Hirondelle's Reviews > A Face Like Glass

A Face Like Glass by Frances Hardinge
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Jun 28, 14

bookshelves: young-adult
Read from June 17 to 28, 2014

It took me ages to actually get this read, and this after very eagerly waiting it. I think the reason I set it aside so many times in the beginning is that it was clear that for Neverfell to start her adventure something bad, presumably caused by her naïveté, would have to happen. Loving (of a kind) protective parental figures are plot hindrance in YA fiction.

But once I got going, oh this is so much fun. Fantastic worldbuilding and characters, a very nicely worked plot with twists and tricks. Maybe not my favorite Hardinge (because the competition is Twilight Robbery and Gullstruck Island but just competition is really that fierce), and not quite a perfect book (I sometimes felt Neverfell was kind of a plot tourist almost, to tour that universe, though I think the plot justifies that somewhat towards the ending), but giving it less than 5 stars would just be miserly to how much I enjoyed it.

Random observations:
- I keep thinking there is a lot of Plato references here, beyond the obvious, which are beyond my knowledge of Plato.
- it was inspired by one of my favorite local places, the fabulously weirdly fabulous, Quinta da Regaleira in Sintra (surprisingly mispelled de la instead of da. And I object to tempura as a paint as well!), a place I always think "oh come on, somebody would make a great novel about this". This is only partially inspired on it, but the first fiction I read which mentions it as inspiration, so there is that. And I must go there again soon, one of these days.
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Reading Progress

06/17 marked as: currently-reading
06/24 page 120
24.0% "I think the reason i put this aside when it first come out was how painful I found the first chapters, knowing bad mistakes due to naiveté will be forthcoming... I always find that difficult to read about."
06/28 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-23 of 23) (23 new)

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Hallie Can't WAIT to hear what you think - it might be my favourite Hardinge!


katayoun Masoodi adding a comment so that i see updates of what you two think!!


Hirondelle oh, I loved the beginning and then got stuck on it - but am cleaning out my currently reading mess (the kindle, ah the kindle sort of caused the whole problem of me having maybe 100 books where I am in the middle of) and this is a high priority.


Hirondelle and crazy isn´t it? I got the newer new one as well waiting...


katayoun Masoodi yes, agree having kindle and ebooks is crazy, especially for us that didn't have access to any english bookstores before. though i'm not complaining!! :) still learning not to read everything and wait for friends recommendations most of the time!! :) can't go wrong with you or hallie's recommendation.
about this book, well i love anything hardinge, can't say this is my favorite, as i think i loved them all. she's a master story teller and different.


Hirondelle My book hoarding days were from before ebooks, it must be said - but yeah no more waiting *ages* for books to arrive. In the bad bad old days, it meant a weekly trip to the store to see if the ordered books had arrived in that week´s shipment, and you never knew..

About Hardinge, I think the Fly series is very special and going to keep beeing very special. but they are all awesome so far, except maybe Verdigris Deep.


katayoun Masoodi yes, i'm with you on the Fly books being really amazing, and verdigirs deep being the least liked! face like glass is also amazing, though my favorite is still the fly books. maybe they were a bit more fun, maybe they ended really, really well... i think face like glass was great, though maybe, just maybe the ending was not as strong as the rest of the book. though again maybe i'm just prejudiced about fly!! :)


Beth I'm with Hallie, I think this is my favorite, too.


Roslyn A Face Like Glass is my favourite so far as well, although I haven't yet read 'Fly By Night' or the others in that series! I really liked Verdigris too, but Face is extraordinary.


Hallie Beth wrote: "I'm with Hallie, I think this is my favorite, too."

I've read the latest now too, Beth, and it's certainly not a contender for favourite. Not because it isn't "good", but just something about it squidged me out so much I had to put it down for a few days.


Hallie Roslyn wrote: "A Face Like Glass is my favourite so far as well, although I haven't yet read 'Fly By Night' or the others in that series! I really liked Verdigris too, but Face is extraordinary."

I'm winning the favourite sweepstakes! :) Or at least, my choice is. If it were just Fly-by-Night itself, there'd be no question that Face would win, but I liked Twilight Robbery a LOT. I should really reread Verdigris Deep, as I think I liked it more than I remembered having liked it while reading? (Not sure that makes sense even to me.)


Hirondelle Verdigris was very very DWJ-esque, and Hallie you are more susceptible to that than, say, me. I liked it very much.

