manda's Reviews > Storm Glass

Storm Glass by Maria V. Snyder
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Sep 02, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: fantasy, romance, young-adult, fantasy-lite

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?"
"Yes."
"I didn't solve it. My father did."
pg. 146

"Thanks, Opal. You saved her life."
"Inadvertently."
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.

elfswood
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Reading Progress

September 2, 2011 – Started Reading
September 2, 2011 – Shelved
September 5, 2011 – Shelved as: fantasy
September 5, 2011 – Shelved as: romance
September 5, 2011 – Shelved as: young-adult
September 5, 2011 – Finished Reading
October 5, 2012 – Shelved as: fantasy-lite

Comments (showing 1-22 of 22) (22 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.


manda 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.


manda 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.


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


Debbie's Spurts (D.A.) 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.


message 8: by Grace (new)

Grace This review is brilliant.


message 9: by Cat (new) - rated it 4 stars

Cat Mittens I actually really enjoyed this novel. As someone who took the time to read the Poison Study series first, I obviously had a much different experience than you did. I think your perspective is interesting though, they're a complete opposite to what I thought. All the innuendos and whatnot made sense, and I thought Snyder did a pretty solid recap for the readers.

With that being said, the Storm Glass series is completely based on what happened in the Poison Study series. I believe the multiple series compile into "The Chronicles of Ixia" (or something like that) and they actually have an order. With that in mind, you technically started on book #4 instead of book #1 (that EXCLUDES two novellas following Ari and Janco which should be read before this novel). Your thoughts on this novel may end up changing if you decide to read it in the correct order. Your reaction could probably be said for any series if you started halfway though.

I never really liked Opal as a whole, but what I did like was that Opal WASN'T the hero. She had a plethora of issues and crumpled under torture like I would (or anyone else would, be honest). In Poison Study, Yelena was the hero and honestly was everything a hero should be (brave, thoughtful, powerful, etc). I like that Snyder made Opal not so fantastIc.


message 10: by Cat (new) - rated it 4 stars

Cat Mittens I actually really enjoyed this novel. As someone who took the time to read the Poison Study series first, I obviously had a much different experience than you did. I think your perspective is interesting though, they're a complete opposite to what I thought. All the innuendos and whatnot made sense, and I thought Snyder did a pretty solid recap for the readers.

With that being said, the Storm Glass series is completely based on what happened in the Poison Study series. I believe the multiple series compile into "The Chronicles of Ixia" (or something like that) and they actually have an order. With that in mind, you technically started on book #4 instead of book #1 (that EXCLUDES two novellas following Ari and Janco which should be read before this novel). Your thoughts on this novel may end up changing if you decide to read it in the correct order. Your reaction could probably be said for any series if you started halfway though.

I never really liked Opal as a whole, but what I did like was that Opal WASN'T the hero. She had a plethora of issues and crumpled under torture like I would (or anyone else would, be honest). In Poison Study, Yelena was the hero and honestly was everything a hero should be (brave, thoughtful, powerful, etc). I like that Snyder made Opal not so fantastIc.


manda Cat wrote: "I actually really enjoyed this novel. As someone who took the time to read the Poison Study series first, I obviously had a much different experience than you did. I think your perspective is inter..."

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. It's nice to see a differing opinion that doesn't try to undermine my personal opinion of the book at the same time.


Cogito_ergo_sum Hi, I liked your review. I'm still undecided whether to try the glass series or not. I dropped the Study series after the disappointment of book 1. I don't want to hear any more about Yelena. I grew to dislike her in Study#1.
I heard people liked Glass#2 better than Glass#1. So I was just wondering if I had to read Glass#1 to understand the next book. Although... what you said about the plot (or lack thereof ) doesn't make me too keen to try this book.

