She has only seen the world through maps. She had no idea they were so dangerous.
Boston, 1891. Sophia Tims comes from a family of explorers and cartologers who, for generations, have been traveling and mapping the New World—a world changed by the Great Disruption of 1799, when all the continents were flung into different time periods. Eight years ago, her parents left her with her uncle Shadrack, the foremost cartologer in Boston, and went on an urgent mission. They never returned. Life with her brilliant, absent-minded, adored uncle has taught Sophia to take care of herself.
Then Shadrack is kidnapped. And Sophia, who has rarely been outside of Boston, is the only one who can search for him. Together with Theo, a refugee from the West, she travels over rough terrain and uncharted ocean, encounters pirates and traders, and relies on a combination of Shadrack’s maps, common sense, and her own slantwise powers of observation. But even as Sophia and Theo try to save Shadrack’s life, they are in danger of losing their own.
The Glass Sentence plunges readers into a time and place they will not want to leave, and introduces them to a heroine and hero they will take to their hearts. It is a remarkable debut.
I really enjoyed this young adult novel with a VERY unique world. It's pretty hard to explain, but the world building is quite unique, with time and maps disjointed all over the place and a very cool little girl character trying to rescue her beloved mapmaker uncle. Golden Compass-like. I will be reading the next one for sure!
Don't tell me you know how to map someone's memories, then not tell me how! THAT'S JUST A BIG TEASE.
Whew. That's off my chest.
I wanted to love this book. I've been seeing nothing but praise from both professional reviewers and friends whose taste I trust. But I just couldn't love it. I loved the idea of it, that suddenly the world was broken up into different epochs, with some people moving forward in time and others going back. Mammoths roaming the earth again! Boston Puritans pulling themselves up by the bootstraps! Japan flung into the 40th century, according to the map at the front! We don't get to see most of this, though. Sigh. Neither mammoth nor Japanese cyborg traveler was to be found. Also, I did not understand why people didn't spread out around the world and help each other. Why weren't the Japanese robots fighting the mammoths?! Did modern technology not work in the past eras? This is not explained.
The plot was exciting enough, though, and there's a sense of urgency, though later the urgent timeline proved to be . . . kind of a red herring. But a little ways in I realized that I didn't care very much for the characters, which were all archetypes. (Pirates with hearts of gold and a passion for fancy hats! Absent-minded scientists! Plucky young heroines! Clever and kind bachelor uncles who think nothing of raising a young girl alone!) This became a real problem. There's no sense of danger from throwing in your lot with a band of pirates when you're pretty sure the pirates are secretly decent folk who will stop at nothing to rescue a total stranger, because you've seen it 12+ times before.
But what really began to frustrate me was that . . . I was confused as hell. By the maps. Maps, maps, maps. The book is all about maps. It should be called The Glass Map. I'm not being facetious, it really should: the action of this book hinges on a glass map, not a sentence. How they make these glass maps is not revealed. They can map anything in this world, you see, despite the fact that most of them are living in an 1800's type society. This is considered only mildly amazing. They can map memories, weather, people, and places. But they won't tell you how. Someone devises a way to map memories that will permanently take them from you, though, and that's bad. We do get to see that process, which is apparently magic because it's sure as shootin' not scientific. There is no comparison to how the more ethical maps are made, though, leaving me wondering. There are endless discussions, however, about certain maps and whether or not they should even exist, for the SAKE OF HUMANITY. None of this makes any sense to me. I do not understand it at all. A map of the world would destroy the world? WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?! I HAVE A MAP OF THE WORLD ON MY PHONE. The ending made no sense. It was all very pretty, and very visual, and then I went . . . wait, what? I kept thinking of Incarceron and the sequel, both of which were very weird and stylish and then ultimately made me scream, BUT THAT MAKES NO SENSE! PLEASE MAKE SENSE NOW!
Also, I could not figure out who this book was for. It seems to be middle grade, but there's some serious torture in it, as well as medical experimentation that leaves one character grotesquely scarred. Um, hokay. If this is for teens, we need to take the "friendship" between the main character and the boy up a notch. If it's for younger readers, well, they're probably gonna have nightmares. I know I was a bit freaked out.
So... The book wasn't terribly written. I really enjoyed the premise and the descriptions. But the plot needed to be laid out better, and some questions needed to be answered. Also, characters= not that spectacular.
In 1799, the world changed radically: the Great Disruption threw all continents into different time periods, different eras coexisting in a chaotic mix and match of generations and historical periods. Europe is back to a papal state and parts of North America are pre-historical. Africa is a land of Pharaohs to the North whereas parts of Asia and South America are far into the future. In the Baldlands, past, present and future are dramatically fused into one single territory, the Triple Eras.
It makes sense then, that in this world, explorers and cartologers are heroes and much sought-after professionals. One such cartologer is Shadrack Elli, whose ability to draw and read maps on almost every surface from sand to water, makes him the best cartologer in the world. He is one of the protagonists of this saga, alongside his niece, Sophia Tims, whose parents were explorers who disappeared when she was a small child. She was brought up by Shadrack and knows about maps nearly as much as he does.
