Majanka's Reviews > Glimmer

Glimmer by Vivi Anna
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Apr 14, 11

bookshelves: novella, paranormal, paranormal-romance, faeries, fantasy
Read in April, 2011

Glimmer is a novella-length paranormal romance/urban fantasy novel about a half fae, half human woman named Nina Deckers. Nurse by trade, fae by legacy and birth, Nina has some trouble staying unnoticed in a society where creatures like werewolf have already gone public. Scared off by human’s repulsion for the unknown, and their prejudice towards werewolves, Nina is terribly afraid of what might happen if they find out what she really is. Back at home, she has a fae-struck father to take care of, who is in a condition close to dementia, and is still hopelessly in love with her runaway mother and fae princess, A’lona.

When Nina meets the sexy alpha werewolf Severin, she believes she may finally have met her match. However, Severin is hiding dark secrets, one of them involving Nina. When an otherwise-harmless pixie starts attacking her father, and she figures out the creatures of Nightfall are trying to assassinate the both of them, Nina must do whatever it takes to protect both herself and her father. On top of all that, Nina feels herself changing, and she is slowly becoming like the creature she loathes more than anything. Her mother.

Glimmer is a rather interesting and entertaining read, but it left me feeling very dissapointed as well. The trouble is that this is a novella, and the author is trying to include either too much or too little – that I have yet to decide. We are introcuded to a wide cast of characters, but we hardly get to know any of them in-depth thanks to the short length of this novel. I loved Nina’s father and mother, the human and the fae princess, and how they did manage to love each other one day. I somewhat-liked the character of Nina. I found her struggle to keep her fae side a secret very entertaining and realistically described, but I thought her attraction to Severin, the alpha werewolf, exaggerated and unnatural. She reminded me a lot of the average love-struck teenage girl: swooning over a hot boy so much that they can barely see what’s going on around them. Last time I checked gazing in the distance for ten minutes after a guy kisses you, is not normal. Add to the fact that Nina really isn’t a teenage girl, but rather a grown-up woman of twenty-eight, I found her behavior when with Severin rather childish and immature. I didn’t like this part of her personality.

I liked the storyline, as far as it concerned faeries. I loved Nina’s mixed heritage, and her struggles with her growing wings, and to accept the fact that she’s half fae. The addition of iron-disease was an interesting bonus as well. The portal in the garden, the pixies, Nina’s father’s fae-struckness, etc. were all nice and original additions to the story. What I didn’t like, were the werewolves. For instance, I had no idea what exactly they were doing, or what their importance for the storyline was. There is nothing in any faerie lore that even suggest a connection or a war with werewolves, and I imagine faeries would rather fight humans, or other supernatural creatures in general, or even fight each other, then they would go through the trouble to declare a century-long war on werewolves. To be honest, werewolves aren’t exactly the most interesting supernatural beings out there. And even if you add the changes Vivi Anna included with regards to werewolves – they apparently don’t need full moon to change, they don’t age, and they can spot faeries – then they are still not-all-that-interesting. At least not when compared to the timeless and immortal beings that are faeries.

I hated Severin. Really. He just seemed to be stuck-up, full-of-himself bachelor number forty, with an unkeen interest in our heroine from the start. And why exactly? His motives aren’t all that pure, but even though so, he still manages to act like a love-struck puppy by the end of the novella. I just had the feeling that on the one side, everything was happening too fast to really let me grasp everything that was going on, from the werewolf-faerie war, and Nina’s change into a faerie, to Severin’s secrets and his relationship with Nina, which developed at lightning speed. On the other hand, I had a feeling that nothing was happening at all. So we meet Nina and her Dad. They get attacked by pixies gone rogue with a keen desire to kill the both of them. In comes Severin, the sexy werewolf and love-interest for our heroine. Then Nina gets ill, and grows a pair of wings. Then some more things happen, which I won’t include for spoiler’s sake, but by the end of the novella, we’re still nowhere. The journey is yet to begun, Nina has yet to make her descend into Nightfall, we don’t know why half of the things that happened did happen (for example, I’m still wondering what got that woman who died at the beginning of the story. Sure it wasn’t a werewolf…then what the heck was it?) and I had the feeling this was still just the beginning of the story, and the real story had yet to begun.

I think this novella would have been a lot better had the author decided, rather than make a series of short novellas, to write one full-length novel, that would cover the entire story. I don’t know what it is with authors preferring to write series of short stories nowadays rather than simply write one novel, and wrap things up nicely by the end of it, but it certainly isn’t something I prefer. I can imagine the appeal of a novella to some readers – it reads faster, you don’t have to indulge in unnecessary details – but the downside is that you cannot connect with the characters, the storyline is sometimes lacking and leaves you with a lot of loose ends, and the story just feels unfinished. As I already said in one of my previous reviews, it takes a special skill to a novella that actually works. I just had the feeling this wasn’t the case here; and I’m pretty sure I would have liked Nina’s story a lot more if it had been longer and I could relate to the characters more.

There were some original ideas introduced in Glimmer though. As I already stated, I loved the whole faerie-thing, from the wings, the portals, the runaway Mother, to the assassination attempts from Nightfall. The writing was decent as well, and the plot offered originality, a fast pace and some nice twists. If you want to relax for half an hour to an hour, or if you just want to doze away to a world where faeries walk in the mortal realm, and werewolves have gon public, then this novel is something for you. I did enjoy reading it, but it left me unconvinced. It has potential, but in the end, it doesn’t come through.

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