Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Spy Glass

First of all, the Glass series is not young adult fiction, like I'd originally thought. It doesn't even claim to be, but Maria V. Snyder's Study series is. As this takes place in the same world, I assumed it would be young adult too. But the main character is a little older than Yelena from the Study series was, and the content is a little older as well.

The rest of this review contains SPOILERS.

Spy Glass is the third in the Glass trilogy. I've reviewed Storm Glass and Sea Glass. This third book is, perhaps, the most adult of all of them. Though in Snyder's world, consummation of a relationship outside of marriage is no biggy, she is not graphic, which I appreciate. Yet, in this book, Opal Cowan is torn between two men (one different from the two men she liked in the first book) and sleeping with both. Way to confuse the issue! And one of them happens to be someone who tortured her in the past. Though I buy the relationship, and not just as typical Stockholm Syndrome, I know many readers will not like that. I understand why the author did it, to an extent, and it even works for me, but if this were real life, I would be totally against it. But it's fantasy, and while it remains firmly in the world of fantasy, I can enjoy it. Still, this was probably not the wisest end to a trilogy, and I know some readers will be upset.

Maria V. Snyder's world of magic is sensational. Her characters are always getting into deep trouble, and it's just fun to read because something new is always around the corner. With this book, you'll definitely enjoy the ride, even if the book itself leaves you dissatisfied. Readers are forewarned.

Another element that may be disturbing to readers involves a cult. Opal is forced to do things, including removing clothing (happens a couple times outside of the cult, as well, come to think of it), but the author rescues her character before the worst can happen.

My last beef with the novel involves the title and the back cover copy of my advanced reader edition. Since the finalized novel may have a better back cover copy, I won't complain too much. But if it implies Opal spies through glass with magic, that's completely untrue. Most of the spying on others' lives is figurative in the book. Opal does learn how to be a spy, but it does not involve magic or glass.

Valek, the magic-immune assassin from the Study series, comes back to play a major part in this novel, which was fun. The change in Opal from the first book is also fun, though at times, the change is not always for the better. I enjoyed Opal's training and independence in this book, and I wouldn't throw it completely out for its flaws. Another big change in this book from the two previous is that Opal is without her magic and immune to magic, just like Valek. It doesn't hinder the enjoyment of Opal's character at all. Rather, it enhances it. Valek and Opal's interesting working relationship (completely platonic, since Valek is the lover of Yelena from the Study series), is one big positive for this book.

Five stars for captivating sensationalism. Three stars for plot. Two stars for morality.

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