But unlike Shadrack and most people in this world, Sophia has been deeply affected by the disruption in a different way: she has no internal clock and is unfastened by time. For Sophia, one minute can feel like an hour, hours can pass in a moment. Shadrack and Sophia’s adventures start in Boston, 1891, after Shadrack is kidnapped by people who want to use his abilities to find the mythical Map of the World – they believe that changing that map will send the world back to its original (and true) course.
Shadrack leaves behind a glass map and a clue (the glass sentence) that will aid Sophia in finding him. Accompanied by a mysterious boy from the Baldlands and a pair of sibling pirates, they must find another famous cartologer, the only person who can help them find the Map of the World. They need to do that before it is too late, because the world? It is still changing and the eras are still moving.
Now, it behoves me to start by saying that yes, it is true that most of the background and world-building is introduced by more than clumsy info-dump. There are entire sequences that are littered with letmetellyouwhathappened. Generally speaking, this would be a deal-breaker for me. However, the details of this world are so fascinating and exciting, I was able to enjoy the story.
Such details are, among many others:
Politics – Boston, now part of the New Occident, is a land where money gets you into a parliament that is moved by its extreme capitalism and xenophobia. When the story starts a law has been passed that will send people from other eras back to where they came from. The unfairness of this law and how it affects families and people is deftly explored in the story.
Religion: from those who believe in the Fates (who control destiny) to the Nihilismians, who believe the current world isn’t real. Enthralling topic for discussion: the disruption has happened, therefore this is the real world. Discuss.
The Lachrimas: what happens to the people who find themselves right at the border of two eras when the eras change? They lose track of who they are. The Lachrimas are what become of them: tragic creatures of horror.
Alternate history: The more we find out about the world, the more we realise that it is like ours but not exactly: there are creatures of myth here as well as people that are partly made of fauna or made of silver. A day has 20 hours and magic is part of the world just as science is. Was it the Great Disruption that changed the way the world is more than the “when” the world is?
Not everything is ponies and rainbows though. Given the attention given to worldbuilding, the characters themselves are woefully underdeveloped. They are likeable enough and the pirates are super cool but not exactly shining examples of in-depth characterisation. I also confess I was disappointed by how the vast, rich and complex plotline of this book came to a rushed close by the end of this volume: the search for the Map of the World started and concluded here when there was enough material for a whole series.
And finally, the juxtaposition of magic and science was weird. Mapmaking was presented as a science. However, maps can be created on water, sand and glass and were not only movable but also in some cases, were mapping actual memories that only certain people are able to access. Those were explained with hand-wave science and “I will explain to you later, I have no time now”. These maps were made with magic, can we please call them for what they are? #petpeeve (Unless of course, one wishes to interpret this world’s relationship with magic as scientific in their approach).
The Glass Sentence has a fascinating premise with an intricate and ambitious world-building around it. Even though at times said world-building – given its scope – encounters inevitable hurdles and fails to live up to its full potential when it comes to characters, my excitement for this world is genuine and lasting. I can’t wait for book 2, The Golden Specific i.e. Sophia goes after her parents.
Wait...what? I literally can't even. How did this get made?
This book makes NO SENSE - While reading I kept a list of every confusing point or plot hole I came across; that list grew to be 50+ items.
The characters are just straight up YA tropes and the world is overly imaginative and complicated. No character behaves in a logical or even consistent way; at one point the 13 year old protagonist is clueless to what is going on around her, the next she is a super-genius 'cartologer' who outsmarts the world's leading experts (...adults) to rescue them.
Do you like playing the game COINCIDENCE OR BAD STORYTELLING? You'll love this book. WAIT, HOW DO THE BADDIES JUST HAPPEN TO KEEP RUNNING INTO THEIR EXACT LOCATION.
In no instance does anything subtle or nuanced happen. It's as if every few pages the characters sit around for a debrief to discuss the past few pages of events. Every character (good and bad) openly discuss their motives and freely discuss things that should clearly be kept secret. YOU JUST MET THIS PERSON WHY ARE YOU TELLING THEM ABOUT YOUR SECRET MISSION. ADVANCED MAPS ARE SUPPOSEDLY A SECRET KNOWLEDGE BUT WHY DOES EVERYBODY KNOW ABOUT THEM??
But the largest gripe I have with this... If you are going to build an elaborate fantasy world, at least explain how or why it works. It felt like most elements were introduced solely to advance the plot. MAPS OF PEOPLE'S MEMORIES ON A PIECE OF GLASS, ONLY TO BE READ IN MOONLIGHT. COOL! HOW ARE THEY MADE? UH........ OH, NOW MEMORIES FROM THE FUTURE??? DA FUQ? Thanks for saving the world -- no idea how your actions led to that outcome, but cool.
I try hard not to have a YA-bias, but seriously ...
