Storm Glass Review (And Announcement, directly below the review)
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Sypnosis (Taken from Maria V. Snyder's site)
As a glassmaker and a magician-in-training, Opal Cowen understands trial by fire. Now it’s time to test her mettle. Someone has sabotaged the Stormdancer clan’s glass orbs, killing their most powerful magicians. The Stormdancers—particularly the mysterious and mercurial Kade—require Opal’s unique talents to prevent it happening again. But when the mission goes awry, Opal must tap into a new kind of magic as stunningly potent as it is frightening. And the further she delves into the intrigue behind the glass and magic, the more distorted things appear. With lives hanging in the balance—including her own—Opal must control powers she never knew she possessed... powers that might lead to disaster beyond anything she’s ever known.
Review: Instead of seeing the story from Yelena's eyes, Maria V. Snyder creates a new series, from the eyes of Opal. While the first series of books that introduced the fantastical worlds of "Ixia," and "Sitia," reflected Yelena's character growth through the use the different modes of subduing or overcoming foes such as the stealthier means of using poison or magic dependent activated by one's mind. (Oddly enough the last book seemed to represent a place of death rather than a tool of death.) With respects to Yelena's character growth though, Poison Study detailed the restructuring of the ability to trust others by probing their minds for certain venomous qualities which could pose danger. Magic Study involved the rediscovery of her origins and finding familial love, after being redeemed from the toxic past that crippled her ability to trust others. Fire Study is where the fate of both countries she loves deeply are dependent on her ability to defeat the malevolent force that threatens the lives of countless people. Basically, she's forced to find some technique to extinguish the fires that vie to obliterate everything she's become deeply in love with. Interestingly, I only came upon this theory by thinking again upon the first trilogy of books as a one huge story, rather than three separate parts. In another post, I hope to post something that explains my theory that these books hold deeper meaning.
Anyways, I'm straying from my review of Storm Glass. Before this series of books, we were acquainted with Opal in "Magic Study," who showed some depth and intrigue towards the end of the book. For that reason, I have been aching for a series that focuses on her character rather than "Yelena." And surprisingly, I found myself impressed by the first book of this separate series. One of the best elements of this book is a new writing style that reflects the change of perespective. Additionally, instead of one love interest, we are given two love interests who compete for Opal's attention. While I did find Yelena and Valek's relationship to be well developed and oftentimes very interesting, I hoped to see some discordance in their relationship. The best relationships seem to directly result from problems that arise and are overcome in a positive manner. If Yelena and Valek were to experience jealousy in the form of another love interest, threatening their formerly stable relationship. Then the readers would have flipped the pages at a faster pace and if a positive result were wrought from this discord, their relationship could have developed into an even stronger, more believable relationship. Ulrick and Kade, refreshingly, have very different personalities that aid in forming Opal Cowen into a more interesting character. This element alone, without the necessity of having it dominate the novel, really convinced me that "Storm Glass," is a far stronger novel than either "Magic Study," and "Fire Study." (Poison Study is unrivaled at the top position mostly because it was a strong debut and the plot itself was fairly complicated right from the onset.)
Not only is there a love triangle, but also there are some very well written passages that describe the glass making in sumptuous detail. By the end of some of the descriptions, I felt some perspiration coat my hands. Because I believe I was vicariously experiencing the physical exhaustion from glassmaking. Along with the glass making, we are given a layered plot involving a mystery of whose destroying the Stormdancer's clans glass orbs, and also the story of Opal's discovery of her powers. Without revealing too many details surrounding the latter subplot, similarly to the "Study Series," the Glass series's titles also offer us a glimpse into the deeper story existent within this book. Cleverly, Kade's comparison of storms to human feelings, reflects Opal's own internal conflict occurring throughout the story. Essentially, Opal's life is unpredictable and interminably turbulent as are weather patterns. Being the skilled writer she is, Maria V. Snyder uses some of her meteorological expertise to help paint Opal's feelings in a metaphoric way. (Hopefully after finishing Sea Glass, I hope to extend my discussion of the link between the titles and the deeper themes of the story)
One flaw I noticed in this book involved certain parts of the story which offered no development in any form. Because of my strict policy, involving spoilers within my reviews, I wish not to provide too many details. Simply put though, there are some instances within this novel that seemed to lack the author's usual finesse with prose. Overall, I really have taken a liking to Opal's character and am very grateful for Maria's courage in writing a series that does not revolve around either "Yelena," or "Valek," Many Buffy and Angel fans know though that these characters do have appropriate cameos which are imperative to the structuring of the story. Now, please give me some time to quell my own personal storms in order to give myself some peace of mind to write. (Meaning, the next book review will take about five or six days.)
According to my trusty Dr. Horrible Sing Along Blog Calender, the date's the 21st of February. In comparison to my last post, it's been about a month since I've submitted any reviews. Instead of elaborating on this by use of nearly three convoluted paragraphs. I'll sum it up with one sentence: I've finally set plans to begin writing a young adult science fiction series called "Death Seer." Yes, additionally, the level of difficulty of most of my classes have been much higher, creating an increased amount of work. Besides that though, I have taken advantage of every spare minute to dutifully outline the necessary details for each separate novel within this planned series. Please understand the amount of energy needed, both mental and physical, to create an entirely separate world from the perespective of a fabricated character or host of characters (In the case with my stylistics, there's a host of different character perspectives. I'll hint that omniscient third person will be used in a highly creative way.) Here's the basic synopsis of the first book in the series, sharing the title of the series, "Death Seer." The other titles will not divulged as their titles offer some details of the story. Sypnosis:
Death's usually an element of our lives that becomes a reality at the ending point. For Sam, though that ending point's an imminent point within his life as he's gift or cursed with the ability to see death. His affliction entreats him with the ability to see into the minds of humans and know the intimate details of the last page of their lives.
With a government seeking to abduct him , a complex mystery surrounding his mother's life and death, and a disorienting struggle over love; Sam finds that he cannot allow death's malevolence to stall him.
Because at this juncture, there are things far worse than death, existing in life.