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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unique and Impressive
Magic Under Glass was impressive, unique, and an overall amazing debut novel. From the first page I was pulled into the original world Dolamore had created and Magic Under Glass was really hard to put down. I wanted to keep reading to find out what was going to happen next. There was so much mystery and suspense, by the middle of the novel I couldn't put it down. Nimira's...
Published on December 28, 2009 by The Book Scout

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Magical
Nimira is hired to sing and dance for Hollin Parry, and perform with his automaton--Erris. What seems like a simple job for Nimira turns out to be an adventure as she discovers the automaton is a fairy prince. Part of what I liked about this books was how Nimira and Erris get to know each other. It's very unique how they communicate and although Erris for the most part...
Published on April 20, 2010 by Nicole


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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unique and Impressive, December 28, 2009
This review is from: Magic Under Glass (Hardcover)
Magic Under Glass was impressive, unique, and an overall amazing debut novel. From the first page I was pulled into the original world Dolamore had created and Magic Under Glass was really hard to put down. I wanted to keep reading to find out what was going to happen next. There was so much mystery and suspense, by the middle of the novel I couldn't put it down. Nimira's fight to save Erris was amazing and their love for each other was heartbreaking. It was a forbidden romance at it's best. Not only was Erris a fairy prince, but he was trapped inside an automaton that belonged to the man Nimira was working for. Automaton's are something I've never read about before, so I wasn't sure what to expect at first. The world where Nimira lived in Magic Under Glass was completely original and so different from anything I've ever read about before. The characters and settings were amazing and well developed with no stone left unturned. I was completely submerged in Nimira's world and when I finished reading it only made me anxious to read more by Jaclyn Dolamore- maybe a sequel to Magic Under Glass?

Now to anyone who's read the novel you can understand the significance of the title and cover. For me that was one of the creepiest parts of the novel. I could hardly believe anyone could be as cruel as Hollin's father had been to the faeries and other creatures. I've read quite a few faerie books especially lately, and Magic Under Glass stands out from the others, not that it's better, it's just different. People knew about faeries in this world, but they couldn't coexist with people like the evil Smollings who wanted to kill all the faeries or go to war with them rather than live in peace. Hating the bad characters and liking the good ones was very easy in Magic Under Glass, there was a thick line dividing them and the evil characters were extremely easy to dislike. By the end of the novel I was rooting for Nimira, Erris, and the rest of the characters on their side as they fought against the "bad guys". Creative, unique, and addictive, Magic Under Glass was a debut novel unlike any other. It was a quick read, not only because it was just 200 pages, but because it's one I read quickly, unable to put it down. I'd highly recommend this to anyone.

Rating;

Plot: 10/10

Characters: 9.5/10

Ending: 9.5/10

Enjoyment: 10/10

Cover: 9.5/10

--

Overall: 48.5/50= 97%
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sparkling and lively, January 13, 2010
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This review is from: Magic Under Glass (Hardcover)
When her mother died and father fell into debt, Nimira set off for the big city, hoping to make her fortune as a dancer. She is just managing to get by when the sorcerer Hollin Parry appears and makes her an offer she finds difficult to refuse: to work for him, singing with a fairy-made, life-size automaton. Nimira's new life is better than she could believe, but when she discovers that a fairy named Erris is actually trapped within the automaton, her life is put in grave danger as she is ensnared with a tangled web of lies and secrets that could threaten the peace between two races.

Magic Under Glass is a sparkling and intriguing read. Nim is a lively and spunky heroine who is smart, charming, and resourceful, and Dolamore's fantastical world is brimming with magic and adventure. There are a few different cultures within the pages of Magic Under Glass, and Dolamore portrays them and their differences very well. It would be interesting to explore that aspect of the story a little more, which Dolamore will hopefully do in a sequel.

The characters were quite varied: from intelligent but imprisoned Erris, imposing Hollin Parry with his many secrets, a formidable housekeeper, and a mysterious madwoman. They, along with whispered secrets and murderous plots and villains, make the novel quite entertaining, and keep the book moving briskly. Magic Under Glass is a wonderful example of lovely, spirited storytelling, and an all around fun and lightly romantic fantasy read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An enchanting and highly original young adult fantasy from a very talented debut author., December 22, 2009
This review is from: Magic Under Glass (Hardcover)
Seventeen-year-old Nimira had to leave her home and make her own way in the world after her mother died and her father lost the family's fortune. She now lives in Lorinar, where she performs in a music hall and wishes for a better life. When Hollin Parry, a mysterious sorcerer, offers her a job singing with his piano-playing automaton, she eagerly accepts the opportunity. There are rumors that the automaton is haunted but Nimira ignores them, desperate to leave her life in the music hall behind.