(My opinions on this book apparently have changed a lot with time, so this will be my third iteration of the review. ;) )
I absolutely loved the unique worldbuilding. Super fascinating. XD It’s one part sci-fi, one part alternate history, and one part fantasy. Without spoiling too much, the world is made up of a lot of mixed-up time periods, so it made the cartology elements and the maps in the front especially fun. ;)
I really enjoyed Sophia as a protagonist. She was spunky, loyal, and realistic. Also, as someone who loses track of time, I can relate. ;) And then there’s Theo… He’s like a cross between Edmund Pevensie and Doon Harrow, even in how he looks. He’s got a ton of hidden skills, trust issues, and has some not-so-good survival tactics like shading the truth. I loved watching his character grow. (And you are going to love a huge reveal about him!) I’m seriously such a fan, lol, and yes, I do ship these two to the moon. Later, right now they’re cute besties, but later. ;) (They eat chocolate together, what could be cuter?)
Shadrack (super uncle), Mazapan (the chocolate maker <3), and Martin (an enthusiastic, slightly reckless botanist) were awesome side characters.
It’s been awhile since I read it last, but I do remember it having some interesting things to say about immigration, politics, and the like but all in a clever, satirical way that only made the story better.
I wasn’t a huge fan of this cover since it brought out an element that originally highly creeped me out, but I’ve grown comfier with it as I’ve experienced more sci-fi.
Best quote: “Theodore Constantine Thackary,” he added. “Theo for short.”
CW: Many religions (including Catholicism) featured and discounted in favor of science though the series does eventually move toward a fantasy world version of animism. Memory manipulation, scientific experiments causing facial scarring, scenes similar to haunting. Two instances of swearing.
Altogether, I think this is a fabulous, underrated trilogy. ;)
This book is something special. Its pages can barely contain the immense imagination that has come up with characters, races, environments, maps, and magics that are all described with consummate skill. I'm a reader who is often more moved by books that have an adequate plot but exceptional prose -- in other words, the how is more important to me than the what. But with this book, I simply stand in awe of the what.
I dig the premise that the world has become fragmented in time. I dig Grove's concepts of what exploration and cartography have become in the new world. I like her ideas about different kinds of maps, and how they start to veer into magic -- made out of different elements, activated by different triggers, and often containing living memories. I really really love the idea of the carta mayor, the map to end all maps -- the map of the entire world as it has been, is, and could be. I was rapt the entire time discovering whether this map existed, wondering who would find it first (the good guys or the bad guys, who are SO fascinating and scary and unexpected and brilliantly drawn that I bow to Ms. Groves yet again), and whether this map might, indeed, be written on by a Master who could change the world with magical cartography.
Amidst all of this awesomeness, around about the halfway point, Grove introduced a plot point that I thought might have been one-too-many -- the Marks of Vine and Iron that occur in the Badlands. Certain people have some normal human characteristics as well as some botanical characteristics such as thorns, leafy wings, or flowers; others have some metal characteristics -- steel bones or teeth, for example. I was immediately drawn to the concept, but I thought, "Hm... what's this sort of traditional Celtic fae lore doing working its way into the American West and mixed up with steampunk and... this is gonna be too much."
But no! Fifty pages later I was completely sold and glad that Grove included those ideas and the related plot lines. The time spent on the royal botanist's experiments and discoveries is some of the most delightful in the book: imagination on overdrive, with fantastic descriptions and consequences that tie in brilliantly to the rest of the plot.
I would recommend this book to virtually anyone. It's smart and creative and exciting and the characters offer something for everyone. Kids, teens, and adults could all love this book. I will say that the bad guys get a little bit too scary for younger children who might otherwise love the book. If you are a parent who knows your child gets nightmares from vivid imagery, you might want to make sure you supervise reading this book and figure out how to help your child cope with the grappling hooks and the freaky bonnet-torture device. It's not that these things are really graphically described, but Grove knows how to make maximum impact with moderate descriptions. It's pretty freaky and upsetting. None of the main characters are actually harmed; but minor characters are, and when one of the main characters is in the gravest peril, it could seriously upset and frighten a younger reader.
One other fact that may be of interest: the book is first in a series, but it doesn't have the sort of infuriating cliffhanger that might make you hesitate to buy or read it until all three are available. By the end of the book, you're aware of the plot points and problems that are likely to develop in books 2 and 3, and you'll certainly look forward to those volumes, but you will also feel satisfied with how book 1 concludes. Yet another reason to applaud this fantastic new author.
One of the the great plots, yes, but with the vast amounts of Tolkien-derivative fantasy being published every year it is a pleasure to read a quest tale with such original flair and unique settings and perspective. All of the continents have been thrown into different time periods and crossing a border can put you a thousand years into the past or the future. This makes exploration and cartography extra important and results in creating maps on glass that record feelings and memories. I don't want to give too much away before the book is even released, but the nutshell version revolves around 13 year old Sophia's quest to find her beloved mapmaker uncle who has been kidnapped by a mysterious woman who can steal people's memories. She picks up a fascinating mix of companions during her adventures, which is lucky because it turns out it is up to her to save her world and time from being destroyed forever.
Truly inventive, this is one of those books that found me trying to slow down my reading speed just so it wouldn't be over too soon. Time shifting, cartography, new world building, quests, faceless monsters, unique mixtures of magic and science - this novel contains so many fascinating things, all on top of being written in straight-forward yet spellbinding language. It is ridiculous and unfair and awesome that this could be someone's first book. I read the advance proof, but I can't wait to see the official version when released this summer as it promises to include drawings of the maps themselves. The worlds and ages mentioned have so many cool features it makes me long to read a detailed history of each one. The story left me with a hard-to-shake "book hangover"...but luckily an adventurous, possible feeling that promises a reread in the very near future.
