Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Glass Casket

Five soldiers and their horses go through Nag's End and the forest into the hills, searching for something. All of the men are found dead with the cause of death a mystery. The villagers dismiss it as a wolf attack (even though it clearly isn't) and go on with their lives until the attacks continue in the village. Rowan Rose is a girl with big dreams about doing scholarly work in the palace, translating texts. Her best friend Tom starts to act strangely, giving rise to rumors that he is at fault. Rowan knows it isn't true and vows to discover who is manipulating Tom and who is behind the savage murders.

The Glass Casket seems like a book I would completely enjoy with its fairy tale allusions mixed with gore, horror, and mystery. These parts are excellent. The story isn't a straight retelling of a specific fairy tale, but an amalgamation of many. So many little allusions and references pepper the text and I enjoyed those small moments of recognition. The horror is well done and much more bloody than usually seen in young adult novels. The monster when revealed is amazingly grotesque and his dark mistress is both frightening and sympathetic when she is revealed. The plot has some great twists and turns that I never saw coming.

However, after the first set of murders, nothing happens for about a hundred pages. I completely lost interest in the story at that point and I probably should have just not finished it. Even though the story after that is interesting, I just couldn't bring myself to care that much. The momentum was completely gone and Rowan and her boy problems were boring after the bloody, dark beginning. I liked Rowan late into the novel, but during that crucial hundred pages, she could have died for all I cared. The rest of the characters aren't very interesting and I didn't connect to any of them. They all had something about them that I didn't like and it was frustrating.

The Glass Casket is a good novel with some serious pacing issues and a lot of unlikeable characters. I am glad I finished it because I enjoyed the last half of the book. It was a bit of a frustrating read because it had the potential to be amazing.

My rating: 2.5/5 fishmuffins

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