Friday, February 11, 2011

Glass Series by Maria V Snyder: Review
Posted by Tiffany at 7:07 AM

Title: Storm Glass (Book One)

Author: Maria V. Snyder (site)
Publisher: Mira
Pages: 379
Source: Library
Rating: 3/5
As a glassmaker and a magician-in-training, Opal Cowen understands trial by fire. Now it's time to test her mettle. Someone has sabotaged the Stormdancer clan's glass orbs, killing their most powerful magicians. The Stormdancers—particularly the mysterious and mercurial Kade—require Opal's unique talents to prevent it happening again. But when the mission goes awry, Opal must tap in to a new kind of magic as stunningly potent as it is frightening. And the further she delves into the intrigue behind the glass and magic, the more distorted things appear. With lives hanging in the balance—including her own—Opal must control powers she hadn't known she possessed…powers that might lead to disaster beyond anything she's ever known.

Review: I went into this series with really high expectations. I've heard so many great things about her other series. I only started this one first because NetGalley had the third one available. The world that Snyder has built here is wonderful: those with magical ability have to be taught how to control it young or they will explode with an overfill of magic, killing themselves and anyone nearby. Opal is apparently a minor character from Snyder's Study series who has the ability to put magic inside of glass-but can't use magic in any other way, making her a one-trick wonder. This and her close relationship to some of the most powerful people in the land make her an outcast, shunned by the other students. I loved the story, but I just couldn't seem to care about Opal. She was just such a pushover. There weren't enough evil characters in the book, everyone was basically good. The only relief was her rival at school, but she was more annoying than evil. Things didn't really get interesting until Opal started to get powerful. I thought, "Here we go! She's going to grow some balls!" Alas, she just rolled over and took the punishment they handed out for something that she had no control over. Also, something about the way a certain character (who is supposed to be evil) was described in his cameo towards the beginning of this tipped me off to the fact that he would later be a romantic interest. I don't know if this was a bizarre flash of insight on my part of plot transparency, but it was a bit annoying.

Title: Sea Glass
Pages: 379
Source: Library
Rating: 3/5
Synopsis: Student glass magician Opal Cowan's newfound ability to steal a magician's powers makes her too powerful. Ordered to house arrest by the Council, Opal dares defy them, traveling to the Moon Clan's lands in search of Ulrick, the man she thinks she loves. 

Thinks, because she is sure that another man, now her prisoner, has switched souls with Ulrick.

In hostile territory, without proof or allies, Opal isn't sure whom to trust. She can't forget Kade, the handsome Stormdancer who doesn't want to let her get close. And now everyone is after Opal's special powers for their own deadly 

Review: I so wanted Opal to be a bada** in this one. She starts out strong, running off to do her own thing, but she still has that victim/servant mentality, making it hard for me to respect her. I loved her foreign spy sidekick, though. I would love to see a series centered on him and his cohorts. Devlen was a fun character, as far as evil villains go, but I think it's a bit ridiculous to make someone who tortured her a love interest. Also, if she is a super-powerful magician, she needs to ACT LIKE IT. I'm sick of her whining and bowing, she needs to make them respect her. Can't her friend, the most powerful person in the world, do something? It seems a bit ridiculous to me. 

Title: Spy Glass
Pages: 535
Source: NetGalley
Rating: 3/5
Synopsis: After siphoning her own blood magic in the showdown at Hubal, Opal Cowan has lost her powers. She can no longer create glass magic. More, she's immune to the effects of magic. Opal is an outsider looking in, spying through the glass on those with the powers she once had, powers that make a difference in the world. 

Suddenly, the beautiful pieces she makes flash in the presence of magic. And then she discovers that someone has stolen some of her blood - and that finding it might let her regain her powers. Or know it could be they are lost forever...
Review: Opal does not get any more likeable in this, the final book in the series. She goes from weak to self-pitying after she loses her abilities, even though she was always whining about them. Her love life is a huge mess, mostly because she can't be honest with anyone. I liked Devlen a lot until it turned out that he's not really a bad guy, it was just the magical addiction. I would rather he was a bad guy who had reformed, it seemed like a cop-out to me. I was happy with the ending, everything was wrapped up nicely. The series, as a whole, was a bust for me. I just couldn't really get into the story, probably because I didn't care for the characters. It seemed to me that she just rode around on a horse, got kidnapped/tortured, let everyone walk all over her, and never really grew up or became a strong person. I like my heroines with a little more moxy, personally. This read a bit more like a MG series than a YA (plot-wise and character-wise), but the content was definitely YA. Be warned that there is torture, sex, rape, and violence.