Wendy Darling's Reviews > Magic Under Glass

Magic Under Glass by Jaclyn Dolamore
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's review
Apr 20, 2011

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bookshelves: mythic-and-fairy-tale-ish, pn-faeries, steampunk, young-adult, read-2011, 2010-favorites, poc, historical-fantasy
Read from April 20 to 21, 2011

3.5 stars.

In many ways, this is an exquisite little fairy tale. I loved the vividly imaginative concept of a young singer being asked to perform with a clockwork piano player, who may or may not be an enchanted prince. The descriptive passages that show us the city, the cruelty of fairies being caught under glass, and Nimira's mother's embroidered costume are all enjoyably detailed, and I appreciated the more unusual aspects of the infamous love triangle, particularly the fact that Hollins isn't made out to be a complete villain.

For all its wonderful attention to detail as far as physical setting and objects are concerned, however, it's surprising how little description there is of the emotional aspects of the story. What dismay or pity or love Nim feels seems rather distant, and you never really get the shock of emotion that you might be hoping for. (And none of the characters, Nim included, really have any sort of back story.) The notion of a man being trapped in clockwork for twenty years is wildly romantic and incredibly tragic, and I wish the author had chosen to explore the depths of this scenario a little bit more passionately.

Still, I really enjoyed reading the story (enough to look for a copy for my own shelves, even), though it's much shorter than I expected and some of the machinations of the plot are a little slight, particularly at the end. I'm looking forward to the next book to see where the story goes, however...and crossing my fingers that as the story develops, the characters' emotional lives will, too.

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04/20/2011 page 86

Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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Wendy Darling Oh, awesome! It's a lovely little story, in spite of the quibbles I had. :)

The Winter Rose Yes, I thought the same. I loved this book, but I do wish the author had explored the depth of it a little more.

Wendy Darling I read one other book by this author after this one, Winter Rose, and that was even sketchier on details and complexity. So it may just be her writing style.

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