorite by Maria right now.

  3. @Kristen - Haha, 'Opal is a downer of a character' - you put it so well, I totally agree :)
    I did finish the series (I just have to!) and it was okay overall.

    Thanks for the suggestion about Inside Out - I have seen it around, but never picked it up. Sounds like something to keep my weekend busy!


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