5 Reasons to Read The Glass Sentence by S.E. Grove:
1.) Sophia, the protagonist, is absolutely adorable. When I first read that her major flaw was that she lost track of time, I thought of my own experience, now and at her age, and how I once told a friend that I could spend hours staring at walls without realizing how much time had passed. Her flaw is so easy to relate to and is a timeless characteristic, independent of the reader’s generation and rather unique for a children’s book (as opposed to say, x has anger issues or y is much too selfless or z cannot trust anyone/is prejudicial towards the R group). It also 100% fits with the world Grove has created, in which time is fluid across the Ages with the Great Disruption and Sophia’s flaw actually becomes beneficial. Sophia is so fretful about the dangers, like suddenly realizing where she is when night has fallen and how finding her way home then becomes much harder, and yet losing track of time actually allows her to utilize her full potential. There are some children’s books where the protagonist miraculously saves the day without you really understanding *why* that protagonist is so special, why only she can achieve this task. The Glass Sentence is not one of them. The way Grove handles Sophia’s character growth and the perception of her flaw is masterful, leading to a wonderful universal theme about making of time what you want. Sophia is a strong, smart, self-dependent heroine who I’ll gladly follow into the sequel.
2.) The magic system and world-building are INCREDIBLE. They are, by far, one of the most original and imaginative that I’ve read in years. For those of you who loved The Grisha Trilogy or The Bone Season for their unique magic systems, you will fall in love with the map magic presented in The Glass Sentence. (Think that meets the MG adventure of Harry Potter and you will have this book). There is something to please every type of fantasy fan: soft magic like the interesting cultural phenomenon of “wings” and tree legs and the like on various people, and new legendary creatures like the faceless wraith Lachrima, whose histories and creations are indeed well developed and explored; and hard magic as found in the system of maps – how they’re created, what each type of map can show, the legends behind map-making and the history of map-making as related to the Great Disruption. Grove writes with a historian’s detail about the different cultures that resulted from the Great Disruption, about the geography of the land now that Ages of all kind can intermingle, about the borders and rituals and habits that people have adapted to survive after a terrifying near-apocalyptic but mostly life changing event. Plus… time travel! Normally I am not a huge fan of time-travel because it’s pseudo science fiction, but in this fantastical, well-developed world, where the culture of time itself is well-developed (e.g. people all wear “lifewatches” as a record of their citizenship), the time traveling aspect particularly stands out… and is just amazing. *insert dreamy sigh*
3.) As well as allowing for pure escapism and flights of fantasy, The Glass Sentence relates to our modern times quite well. Sometime last year I was watching Teen Jeopardy and I was so disappointed when none of the contestants knew what The Patriot Act was. Yes, one of the clues involved one of our most xenophobic laws, and yet… it wasn’t a thing of their generation anymore. And thus I was so, so glad to see Grove nod towards that with a heavy statement in the beginning against xenophobia of all kinds (though, here, it seemed particularly well suited for a discussion on Mexican immigration and the Patriot Act; the “Patriot Plan” involves closing the New Occident aka east-coast-U.S. borders to all Ages/the dirty, dangerous immigrating foreigners). I was also rather intrigued by Grove’s version of the alternate U.S. government in which you have to pay for your time to speak to Congress; is that not another nice mirror of our world yet so cleverly fitting within hers?
4.) The platonic friendship – yet maybe more later – between Theo and Sophia. Another reviewer, I can’t remember who, once said that she liked MG a lot more than YA sometimes because MG naturally had to put friendship at the forefront, before romance. And that’s exactly what the Theo/Sophia relationship does. I love that it’s a hero/heroine pair, that they complement each other and learn to become friends along a strange journey where neither of them knows who to trust or what will come next. That *this* is the priority. And I love that Grove has planted just enough there between the two young characters for their friendship to evolve with time should that come naturally. For now, the platonic relationship is 100% awesome, and maybe Grove won’t go the way of romance, and that would work quite well too. Whatever happens, the way their relationship is portrayed here is quite compelling and would, I imagine, to both MG readers (tired of the YA romance) and YA readers searching for that element of potential romance.
5.) Grove’s writing is so easy to read and has very little extraneous, non-plot-world-character-etc. detail. Though the book was blurbed by Megan Whalen Turner, it’s not perhaps as tight as the Queen’s Thief series… but you do get the sense that everything is just as controlled. The amount of detail in the world and the back stories for each character are enough to propel you through the plot of this first book and hint at both the series plot and the plot of the sequel. Plus just how much more there is left to be explored in this world and of these characters. As I said before, Grove also writes with a historian’s eye, so the details in this book really make the landscape and characters easy to imagine even for me, a non-visual reader. This is the sort of writing perfectly suited for the expansive world-building, the occasional cinematic action scenes, and a universal audience, yet targeting MG readers at its forefront.