Hollin Parry's estate is lovely, a welcome change from the bustling city she lived in. But it is also a place full of secrets. The biggest of which is that the automaton is not haunted, but contains the trapped spirit of Erris, a fairy prince. As Nimira falls in love with Erris and attempts to free him from the curse, she is caught up in more danger than she expected.

Magic Under Glass is a wonderfully original fantasy from debate author Jaclyn Dolamore. The world she has created is very unique. It is reminiscent of the Victorian era with a bit of steam punk mixed in. If you love young adult fantasy and are looking to read something different and original, be sure to give this book a try. You won't be disappointed! I am very much looking forward to reading more by this talented new author.

Disclosure: Review copy provided by publisher.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Debut - I'm looking forward to the next installment, January 1, 2010
This review is from: Magic Under Glass (Hardcover)
Jaclyn Dolamore's debut novel is a quick and engaging read that left me me wanting more. Not only did the slim volume end much to quickly, Dolamore's unique plot line and characters stayed with me even after I finished the last line.

First off, I'm still a bit in awe of the cover art. I thought it was gorgeous when I first saw it on Jackie's website and when I saw the arc, but it was nothing compared to the bound version when I saw it in the bookstore. It definitely is eye catching!

I was intrigued by the mention of an automaton as I read the plot summary for the novel. I wanted to know how Dolamore would pull off this interesting love story and how the more magical elements would play into the story.

I will say that I did find the explanation of the magical elements of the plot line a bit lacking. I'm hoping that an additional installment will bring some of unexplained details to light. I liked the idea of sorcerers and fairies, but wanted to know more about them. I think may have been the epic fantasy geek in me shining through... I longed for Magic to be a few hundred more pages long with lots of detail about these magical elements.

Dolamore has succeeded in writing a wonderful debut novel! I will definitely be reading her next novel(s). And I am so excited to see the next book's cover!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Clockwork and magic, January 2, 2010
This review is from: Magic Under Glass (Hardcover)
There's a clockwork man who plays the piano, a dancing girl, and a web of forbidden magic that ties them to the highest sorcerers in the land.

Jaclyn Dolamore ties together all those things in "Magic Under Glass," a shimmering little first novel that's reminiscent of Patricia McKillip's early work. There are still some some rough spots to be smoothed out, but it's undeniable that Dolamore has that magical knack -- she can craft hauntingly evocative prose, and breathes some life into a likable young heroine.

"Trouser girl" Nimira dances at a small run-down theatre, until one day when a handsome sorcerer named Hollin Parry asks her to work for him. He has a clockwork automaton that plays the piano, and he wants a girl to sing with it... and all previous girls he hired fled, believing that the automaton was haunted. Nim gladly accepts Hollin's offer, but she soon finds that the automaton isn't haunted -- it's alive.

Yup. It's a fairy lord named Erris, who has somehow been bound into an artificial body, and can only communicate with Nim through his piano.

But as Nim tries to figure out what to do, Hollin is visited by the poisonous head of the Sorcerer's Council, Smollings -- and Smollings has already started to figure out what Erris is. And after a strange woman runs into her bedroom, Nim begins to unravel a tangled web of lies, murder and forbidden magic that are putting the whole land of Lorimar at risk. And if she can't stop Smollings, Erris may be the next to be destroyed...

"Magic Under Glass" is a hard novel to classify -- it's not quite urban fantasy or high fantasy (it seems to be set in a a vaguely Edwardian Europe), and there are hints of of gothic romance, murder mystery and steampunk. But one thing is for sure -- Dolamore did an excellent job crafting this lushly-written little story, and a very unusual young heroine who is just trying to save the man... er, automaton-fairy she loves.

Dolamore's writing is also quite lovely. Her prose is filled with delicate, lush descriptions of golden tigers, embroidered costumes, shining spirits and dried fairies in a glass globe; even the shadowy scene where Nim summons the Queen of Longest Night is exquisite. But there are some hard subplots running underneath the beautiful language, and Dolamore does an excellent job twining them together right up to the end. It's a simple story, but therein lies its charm.

However, she does make some freshman errors. The last few chapters' prose feels a bit rough, and the ending isn't an ending. It's a "To Be Continued." Come on, that's not fair.

