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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-04-14 22:46
Storm Glass by Maria V. Snyder (2016 Review)
Storm Glass - Maria V. Snyder

Storm Glass by Maria V. Snyder
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Four years attending the Magician's Keep, and Opal believes she's nothing but a disaster and a disappointment. Instead of being able to learn and practice new powers like other students, her one and only ability is placing a thread of magic within the glass figures she creates, which can then be used as a means for cross-country communication. Definitely not combat related, thus she is shocked to learn the Master Magicians have an assignment for her.

(WARNING: This reviews contains MAJOR spoilers.)

I quickly fell in love with the world of the much conflicted Ixia and Sitia all the way back in Poison Study. Not only was the book a perfect reminder of why I love immersing myself in works of fiction, but it created pleasant excitement for the future instalments penned by Snyder. It was then unfortunate that the following segments of the series only declined, leaving me disappointed and pessimistic. What my gripe essentially stemmed from was the character development of Yelena, and how she evolved drastically into a famous, almighty Soulfinder than could accomplish everything and anything. But whilst Yelena's magic varied to the extreme, Opal's was very limited... At first. It offered zero offensive and defensive capabilities, but it was extremely useful and beneficial to the Sitian council and magicians as a whole. This, after the sheer extent of Yelena's power growth, was refreshing and I welcomed the unique simplicity. Imagine my irritation that as the book progressed, new magical discoveries were made, each more powerful than the last. It's an easy assumption to make that history will repeat itself.

Opal suffered through quite a lot in her ventures, and made more one than one mistake along the way. Her insecurities could've been endearing, but I felt they became a little too much when she continuously refused to accept praise or compliments of any kind. She also displayed a hunger for power, which in itself was slightly off-putting, though to be fair, if I were considered a "one-trick wonder", I'd probably feel sour about it as well. Despite these faults, which definitely threatened her likeability, I thought she was an average protagonist with the potential for improvement. Perhaps if she was given room to breathe and grow into her own person, and not overshadowed by Yelena, which of whom played a part in this book and was mentioned regularly.

Of course the love triangle ticked me off, as they usually do. I just don't understand how they can appeal to anyone. It seemed, at least to me, that Opal settled with Ulrick because Kade didn't reciprocate her interest - it's ALWAYS selfish, in one way or another. It doesn't matter which one I favoured (Kade though), it just becomes unbelievably tedious.

However in regards to the other characters, I believed there to be a satisfactory variety. I actually became a little fond of Leif, whereupon I initially hated his immaturity. Zitora I liked, Pazia was a tad annoying, as was Ulrick. Kade was a delight, and I immediately wished him the love interest. The plot itself was eventful, yet at times confusing as it veered off into different directions. I don't think it needed to be as complicated; sometimes a straightforward story does the job just as well. I very much liked the in-depth look at the Stormdancers in particular, and I would've loved if they were focused on a little longer. Hopefully they make appearances in the next two books of the Glass trilogy.

Speaking of glass, I enjoyed the detailed scenes of craftsmanship found throughout the pages. I never thought I'd find an interest in such a thing, but the writing was very well done and inspired me to perform some additional research. I do appreciate when an author can ignite enthusiasm on a certain subject otherwise ignored.

In conclusion: Looking forward to delving into more Chronicles of Ixia, but let's hope they rise to the standard of the very first. It just strikes me as the protagonists get overly powerful, which takes all the fun out of them struggling for their survival.

Notable Scene:

The roar of the wind and sea ceased the moment the monster wave engulfed me. For one heartbeat, my world filled with gurgling sounds and foamy green light. Then the force of the crashing water slammed me into an unyielding object. The sea grabbed my limp body and tossed it about. Confusion dulled the pain until my forehead smacked into a jagged rock.

© Red Lace 2016

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Source: redlace.reviews/2018/04/14/storm-glass-by-maria-v-snyder-2016-review
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review 2017-07-30 11:45
Sun sets on Study series as Dawn Study ends
Dawn Study - Maria V. Snyder

Sorry for being such a shit and forgetting to post the minimal reviews I've done this year.

 

This year has just been the absolute worst and I'm still finding it hard to find time to read.

 

I have this medical condition that causes me to lose concentration and fall asleep if I stay still for too long. It's being looked at, but the doctor doesn't want to treat me through the public system since I got tested through the private system. Essentially this specialist has an issue with my GP (who is the sweetest, coolest, most laid-back dude ever, and once dressed up as Gandalf for a fancy dress party, so you know he's cool) and takes it out on my GPs patients?!!!! Like is that even legal? Do I even want to work with this specialist? But the only other specialist in the state is on vacation?!!!! So essentially FML.

 

ANYWAY ON TO THE REVIEW.

 

I received this book for free from HarlequinTeen Australia, Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

I don’t even know where to start with this book.

 

You know how each instalment of a series is supposed to be more epic than the last?

Well, at one point Snyder has something like 28 characters ‘onscreen’, all with different motivations, characterisations, and backstories, including small children with more sass than they have the right to be.

 

I don’t know how she managed to keep it all straight in her head, let alone write it in a way that made sense to her audience.

 

The crux of the story is that Valek’s old BFF Ambrose ‘The Commander’ is going to invade Sitia and wipe out all of the magicians with the help of some old enemies of Yelena’s. The Sitians are preparing for war against Ixia, but they are being mind-controlled by food laced with Theobroma, which  strips a person’s resilience to magic. Meanwhile, Yelena has every bounty hunter on her tail, no magic, and a growing baby bump. Valek is getting too old for this shit, but he’s the only one who can face down certain people while trying to keep his newly-discovered magical powers a secret (which led to some truly awesome scenes of outsmarting villains, I might add).