Be patient. The Glass Sentence does take a while to get started. That’s because it needs to lay the foundation of the world before the adventure begins. Also, this is just personal preference – the characters here are definitely their own, unique and witty and full of their own stories, but I found myself wanting a bit more from them? I’m not quite in love just yet, but given how deft Grove has proven with everything else, I have no trouble believing that I will be 100% caught and snared in the sequel and the trilogy finale. Highly, highly recommended; a wonder of imagination, brimming with colorful characters, cultures, and scenery as well as an engaging heroine and adventure story.
Two words: map magic.
An editorial assistant recommended this book if I "liked good world building and fantasy." That description, and certainly the synopsis, caught my attention, but what solidified my interest in this book were the blurbs from both Megan Whalen Turner, who is one of my favorite authors ever, and Nancy Farmer, whose House of the Scorpion has been on my TBR list for ages. And, friends, I do not regret letting my review schedule go astray for this enchanting middle grade novel that I'll not be forgetting any time soon. (Although maybe it's YA? She's 13. Younger YA or MG - pick your label).
If you were a fan of say, the Grisha trilogy or The Bone Season, because of their world-building and unique magic systems, you will definitely find that and more in The Glass Sentence. Mix that with a bit of MG adventure a la Harry Potter, and you've got this marvelous book. The magic system for the maps is fascinating as are the historian details on cultures of all Ages (yes, part of the premise for this book is that "The Great Disruption" happened, fracturing the world so that people of all Ages mix together in travel and work (unless you "close" your borders) and cartology becomes a highly valued art and job. Plus time! The Glass Sentence has even got its own version of time traveling but fantasy style. New legendary creatures are given their own histories, characters fit perfectly with the world Grove has created, everything feels very developed within the world, not to mention the plot and Sophia's character... It's very controlled and all SO fascinating! Yes, I'm incoherent with awe. This would make for such a visually stunning film. Also so perfect if the publisher ever wanted to expand on the commercial potentials... Er, and the book stands well on its own, for all y'all tired of reading series.
A wonder of imagination, complete with a statement against xenophobia and a cute theme for readers of all ages ("make of time what you want."). Well-written, an engaging heroine.... Highly recommended. A few nitpicks: I wanted a few more characters, particularly at beginning, which I wanted to pick up / the book to start a bit sooner, though I understand why both were not possible in the given framework and S.E. Grove has certainly established herself well enough that YES YES YES I will read the sequel.
And you should too.
Potentially I will write a more coherent review later.
The Glass Sentence strikes me as an old-school throwback to classic children's fantasy. It's got excellent, excellent worldbuilding and an intrepid protagonist armed with a map and a mission, unfettered by parental intervention. This is a story about Sophia, whose parents are explorers gone missing and whose uncle is a famed mapmaker with a hand in politics and a housekeeper with a Past. And yet somehow it's all vaguely familiar. These are characters I've met before, under different names and guises. The setting is unique and wonderful, but the story proceeds as expected.
This book reminded me so much of The Golden Compass!
So yeah; if you liked that book you'll probably enjoy this.
Still love the idea of time being different all over the world but the book was kind of slow to read and the similarities with GC did make it a bit boring for me. Also I feel like I'm almost too old to read this? At least in part - some parts of the book were a bit too dark to be categorized as "appropriate for children" while others were just "this is too basic for an adult/young adult".
Das ganze ist etwas schwierig zu beschreiben und verlangt etwas Gedankenakrobatik, denn im Juli 1799 wurde unsere Welt gespalten: seitdem herrschen auf den Kontinenten bzw. auch Ländern verschiedene Zeitalter, die sogar bis in die prähistorische Geschichte zurückreichen. Sich das ganze vorzustellen war nicht so leicht, wobei ich denke, dass gerade Kinder und Jugendliche noch ein etwas anderes Verständnis in ihrer Fantasie dafür haben, als wir Erwachsene.
Allerdings ist der Schreibstil hier sehr anspruchsvoll finde ich und für 12jährige vielleicht nicht immer einfach, gerade die komplexen Zusammenhänge. Ich fands super erklärt, auch wenn eben auch noch etwas offen bleibt, um sich seine eigenen Vorstellungen zu machen und vor allem hat mich die Geschichte einfach mitgerissen. Das Tempo ist eigentlich recht geruhsam, trotzdem geschieht so viel und ich war so fasziniert von den vielen originellen Ideen, dass ich nur so durch die Seiten geflogen bin! Allerdings muss man sich schon etwas Zeit lassen und genau lesen, damit man alles versteht - zumindest ging es mir so.
Den Klappentext bzw. die Verlagsinfo würde ich nicht lesen, denn da gibts kleine Spoiler, die man nicht unbedingt vorher wissen muss.
Sophia Tims ist 13 und lebt mit ihrem Onkel Shadrack Elli in Boston im dortigen Jahr 1891. Es deutet sich ein sehr einschneidender Umschwung an, denn die Grenzen zu den anderen Zeitaltern sollen geschlossen werden. Alle Menschen, die sich ohne Papiere in der Zeitzone aufhalten, sollen abgeschoben werden und selbst das ausreisen für Einheimische soll verboten werden. Eine Katastrophe für Sophia, denn ihre Eltern sind seit langer Zeit bei einer Expedition irgendwo verschollen und der Plan, zusammen mit ihrem Onkel auf die Suche zu gehen, wird dadurch ....