Fortunately, Nim IS satisfying -- she's a strong, capable young girl who finds herself in an impossible situation, and is driven to some pretty desperate lengths. Her romance with Erris is simply adorable, and the fairy man is so sweetly earnest that you end up desperately wanting him to get his real body back. And Hollin is a well-written character particularly -- he does some pretty despicable things, yet you end up pitying him instead of hating him.

While the ending of "Magic Under Glass" leaves you impatiently chomping for a resolution, Jaclyn Dolamore's debut novel is a sweet, delicately written creation with a likable cast. Here's hoping for the next part soon.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful escape from reality, January 22, 2010
This review is from: Magic Under Glass (Hardcover)
Nimira is nothing more than a show girl in a cheap theatre, being paid pennies and fed food not worth eating to sing and dance for men who have nothing better to do at night. One night a mysterious man named Mr. Parry comes to Nimira and hires her to sing, accompanying an automaton--a life size mechanical doll--who plays the piano. Every other girl who he has hired has run away screaming, saying that the doll was haunted. Nimira doesn't believe such things... or does she? She realizes once she starts practicing with him that he is definitely more than a doll. She begins to communicate with him... and soon realizes that she loves him. But how can she set him free from his prison?

Nimira starts trying to uncover the secrets that are surrounding her in this strange house--a wife who is supposed to be dead, a sorcerer who has more control than he should, and a missing fairy prince who may just be trapped inside of a piano playing doll.

review:

Magic Under Glass was an amazing and breathtaking adventure, a parallel universe with a story that I'd love to live in and experience again and again. I really cannot think of the words to describe how much I fell in love with this book and it's characters!

Jaclyn has found the perfect way create a story that is both plot driven and character driven. The plot was fast, but not too fast. It was steady enough to keep up with, but fast enough to keep you reading. And the characters... goodness they were so special. Every single one of them, even the ones I hated (with a passion). The characters were instantly real people to me, and they became hugely important. The love between Nimira and her automaton is painful but sweet, and utterly romantic.

I would have read this book in one sitting if I had not been interrupted. It instantly draws you in at the first page, and holds you captive until the last.

The writing was detailed and descriptive and made all the words feel beautiful and sensual, like you're drinking chocolate or breathing perfume while you read.

Ultimately this was a beautiful escape from reality, and I am desperate for the sequel.

Content: no sexual content, and appropriate language (not overdone or overused, I think there was one foul word used only once or twice).

Recommendation: Ages 14+ to anyone who wants a fast enchanting romance worth dying for.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars from MissPrint dot wordpress dot com, December 9, 2010
This review is from: Magic Under Glass (Hardcover)
Nimira is a trouser girl. She left her home years ago seeking fame and maybe even fortune in Lorinar.

Instead Nim is treated like foreign trash and reduced to playing in seedy music halls lacking the respect and admiration reserved for artists back home in Tiansher.

That is until a sorcerer comes to Nim with an unusual proposal.

Hollin Parry is in possession of an automaton of singular craftsmanship. It plays the piano and some people say it might be haunted, so real does it look. Mr. Parry doesn't believe any of that, but he would like a singer to accompany the automaton's playing. In fact, he wants Nimira to accompany it.

If Nimira can ignore the rumors about the automaton and the sorcerer's past, Mr. Parry can offer her respectable work at the fine estate of Vestenveld, a steady income, and maybe even something more if Nim is willing.

But life at Vestenveld is not as it appears. A madwoman roams the halls and rooms are filled with remnants of a dark past. Then there's the automaton.

He doesn't frighten Nimira, far from it. But what if his lifelike movements aren't just clockwork actions? What if the automaton really is haunted? Or worse? As Nim learns more about her new home and the automaton she will have to make dangerous choices to protect herself and save the one she loves in Magic Under Glass (2010) by Jaclyn Dolamore.

At 225 pages (hardcover) Magic Under Glass is a short book--especially for a fantasy (a genre where many books top out at more than 400 pages). Dolamore's pacing is perfect to build tension and establish the complicated world of Lorinar, especially as seen through the eyes of a foreigner like Nim, right until the end of the story.

Like the Libba Bray's Gemma Doyle books, this one blends a lot of different elements into what is essentially a fantasy. Magic Under Glass offers commentary on racism, discrimination, class systems, ethics and more all while guiding Nimira through a story narrated, rather delightfully, in Nim's witty voice. The novel also blends elements of gothic novels with traditional fantasy tropes (and politics) to create suspense and romance throughout.

The ending comes very quickly as the story builds to a high action scene that culminates rather abruptly. Even with the quick ending Magic Under Glass is really a perfect story. And, honestly, a perfect ending. The story's closure is just open-ended enough for readers to imagine their own perfect outcome. A sequel may be in the works--Dolamore has certainly created a large enough world to accommodate many more stories--but this is one book that is wrapped up very nicely on its own without tying things up too tightly.

