Monday, November 16, 2009

Storm Glass (Glass, Book 1) by Maria V. Snyder (3/5 stars)

This is the first book in the Glass trilogy by Maria v. Snyder. This book follows Opal, the glass maker involved in some of the Poison Study stories. It was an okay book; but the characters lack a lot of the charisma seen in the Poison Study series. I actually listened to this on audio book and the audio book was very well done.

Something is wrong with the Stormdancers' orbs. Storm season has almost arrived and two Stormdancers have been killed by shattering orbs. Opal and her mentor are sent to the Stormdancer clan to see if they can help fix the glass the orbs are created out of. There Opal meets Kade the only surviving Stormdancer in the clan. Upon completion of that mission Opal is sent on a mission with her hated classmate, Pazia, to look into some black market diamonds and also tasked with building a glass shop in the keep. The incidents with the orbs and the diamonds seem intertwined, but how? Can Opal figure out what is going in without getting into too much trouble?

The plot and storyline were very well done. Snyder does well creating intricate plots and has a nice writing style that is descriptive, serene, and easy to read. The world of Citia is well thought out and this series flows seamlessly with the first series. The adventures get a bit overdone; you feel like Opal never has time to take a break she is constantly thrown from one panic to the next. This relentless pace make have had some impact on the biggest thing I didn't like about the book which was the characters.

Unfortunately Snyder missed the mark with the characters in this book. Opal is a hard character to like. She spends much of the book in uncertainty, constantly feeling sorry for herself, and needing constant assurance of how talented she is. For some reason the surrounding characters constantly tell Opal how clever and smart she is despite the fact that Opal is dense and always confused about what is going on. There were a number of times during the book where it took Opal many pages to realize that something straightforward was going to happen. My husband and I listened to this together; and many times we would end up rolling our eyes as it took Opal forever to think her way through something that we figured out instantly. Then Ulrik or Kade would be "Oh Opal you are so smart!" It was ridiculous. The story would have been much better without Opal. The only thing I did enjoy about Opal's character were the increasingly interesting powers she developed as the book went on.

The other characters were not much better. Ulrick, was boorish and selfish. I couldn't understand why Opal liked him, outside of the fact he was cute and could blow glass. The whole deal with Ulrick shadowing Opal was a bit overdone; I understood Ulrick was shadowing Opal, I didn't need as many reminders as Snyder gave. The villains were also fairly one dimensional; minimal time as given to their backgrounds or personalities. The only character I actually found interesting was Kade and he was out of the picture most of the time.

In summary the plot development and writing style were very similar to the Poison Study series. The characters in this book have none of the fire and spirit to them that Yelena and Valek did though. I think the book would have been vastly improved with either different or more in depth characterization. Will I read the second book in the series? I am not sure right now. Opal's character drove me nuts; she was just so dense. But, I do really like Kade, so following the rest of the story for his sake might be worth it. We will see.


  1. I agree with the point you brought up about Snyder's characters getting more one-dimensional. Kade actually doesn't get better in the second book, but plot-wise it's an ok read. In Sea Glass, the better characters in my opinion are actually Leif and Janco.

  2. Hi Dawnntodusk,

    Thanks for your comment. It is kind of a bummer to hear that Kade didn't improve in the second book :-( I haven't read the second book in the series yet, and I am not sure I will. I was kind of hoping "Sea Glass" would get rave reviews, but I haven't heard great things about it.
    - Karissa

  3. I did a short review on it on my MAL blog, but in short, for me it was worth reading for the humour that Janco brings into it. Not too sure about the rest though, since I'm not too fond of Snyder's "rollercoaster" style where before I understand one event another has already occurred.