Shadrack Elli ist einer der berühmtesten Kartologen und Forschungsreisenden und hat einige neue, sehr spezielle Arten entdeckt, Karten anderer Länder anzulegen. Er hat ein breit gefächertes Wissen angesammelt, was er in liebevoller Art und Weise an seine Nichte weitergibt. Sophia ist zwar erst 13, hat aber durch den Umgang mit den hauptsächlich älteren Kommilitonen und Kollegen des Professors oft schon eine sehr erwachsene Sicht der Dinge.
Die Ideen hier sind wirklich genial, aber nicht nur, was die Karten und das verquere Gefüge der Welt betrifft, sondern auch der Handlungsverlauf, der viel offen lässt, Überraschungen bereit hält und völlig neue Gedankengänge bietet, auf die man sich erstmal einlassen muss. Aber eben auch die Charaktere, wobei ich hier hoffe, in den Fortsetzungen noch etwas tiefer hinter die Fassaden blicken zu können.
Neben Sophia und ihrem Onkel Shadrack gibt es noch den Burschen Theo, ein sehr charmanter und scheinbar unbekümmerter Geheimnisträger und die Piraten Geschwister Calixta und Burr, die mir alle ans Herz gewachsen sind. Aber natürlich lauern auch an jeder Ecke Gefahren und eine böse Widersacherin, gegen deren makaberes Ziel unsere jungen Helden alles in ihrer Macht stehende tun müssen. Sie alle hätten vielleicht noch etwas mehr ausgearbeitet werden können, aber es hat mir eigentlich nicht gefehlt, denn die Geschichte ist so voller Staunen und Wunder, dass das gar nicht so ins Gewicht fällt. Viele der Andeutungen und Skizzen reichen schon, um ein Gefühl für die Figuren zu bekommen.
Die einzelnen Kapitel werden jeweils mit kleinen Erläuterungen oder Ausschnitten eingeleitet, die für ein besseres Verständnis sorgen und damit den Leser immer mehr in diese komplexe Welt eintauchen lassen. Sehr erfrischend war auch das stetige Vorankommen der Handlung, ohne sich mit unnützem Zeug aufzuhalten, genauso wie die Charaktere keine unnötigen Spielchen oder dummen Aktionen gebracht haben, was ja leider oft als Stilmittel gebraucht wird. Dadurch wirkt es echt, lebendig und ist insgesamt sehr gut durchdacht. Ein großartiges Abenteuer, dass auch Jules Verne sicher gefallen hätte!
When I started reading this book I thought that I wasn't going to like it, but then I got to page 💯, it changes. I loved the story, is very unique, the maps were a big part of the mystery, and I really liked, it was easy to understand and very well written.
The characters are adorable and very clever in there on way. The relationship between Sophia and her uncle are goals, they would do anything to make sure that everything is okay. The friendship of Theo and Sophia was really nice, although at the star I thought that it would have romantic feelings involved and I was glad when I realized that it did not, because they are a really good together and don’t need the unnecessary drama that a romantic relationship involves, they are one beautiful example that boys and girls can be friends.
Every character in this book is awesome 👏.
I can’t wait to read the sequel and see more of this amazing character and history and see if Sophia can finally find her parents.
when I first read this book I was left confused. like seriously my brain felt a little riddled but that's why re-reading it's a wonderful thing. not to mention I forgot mostly everything but that could be again from that messy riddling. with a nice blend of fantasy, magic and adventure in a world remade by the Great Disruption, this made an interesting yet unusual read.
there's also pirates, I mean, who doesn't like pirates!
Abgebrochen nach ca. 1/3. Ich breche ja wirklich sehr sehr seeeehr selen Bücher ab, aber diese Geschichte hier war einfach nicht meins. Das heißt nicht, dass sie schlecht war, aber mich persönlich hat sie dann einfach nicht packen können. Der Klappentext klang super, aber ich kam nicht so richtig mit dem Schreibstil klar und es kam einfach keine Spannung auf. Ich habe es mehrmals mit dem Buch versucht, aber jedes mal hat es mich ein bisschen weniger interessiert.. Schade!
It's not that often that I have back stories involving the books I review, but I do have one for The Glass Sentence. I originally read the news about the sale in Publisher's Weekly back in 2013, and immediately thought that this was a book that I would love to read.
But for some reason, I ended up not writing down the title of the book. And no matter how hard I searched for months afterward, I just couldn't find the Publisher Weekly's announcement again. Every time I tried looking for the upcoming book about different timelines, Google would just redirect me to pages for The Edge of Tomorrow.
It wasn't until I saw The Glass Sentence on Edelweiss and was approved for the book, that I realized that this was the book that I had been looking for all along. And I'm so glad I finally found the book again, because this is an extraordinary book that absolutely needs to be on everyone's shelf.
Debut author S.E. Grove brings readers into an inventive, remarkable world, where an event called The Great Disruption has fractured the world. Instead of one singular timeline, the world now exists in a multitude of Ages or different time periods. Crossing a border into a different age, can put you in time periods that are thousands of years apart.