 

The team – or ‘herd’ as they start to refer to themselves – of Yelena’s allies all work together to overcome their various obstacles including finding a way to beat Theobroma and work around the newly discovered resistance to the old fallbacks of laced poison darts. There’s a lot of investigation, sneaking, spying, assassin-ining, disguises, riding hard and fast, deals made and broken, and trust betrayed and earned again. All the while Yelena and Valek manage to keep the hots for each other: no mean feat after years together offscreen. I think Yelena is meant to be in her mid to late twenties now, and Valek is close to, if not, forty.

 

There’s so many characters in this book that we have to take on multiple points of view to tell the story. Yelena’s is always my favourite, mostly because it’s first person, but Valek is a close second, only because we get to see the real emotion hiding underneath.

As a conclusion to Yelena and Valek’s story I found this novel very satisfying, including the ending. I recommend this book to all fantasy lovers and even fantasy novices, although it would probably be best to read the books that come before it first.

 

I look forward to the day Snyder gets an idea for a spin-off about a certain new female character set fifteen or so years into the future, but until then I’ll have to be content with re-reading this amazing, fantastical original fantasy series from cover to cover all over again.

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review 2017-02-05 00:00
Untitled
Untitled - Maria V. Snyder Untitled - Maria V. Snyder I'm going to warn you that I am not someone who is fawning over this book. I disliked it immensely.

It was a copy and paste book; a wash- rinse- repeat book. Each chapter was the same...go to help solve everything, get caught or get hurt, heal and on to the next issue. Nothing different.

I could say that the ending was a surprise to me -but it wasn't -the author couldn't chance having her fans hate her if she chose to do it in any other manner. It makes for the possibility that if there is another series, Yelena and Valek can show up if their child (I am not going to spoil the sex of the kid!) has a series. It was a very cliched ending.

This book seems to have finished off the series, but I have a feeling that another series will be off-shot from this one -perhaps one for young adults.

*ARC supplied by publisher
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review 2016-08-14 16:01
Storm Glass - not what I expected.
Storm Glass - Maria V. Snyder

Unfortunately not as good as I had hoped, nor as good as the other series attached to this one, the Study Series.

My reasoning for this is mainly based on the characters, when you have friends like these who needs enemies? I don't understand how she called any of these people her friends, and her love relationships were no better. All the relationships in this book were brittle and weak and made zero sense to me - maybe I'm missing a big chunk of Opal's story as I haven't yet finished the Study Series but I doubt it. She only had a few conversations with some of the people she labeled her friends - at least on 'screen' which is all I can relate to obviously. One girl was just plain her enemy, legit out to get her but no Opal wanted to be besties - which I'll admit is a weirdly admiring quirk but I'm also concerned about her brain, maybe she's dehydrated after all that time near the kilns. Others were just bitchy and nasty but she thought of them...somewhat fondly O.o And the 2 nice one'sshe had bitchy thoughts about!!
Her love interests were just plain nightmares. I'm fairly certain she was mainly attracted to them because of how they looked, at least that appeared to be what she was focused on during the book - of course after she managed to snag one, she decided she didn't want him any more and was mooning over the other one, but couldn't give up the current one cause otherwise she'd be alone. *bangs head on hard surface*

Opal just wasn't as good to read about either. I don't mind reading about less adventurous, brave girls, someone who's more meek and quite but there was just something so.... annoying about Opal. I'm pretty sure it was her constant back-stepping, self doubt and whining. All those things are fine in small doses but I'm fairly certain these were aspects of Opals main personality, which drove me a little bonkers. On occasional she would suddenly gather up her courage for all of 2 seconds then throw a pity party for herself before anything actually happened, this process would then Wash and repeat. Plus towards the end everyone referred to her as smart and waited on her to come up with the daring and brilliant plans on how to defeat the bad guys and their crappy situation, which is just plain ridiculous. The girl is lucky for sure! but her plans almost never work, and when they might she doesn't even bother to try them due to overwhelming fear. It was very frustrating.

 

 

(There's a perfect example in the last.... third? of the book I wanted to use but can't be bothered locating. This is mainly the gist: I should do this, quick while I have the chance otherwise I'll never escape! I know I've been in this situation a million times, oh but I'm scared, what if something bad happens!! but if I stay something bad will definitely happen.... maybe I should wait for a better opportunity, No! I said I would escape when I could! But I'm scared.... oops to late opportunity has passed me by. I'll definitely take the next one, I've finally learnt my lesson!
Of course she doesn't though -_-)

(spoiler show)

 

Otherwise a decent enough story, I had periods were I was very entertained and quite intrigue about what would come next. The powers, politics, etc were a blast and I loved the whole aspect of the glass work, no idea how accurate it is, but I enjoyed it.

I'll be reading the next I imagine, in theory Opal should be different, she was less annoying towards the end of this book at least, not by a lot but enough. And I really need to re-read and finish of the Study series as they constantly refer to it in this book.

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text 2016-08-08 14:00
Reading progress update: I've read 78 out of 488 pages.
Storm Glass - Maria V. Snyder

What on earth is with all the teenagers and young adults in this book!? I have never met so many nasty and spiteful people in my life, let alone all at once. I'm in their age category and can easily claim most people my age aren't generally dicks, even if some are immature. These guys are all immature, have no emotional regulation (which they should have learnt long before now) and have purposely tried to hurt someone for their own amusement. 

Does Snyder have a made hate for youth? or is she trying to make her main character appear more wonderful and kind-hearted in comparison by not making Opal a childish monster like the rest? who knows. Either way pretty much everyone else is a douche so far.

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