Amanda's Reviews > Storm Glass

Storm Glass by Maria V. Snyder
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's review
May 22, 12

bookshelves: fantasy, romance, young-adult, fantasy-lite
Read from September 02 to 05, 2011

So I picked up this book because reading the author's name made me think of something I couldn't quite put my finger on.....

That's it!

Unfortunately, it was nowhere near as awesome as Wesley Sneijder.

Opal Cowen is a glassmaker and magician-in-training. Unlike most other magicians, she only has one talent, and that is to trap magic within glass. Storm Glass is her story. Though it might as well be Yelena's by the way she's mentioned incessantly all throughout the book.

Having never read any of Snyder's other books, I keep finding myself wondering who the blazes is this Yelena woman and why the heck are you telling me all this crap about her?? If I wanted to read about Yelena, I would've read the Study series.

But back to Storm Glass. I'm going to list out what made me give this book two stars, starting from

The Plot
I can't give you a plot overview. Not because I'm afraid of spoiling it, but because I honestly don't know what it was. There were just too many things going on, and yes I have the faintest comprehension that they somehow tie together (because of course it's all correlated, what kind of a series would it be if it's not?), but that connection was not evident even until the last page of the book.

So instead of a plot, let me give you a brief outline of what I like to call "Quests." It makes me think of a cheesy RPG, but hey, so does this book (warning, may slightly spoil).

**Quest One**
Saving the Stormdancers from doom by fixing their sabotaged crystal orbs.
Mini-Quest One. Investigating into the sabotage.

**Quest Two**
Distinguishing fake diamonds and real.
Mini-Quest One. Discovering the source of said fake and real diamonds.
Mini-Quest Two. Investigating the plot to overthrow Councillor Moon.

**Quest Three**
Be coerced by Devlen into helping him find his mentor's glass-prison.

So apparently, this imprisoning-evil-Warpers-into-glass-prisons shit was something that happened from Snyder's previous books (dunno which cause I didn't read them---and DON'T PLAN TO thankyouverymuch), so when I came across it in Storm Glass I'm thinking wtf? It just didn't seem coherent with the rest of the "Quests".

There is no encompassing structure to the entire book. Even Chrono Trigger made more freaking sense. All the events in Storm Glass were rendered to nothing but mini-plots; no great climax, no great resolution. The ending resolved nothing. NOTHING! I understand it's a series, but really... NOTHING!

The Characters
Actually, there is nothing spectacularly wrong with the characters. It was kind of hard distinguishing between main characters and secondary characters. There were important people we were introduced to earlier on in the book, who then disappeared either completely or made an appearance way back towards the end.

I don't actually know that much about any of the characters. Except Mara is a Mary-Sue, Leif is ... childish and obsessed with food? Yelena is some kind of more powerful Mary-Sue; Kade is the tortured, byronic hero; Ulrick is the possessive stalker-like boyfriend; and the villains I have no idea.

But the character I had most complaints of would be Opal.

Do you know what she reminds me of?

Urgh I'm so ugly in this picture!

That. Except she doesn't have any confidence in herself at all, which in fact makes her worse than your average annoying-facebook-girl. Opal constantly underestimates herself, downplays her abilities, and disregards her achievements.

I thought of the day (...) when I helped Liaison Yelena capture those evil souls. She had done all the work, I was merely a conduit.
pg. 8

"(...) There are hidden perks when you save someone's life."
"But I didn't."
pg. 19

"(...) plus you solved our problem."
"With the orbs?"
"I didn't solve it. My father did."
pg. 146

"Thanks, Opal. You saved her life."
pg. 256

At which point I just want to scream Yes you are an ugly twat but the world's unfair like that. Now stfu!

In psychology we call this cognitive distortion, which could be a sign of depression (in which case I sincerely worry for you, Opal).

Opal constantly needs other people to boost her confidence. To give her little pep-talks;

"Pah! It's one of the most important discoveries of recent years. Stop being so modest."
pg. 11

"But look at you now." Ulrick gestured. "Tula's animals might be sought by collectors, and Mara sought for her beauty, but you're a famous glass magician."
pg. 244

"Opal, your animals provide a service to all of Sitia. You're important."
pg. 245

I mean for goodness sake woman! You invented what may as well have been the equivalent of our telephone and you're still complaining about being a "One-Trick Wonder"?!

PLUS it does NOT come across as modest, it's simply extremely low self-esteem. ffs.

Pet Peeves
Now these are minor, but for me it does detract from the reading a bit. There were some bad editing going 'round; missing or/and improper words or/and punctuation, just a few examples:

The others rushed us, but when they reached Blue Eyes' side, they were immobilized, as well, coming no closer to us.
pg. 30

(Hello little comma, wachoo doin' 'ere?)

With her long golden curls and curvy figure, she had the complete opposite of my [sic], with my straight hair and athletic build.
pg. 38

Also, there's a lot of expository infodumps presented via thinking-out-loud tags. There's some serious crappy soap-opera/telenovela dialogues going on there. This reminds me of A Tale of two Castles by Gail Carson Levine but at least Levine was writing for children.

So there'd be scenes where Opal fills us in to what's going on by literally thinking it out loud, because, you know, we're too dumb to figure it out ourselves:

"A rogue who decided to leave and start his own group of dancers. (...) Why would the rogue sabotage their orbs?" wheels turned in my head as I followed the logic. "to make them give up the recipe!"
pg. 190

Omfg you guyyyyyth I'm a friggin' geniuthhhhh!
(Note: was not actually part of the quote.)

"Why would he care?" Putting myself in Frisk's place, I tried to see the situation from his point of view. "His customers are getting conned, which brings suspicion on the Helper's Guild. (...) Fisk could lose business."
pg. 263

Now these sort of dialogues/scenes just make me cringe and pull me out of the story -- no matter what book I'm reading. I mean really! Do people really talk out loud to themselves like that when figuring something out? I mean, asides from evil villains cooking up their brilliant mastermind plots high up in their dark, secluded castles?

But to wrap up. I would give this three stars if it just ended with the whole Stormdancer shenanigans. The rest of the book really detracted from it. It became progressively worse the longer I read. So, two stars.

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Comments (showing 1-7 of 7) (7 new)

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message 1: by Kelly (new)

Kelly I know you don't want to hear any more mention of Yelena...but she did the "Who, little old me? OMG I'm so ugleh and not talented at all" thing too. So annoying.

Amanda lol what, in the Study series, too??? Glad I didn't read it then!

message 3: by Kelly (new)

Kelly Yup. I thought the first one was mildly good but not spectacular--I think I liked the premise better than the actual story--but then the second one was all Mary Sue Yelena doing the false-modesty thing. *eye roll* I didn't bother reading the third.

Amanda OH OH OH! I finally remember who this whole "Who, me?" fake-modesty thing reminds me of!

(view spoiler)

♡ Half Blood  Prince ♡ BAHAHAHAHA

True, true.

And she did it again at the AMAs.

Amanda I know -.-
and it was endearing the first time or so, but after a while it just got... annoying.

D.A.— warn me if there's a love triangle or drama w/ book I debate reading this series. I really liked Yelena and the Poison Study series (regular adult fantasy genre) so not sure you want to avoid it. I am hesitant on this glass series because it is written for kids, Opal's character in the study books and all the glass blowing/magic stuff a particularly uninteresting slice of study series. I actually liked that the Study series was very character driven and did not find Yelena to be a Mary Sue character.

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