For thirteen-year-old Sophia Tims in Boston, the year is 1891. Sophia's been living with her uncle Shadrack in Boston, helping him with his cartology work. However, after her uncle is kidnapped, it's up to Sophia and a group of unexpected friends, to rescue him. Using maps, instinct and the help of those from different Ages, Sophia's thrown into an adventure that has her working to save the world and times itself.
There are so many things to praise about The Glass Sentence, but it's Grove's world-building that should be considered the standout, first and foremost. Grove's idea of a world fractured into different time periods is creative beyond belief, leading readers to imagine a multitude of worlds and possiblities as they travel along with Sophia in her desperate attempts to reunite with Shadrack.
As Sophia moves from Age to Age, Grove is careful to study the impact of borders on the development of a culture, along with the (unfortunately) natural xenophobia and discrimination that develops amongst people who are separated by cultural misundestandings. Educators and parents can take the opportunity to discuss how perceptions are altered by location, and what can be done to bridge that divide.
Sophia, like many of the young bookish heroines who've come before her, is a joy to read, as readers travel alongside her. She's often brash and impetuous, making decisions and jumping to emotional conclusions that make her journey to reunite with Shadrack and find out what ha happened to her parents, far more difficult than needs be. However, it's that brash behavior that makes her real, and readers won't be able to help but root for her, as she begins to work out the realities of her world.
Ultimately, while the book ends on a bit of a cliffhanger, Grove has created a wonderous world that also stands well on its own. I'm excited to see where the story will develop in book two, and I'm confident you will too.
You'll probably continue to see a lot of BIG comparisons for The Glass Sentence in the coming months and years to come. It's been compared to Philip Pullman's books, and I can say without hesitation, that those comparsions are not an exaggeration.
S.E. Grove has created a magnificient world that will challenge your understanding of fantasy and fiction. The idea of different Ages co-existing in a singular world is an intriguing one, and opens up endless possiblities on just who and what can exist or occur in this new world. It is, as Kirkus said in their review, "...Wholly original and marveous beyond compare," and if you pick up the book, you'll absolutely see why.
Readers will undoubtedly fall for protagonist Sophia's charms, as well. Like Lucy Penvensie and Lyra Belacqua before her, Sophia is a timeless heroine - quite literally, in some cases! - that will inspire readers for generations to come. Her intrepidness, fortitude and brilliance as she fights to get her uncle back, serve both as a good reminder of how one young girl can rock multiple Ages with her bravery, but also as a great reminder of how it's the youth in our lives that can challenge the status quo and change all of us for the better.
I personally can't wait to step back into Sophia's world in The Golden Specific, and only hope that you will check out The Glass Sentence before joining me for book two.
This book was SO frustrating! Maybe I am just really missing something big here. Because, for me, it just didn't come together. I have so many questions that didn't seem answered, or the "answers" just made more questions. I feel like some of the ideas were really fascinating and could have been brilliant, but either the author didn't have enough of an idea about her world-building or she wasn't skilled enough to convey it to her audience. I thought the writing was decent in terms of it moved easily and I could picture things well enough. But, I felt that the characters just lacked a lot of connectivity and emotion -- both to one another and to the reader-- and there wasn't enough development.
A cataclysm called the Great Disruption fractured Earth into a hodge-podge of different time periods and development. 13-year old Sophia Tims lives with her uncle in late 19th century Boston, part of New Occident (Eastern seaboard, deep South and part of the Midwest.) When her cartologer (mapmaker) uncle is kidnapped, Sophie goes off to find help in neighboring Triple Eras (central America), and is joined by the mysterious buy loyal Theo and a band of benevolent pirates. The book's great strength is the author's immense imagination that has come up with characters, races, environments, maps, and magic that are all described with great skill. However, parts are too long and detailed, and character development is sacrificed. First of a trilogy
3 stars! I hate giving this book a 3 stars because I thought I would really like it and it turn out that I really did not like it. To me it did not really catch my attention that much. It was really not the right boom for me. I was hoping to like it as much as what it sounded like.
There are many days where I am thankful that my beloved works in a bookstore. This day is one of them.
A while ago he had borrowed this book from the store -the ARC version-, and after a small bought of depression and minor begging, he allowed me to read it (even if I had it so much longer than I should have.) I have a terrible history with reading books I can not stand, and not realizing how poor they were until I reach the end and feel empty.
Before entering this book we must remember this is S. E. Grove's first book, and it utterly fantastic. It starts out a bit dry for my normal tastes (which are fantasy and science fiction) but is slowly grows and unfurls into a beautifully crafted world. A world which, thank goodness, maps are included.
We follow the story of Sophia Tims, a girl whose sense of time is unique, and in a world where every continent is a different Age, her unique sense of time can be a bit of a hindrance. She lives with her uncle Shadrack, a famous cartologer from Boston, while her parents have been out of the pictures for many years. To keep from spoilers all I will say on the subject of her parents is that they did not just simply abandon her.