On another topic, are you sure those 2 sentences you mentioned are grammatically incorrect? I believe the commas are correct. "As well" acts like "too" and you can use a comma with "too" in this use of the word, as opposed to "I watch too much TV." In the second sentence, "with" acts like a subordinator. It begins the dependent clause about the description of the character's features. Recently it has become in fashion to try and omit commas where possible if the meaning is clear enough. Though while sentence #2 is grammatically correct, it is awkward to read. She's used "with" in the same manner twice in the same sentence. That speaks to lazy writing. I mentioned the grammar because I have an enthusiasm for it. I used to hate it, but now I find the rules fascinating. Makes me a weirdo. I know.


message 13: by manda (last edited Jan 23, 2016 04:53AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

manda Cogito_ergo_sum wrote: "Hi, I liked your review. I'm still undecided whether to try the glass series or not. I dropped the Study series after the disappointment of book 1. I don't want to hear any more about Yelena. I gre..."

I believe the comma before "as well" reads very awkwardly. The comma should only go after it. The sentence should read:

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

to imply that they were also immobilized (as were the rest of the people before them). I think there are several discussions online about this as well: http://english.stackexchange.com/ques...
http://www.grammarly.com/answers/ques...
(just to name a few)

As for the second sentence, it is the improper use of the word "my" that shows poor editing:

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

The complete opposite of your what? I think it's supposed to be she had the complete opposite of mine, -- which still reads awkwardly.

It is better to say she was the complete opposite of me, with my....


manda And I don't think being interested in grammar (or other rules) is weird at all!


Cogito_ergo_sum I read up on your links and did extra google searches. It seems that "as well" doesn't follow the same rules as "too" for some reason... I didn't know that.
As for the second one, I mistook [sic] for [...]. So I thought that there was something there referencing the what. (e.g. "she had the complete opposite of my [body],"). Though I thought there must have been a long fragment instead of one word you decided not to quote.

You are correct. This is poor editing. Thanks for educating me :)

Is it just a few typos like this, or are there a considerable amount in this book?


manda Cogito_ergo_sum wrote: "I read up on your links and did extra google searches. It seems that "as well" doesn't follow the same rules as "too" for some reason... I didn't know that.
As for the second one, I mistook [sic] f..."


I read this book so long ago (2012) so unfortunately I don't remember how predominant the poor editing was >_<)


Payal I read this series without reading the Poison Study series as well. And my opinions were very similar to yours. I was a bit more gentle, mostly because I have high tolerance for badly written stories. That being said, I have no desire to read the Poison Study series since this is the second Snyder book I read and disliked.


Teagan The Study series are so much better than this book, especially Poison Study. I loved Poison Study, but yeah wasn't too impressed by this book... I would definitely recommend trying out Poison Study though :D


message 19: by Leslie (new) - added it

Leslie Jennings Well maybe next time research a book a little before reading it and don't read a spin off series before reading the original. Honestly if you had done that then half of your argument would be invalid.


manda Leslie wrote: "Well maybe next time research a book a little before reading it and don't read a spin off series before reading the original. Honestly if you had done that then half of your argument would be invalid."

Girl calm your tits. People are entitled to read any book they want, spin-off or no. And a good writer can make that work. I've read spin-off books based off Dungeons & Dragons, which I know jack schmidt about, and yet I've had no problem enjoying the books.


message 21: by Emily (new) - added it

Emily I first read this book when I was in junior high, and liked it quite a bit. I am still inclined to agree with everything you have written here.

Although I was able to read past the issues present in the book when I first read it, and so they obviously didn't detract from my experience as much as they did from yours, you still make very valid points. Even reading the first chapter again after a few years is enough for me to immediately notice the info dumps and other little issues.

I am going to read this again, because I remember enjoying it so much when I first read it... But I can already tell that it won't be as enjoyable to me now that I am older and notice these things more. Still, I wouldn't dissuade people from reading the book altogether. Despite the issues it has, I remember being completely absorbed in the plot and loving the story concept as a kid and so it IS possible to overcome the issues and enjoy the book for what it is... It's one of those things that you pretty much have to find out through trial and error.


Regitze This review was so much better than the book, though I think you should read the 'study series', they have nothing to do with the poor writing of this book.


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