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Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Review: Spy Glass

Author: Maria V. Snyder

Release date: 17th September 2010 UK
Genre: Fantasy / Adult
Target audience: Adult / YA Cross-over
UK Publisher: Mira Books

Summary from Amazon:

WARNING: This summary has spoilers for earlier books in the series.

An undercover mission leads to danger, adventure and an impossible choice. After siphoning her own blood magic in the showdown at Hubal, Opal Cowan has lost her powers. She can no longer create glass magic. More, she's immune to the effects of magic. Opal is now an outsider looking in, spying through the glass on those with the powers she once had, powers that make a difference in the world. Until spying through the glass becomes her new power. Suddenly, the beautiful pieces she makes flash in the presence of magic. And then she discovers that someone has stolen some of her blood - and that finding it might let her regain her powers. Or know it could be they are lost forever.

Storm Glass (Opal Cowan Book 1) Review here

Sea Glass (Opal Cowan Triology Book 2) here


This review will contain spoilers for books 1 and 2. You have been warned!

Spy Glass is an epic and addictive finale to the Opal Cowan series. From the first page I was hooked and I was reading it in every spare second I could find.

At the end of Sea Glass Opal makes a huge sacrifice for the greater good. So at the beginning of Spy Glass (which takes up where Sea Glass finishes) we see Opal trying to come to terms with her actions and the loss that she has endured. She also discovers an unexpected consequence of her sacrifice which is yet another thing she needs to decide whether or not to tell the council.

Opal is determined to be a master of her own destiny in this novel. She makes some distinctively tough choices and some of them would not find their way into a Young Adult novel in the UK. It is obvious to me after reading this why it is marketed as an adult novel here.

There are some interesting themes explored through the novel: freedom, power, corruption, love. There is also a huge emphasis on redemption and the difference between a character driven by an inner evil and one who is driven by a debilitating addiction. It is the first time I’ve seen this in a fantasy novel and it really intrigued me as a way to characterise the evil actions that one character does.

The plot of the whole series is meticulously crafted. I honestly cannot get my head around how a writer can foresee at the beginning of a series how all the subplots can tie into the main plot. It is incredible and Snyder really keeps the reader on her toes.

If you’ve had told me what would happen in the ending before I started reading the book, I wouldn’t have believed you. I wouldn’t have wanted it to happen the way it did. But then as I got more and more into Spy Glass everything I wanted at the beginning had changed and so that I did want the ending the was revealed to me.

Spy Glass is a surprising twist in the tale of Opal Cowan. I would actually love to read more from this character or at least from her world. I am going to have to go and read the Study series now because I am rather addicted to Snyder’s plotting. It is thriller meets fantasy. Gripping, mysterious and highly satisfying!

Thank you to Mira Books for sending me the book to review.


Irena @ This Miss Loves to Read said...

Great review, Becky! I like your enthusiasm about the great twist. It IS wonderful when in a series, everything that has been complicated suddely unravels so nicely. You definitely convinced me. I intend to tackle this series in the future.

The Book Bug said...

OOOh, fab review! Whenever I read one of your reviews I', always filled with an overwhelming jealousy, wishing that I could write like that.

...I am now thinking that I should probably read this series.

Merry Christmas for - way too soon!