Now in Sophia's world everything changed after the Great Disruption. This is what set the world into different Ages. In the years after cartology came to the forefront of importance. Mapping and exploring the new and vastly different became new trades. Shadrack introduces Sophia to a world of vastly different maps, and not simply the ones on paper. (This is where the books starts to open itself to a more fantastical genre.)
But when her uncle is kidnapped, Sophia has to go rescue him. She's never been farther than New York and has no idea where he might be. Using nothing but her maps and a note left from Shadrack Sophia and Theo, he newfound friend from a different Age, set out to Nochtland.
Along the way she meets new friends, such as pirates, a candy peddler, and some royal advisers. However their journey is not simply sweet and simply ride, as she meets plenty of foes. The half-alive Sandmen, the Veiled Woman, and the Lachrima.
This book was like the most fantastic puzzle. So many different elements came into play. It's easy to be confused while reading, but everything gets explained clearly and calmly, all while using clear and beautiful writing to unwind a story so fantastic and enjoyable. If you're even considering reading this book, just do yourself the favor of reading it. It's one of the most enjoyable books I've ever read, and I only read the Uncorrected Proof, not that too much will change. If you're looking for a book to get easily lost in, "the Glass Sentence" is the perfect book.
In this first of a series, we enter a world that has been fractured and thrown into different ages and epochs. About a hundred years prior to the events of the novel, the earth split along its fault lines and brought each either backward or forward in time (except for New England which apparently stayed the same). An adolescent girl named Sophia Timms seeks to find out what happened to her parents, explorers who vanished during an expedition. But before she can find the truth, her uncle is kidnapped and Sophia is being hunted by his captors. Along with a boy named Theo, she must travel across Ages to rescue her uncle and find the secret behind a glass map that her pursuers seem desperate to have.
This book was... okay. It was definitely a bit of a grind to get through it. It was advertised as the best world building since Philip Pullman, but I disagree. I think it tried to do too much in one novel, instead of leaving exposition and explanation for the next novels. I was overwhelmed by the sheer amount of telling that the author did. The descriptions were elaborate but not particularly vivid or beautiful. By the end, I had no idea what the setting looked like although there were paragraphs of description. It was just too dense.
Also, the whole dividing of Ages was not quite airtight. I had some questions that were never really answered, and never quite wrapped my head around the whole concept of different times and eras in different places, especially when there can apparently be "a thousand different Agse" in a very small place. How does that even...? How can you have a multitude of technologies and knowledge spanning from the Ice Age to the distant future in a small space and NOT just blend together into a common denominator?
Altogether it was an adventurous read, I suppose, although the first 2/3 of the plot seemed to be "They're chasing us! Whew, we got away. Oh wait, we didn't, they're chasing us! Oh look at that, we got away. Oh wait!" I also found that the author relied a lot of deus ex machina to solve conflict.
All that aside, it's an original idea with some potential, but it might take a very patient reader to sift through it all.
I tried, you guys. Despite what my goodreads log may say, I've been trying to read this on and off for a week and a half, at least. I would read a couple pages and put it down. I hate DNFing novels like these where there were so many things to like. But alas, the premise had a terrible time getting stuck in too much info-dumping that actually never answered my questions. A historical fiction where the world was flung into different ages? SIGN ME UP.
However, this is one of those novels where the premise has a terrible execution. The setting was very underdeveloped. I completely understand that this was 1891 (at least in the New Occident. btw, that was the dumbest name for the U.S. there was no reason to change it, so fuck you.), but it didn't feel like that. The setting felt like it could have been 1940's or the 1820's. The characters were very basic too. The only character that had depth was Shadrack. Bad news when I don't care about the protagonist (or the antagonist, for that matter. what was her business?)
All in all, this is a book with a misleading synopsis. I would only recommend it to those that have more patience that me. Maybe it gets better.
Slow to get off the ground and concluding with a maddening cliff-hanger, this one was a slog for me. Several writers I admire blurbed it effusively, so perhaps my own intellectual short-comings account for my lack of enthusiasm.
I did like the character of Theo--even better than the protagonist, Sophia--and trying to discern his back story kept me somewhat engaged.
Nonetheless, I was confused by the world S.E. Grove created. I couldn't make much sense of the cataclysmic event that threw time and geography (or was it geology?) into such chaos. And though I believe in climate change, I couldn't swallow the rapidity with which climatic conditions proceeded in the novel. Some magic might have "explained" it, but there wasn't any to be found...
The concept behind this book is fascinating -- a time rift causes the world to fall into fractions of different, unaligned eras -- but the pacing was slow and it made reading this feel more like a chore than for pleasure. I should've DNF'd early but I wanted to see where Hinton would go with this. 🤷♀️
Although middle grades are not among my top favourites, I really enjoyed this book! It's unique, strange, adventurous. A bit confusing at times, but it's a minor complaint. Sophie, the MC, is a caring, witty 13 years old girl and it was enjoyable to read from her perispective. I really liked the secondary characters as well, such as Blanca, Calixta, and Shadrack. There are so many strange creatures, for example the Lachrima: jeez, they're creepy creatures, but their stories are also really sad. The writing style reminded me of J.K. Rowling's one; also, there are so many Golden Compass' vibes, although it's a different plot and a different concept. Overall, a solid first book!