Twilight Robbery was IMO just awesome - and I am pretty sure (well, hopefull she will write more Mosca books, so while I am mentioning it as a series.

This is definetely going up straight to the top of the TBR. I was liking it so very much, but then got ill and rereading comfort novels and this got kind of forgotten. Bad me.


Roslyn Hallie wrote: "Roslyn wrote: "A Face Like Glass is my favourite so far as well, although I haven't yet read 'Fly By Night' or the others in that series! I really liked Verdigris too, but Face is extraordinary."

..."


I see that I must get on to the Fly By Night books soon!

Sorry to hear you weren't crazy about her latest book, Hallie. I haven't caught up with it yet and I might put it lower down in the virtual pile now.


Roslyn Hirondelle wrote: "Verdigris was very very DWJ-esque, and Hallie you are more susceptible to that than, say, me. I liked it very much.

Twilight Robbery was IMO just awesome - and I am pretty sure (well, hopefull sh..."


Verdigris struck me as very DWJ-esque as well - very much so. It felt a little unpolished in parts but I enjoyed it hugely.


message 15: by Beth (new) - rated it 5 stars

Beth Twilight Robbery is fabulous! And yet I'd still rank Face above it, for reasons I can't quite articulate :)


Roslyn Beth wrote: "Twilight Robbery is fabulous! And yet I'd still rank Face above it, for reasons I can't quite articulate :)"

I think Face is crafted so beautifully and is so amazingly complex and multi-layered that it's a hard act to beat (though I don't know if Twilight Robbery is an earlier or later book!).


Roslyn Hallie wrote: "Roslyn wrote: "A Face Like Glass is my favourite so far as well, although I haven't yet read 'Fly By Night' or the others in that series! I really liked Verdigris too, but Face is extraordinary."

..."


Hallie, I think I know what you mean by liking something more than you remember doing while reading it! It's sort of liking what the book was doing and saying - the idea of the book - more than you enjoyed the actual experience of reading it. I think it can happen the other way round as well, when you enjoy reading a book but when you think about it it feels 'less' somehow - you feel that it really wasn't really a brilliant book even though it was a good read at the time.


Hallie Hirondelle wrote: "Verdigris was very very DWJ-esque, and Hallie you are more susceptible to that than, say, me. I liked it very much."

Susceptible in which direction?? You liked it very much but didn't love it as much as the others?

I also think another Mosca and Clent book would be fantastic, as it's absolutely clear by now that Hardinge's not going to fall into any kind of series-repetitiveness-slump!


Hallie Roslyn wrote: "Sorry to hear you weren't crazy about her latest book, Hallie. I haven't caught up with it yet and I might put it lower down in the virtual pile now. "

It's -- don't know. (I'm saying "I must write *something* about it soon" ALL the time these days, and it's getting boring!) It's creepier than the others - not darker or sadder, but just closer to horror - and it's a kind of creepiness that gets me for some unknown reason. When I set out a bare-bones analysis in my head, it's got all the amazingly good stuff the others do. But it didn't give me that clutching to my reader's heart feeling the others did.


Hallie Roslyn wrote: " I think it can happen the other way round as well..."

Yes, of course! Thank you for making that muddled thought clearer for me. :)


Hirondelle Susceptible in which direction?? You liked it very much but ..."

More susceptible to loving DWJ-esque, because you are a bigger fan, than the rest of us, I guess. My english is a mess right now.

I liked Verdigris very much BUT I did not quite love it wholeheartedly (which happened so far with all of her other books) and did not love it as much as my favorite DWJ novels. Though maybe I did like it at least as much as some non-favorite DWJ


Hallie Hirondelle wrote: "Susceptible in which direction?? You liked it very much but ..."

More susceptible to loving DWJ-esque, because you are a bigger fan, than the rest of us, I guess. My english is a mess right now."


Gotcha. It should have been obvious but I was SO much more of a DWJ fan at the time Verdigris Deep came out (2007 - yikes!) than I am now that I wasn't sure. By now, my "non-favourite" DWJs are way, way down there in the pack of strongly disliked books.


Roslyn Hallie wrote: "Roslyn wrote: " I think it can happen the other way round as well..."

Yes, of course! Thank you for making that muddled thought clearer for me. :)"


Didn't think yours was muddled at all - it was such an interesting thought that I wanted to expand it out a bit and clarify it in my own head! :-)


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