Thursday, January 21, 2010

Book Review: Magic Under Glass by Jaclyn Dolamore

Nimira is a music-hall performer forced to dance for pennies to an audience of leering drunks. When wealthy sorcerer Hollin Parry hires her to do a special act - singing accompaniment to an exquisite piano-playing automaton, Nimira believes it is the start of a new life. In Parry's world, however, buried secrets stir. Unsettling below-stairs rumours abound about ghosts, a mad woman roaming the halls, and of Parry's involvement in a gang of ruthless sorcerers who torture fairies for sport. When Nimira discovers the spirit of a dashing young fairy gentleman is trapped inside the automaton's stiff limbs, waiting for someone to break the curse and set him free, the two fall in love. But it is a love set against a dreadful race against time to save the entire fairy realm, which is in mortal peril.

At the start of the story, Nim is working for next to nothing in a run-down theater that's frequented by unsavory men. After she's invited to sing for the wealthy sorcerer Hollin Parry, her life drastically changes. She's given nice clothes, good food, and even a maid, Linza, to wait on her. I really like Nim as a character. She was courageous, and she was determined to find out the truth behind the automaton, and how Hollin came to own him.

I really enjoyed the book, particularly Hollin's story. While the book was obviously focused on Nim, I was suspicious of Hollin at the start. Without giving too much away about his character, I wasn't sure what his true intentions were until I learned more about his history, and how magic hadn't always helped him.

I do wish that the story had been longer. Once I got to the last 50 pages, I was wondering how the story was going to wrap itself up so quickly. While I think that Dolamore did a good job tying up most of the loose ends, I did wish that the story had been a little longer. On the other hand, it did leave room open for a sequel.

Magic Under Glass
By Jaclyn Dolamore
Published by Bloomsbury
240 Pages
Rating: B+

*Update: One of the comments informed me that Bloomsbury has withdrawn the cover. I think that shows the power of readers, who pointed out that the character in the book is described as "dark skinned", but the cover didn't fit that description.


MissA said...

Thanks for this review. I've read similar things on other reviews, good book but if only it were a little longer.

I actually want to read this book after the whole cover controversary, it's made me even more curious to read it and I'm excited for the new cover :)

Monster of Books said...

Wow, this book doesn't come out till February? In my Country it's already out, but the book store is out of stock or hasn't received any yet. I so want to read this, it looks so good!!

Lizzy said...

Book Monster - I think it actually is out now...I think Goodreads just misinformed me haha.

MissAttitude - Thanks for letting me know that they withdrew the cover. I actually hadn't heard about that yet.

The Book Owl said...

Good review! I look forward to seeing the new cover.

Faye( Ramblings of a Teenage Bookworm) said...

Great review!loved this book! I wonder what the new cover will look like..hmm

Tales of Whimsy said...

Cool review. I hadn't heard the update about the cover. Very cool!

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