Possible Pairings: A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, Graceling by Kristin Cashore, Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones, The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick, Selling Hope by Kristin O'Donnell Tubb

Visit my blog for Exclusive Bonus content about the book's different cover designs.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars GreenBeanTeenQueen Reviews, January 30, 2010
This review is from: Magic Under Glass (Hardcover)
About the Book: Nimira is a girl from a distant world trying to make her way in a music troupe. When a wealthy gentleman, Hollin Parry, offers her an opportunity to sing with a life size automaton he has acquired, Nimira takes the chance and hopes it will be the start of something better. Mr. Parry's world is very different than the one she has known and soon Nimira is surrounded by magic, rumors of ghosts, and sorcerers-good and bad. Nimira discovers a fairy is trapped inside the automaton. As their relationship grows, she determines to break the curse-at all costs.

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: This is such a fun read! The storyline is very creative and addicting and it has a refreshing romance. It reminded me in some ways of Beauty and the Beast (forbidden parts of the castle, a huge library, and a girl exploring a way to break a curse) mixed with a classic Victorian tale.

It's a short quick read and I would have read it in one sitting if I had carved out enough time to read. I liked the characters and the way magic was accepted in Hollin Parry's world. It came as no shock that there was a league of sorcerers and fairies-that's just how the world was. I liked that the fantasy elements felt like a natural part of the world.

I really enjoyed the fact that there was a lot of dialogue. I've found that while I enjoy descriptions of places and feelings, I like to have character interactions move the story along. Ms. Dolamore does a great job having the characters tell the story and I enjoyed their interactions. I also liked that a couple of the characters kept me guessing about their motives and there was a surprise I thought was very well done. (And no, I won't tell you what it was, that would ruin it!)

I would have liked more with the romance part of the storyline, although I did like what was there. I would have liked to see it develop just a bit more. This was a pretty short book and the ending felt a little rushed and I want more. I don't wish for many books to be longer, but this one I would have gladly read another 100 pages! I'm hoping there will be a sequel (even though I generally get annoyed with sequels) because I'm interested to see where the characters go from here.

Overall, Magic Under Glass is an enchanting debut that I would eagerly pick up again and re-read. I already have a long hold list for this one at my library and I think my teens will be clamoring for more. I know I'm looking forward to reading more from Ms. Dolamore-she's an author you'll want on your radar.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Historical Fantasy Romance Potential, December 22, 2009
This review is from: Magic Under Glass (Hardcover)
Nimira's family used to be respected and admired courtesans in their home country; Nimira's mother was an accomplished and beautiful dancer. Now, however, Nimira is reduced to singing and dancing for a pittance in front of jeering, unappreciative crowds in an unfriendly country. Then, a sorcerer named Hollin Parry offers Nimira an unusual position and a chance for a better life. Nimira is to sing along with an automaton that Hollin has acquired, an exquisitely wrought piece of craftsmanship that Hollin says was made by fairy magic.

It turns out there's more to the automaton than everyone thinks, for Nimira begins to suspect that there is an actual man trapped inside the clockwork body. As Nimira digs deeper into the automaton's past, she uncovers secrets all around her, and a threatening act of political conspiracy that may lead to war between humans and fairies.

With a premise like that, one can have only high expectations for Jaclyn Dolamore's debut novel, MAGIC UNDER GLASS, and indeed, most of them are met in this sensuously written historical fantasy set in a magical and dangerous world.

The writing in this book is exquisite. Jaclyn Dolamore effortlessly captures readers' attention with her unassuming descriptions of this fantastically different world. Nimira's voice is appealingly innocent in this politically corrupt sphere, and yet we can also feel that she's not going to passively accept her lot in life. The love triangle between Nimira, Hollis, and Erris (the automaton), while slightly strained at times, is also gentle and leaves a lot for your own interpretation and enjoyment. Its hushed and restrained nature is appropriate for the untrustworthy world in which they move, a world where their every movement is watched, and someone's always ready to blackmail or threaten you.

However, I felt like the story never lived up to its full potential. An impending fairy war, political corruption, an impossible romance...how wonderful does it sound? Unfortunately, MAGIC UNDER GLASS concerned itself with only a small corner of this world--namely, the development of Nimira and Erris' relationship, with what felt like only occasional intrusions from the larger world. This disjuncture between the story's world and the actual tale that was told us felt jarring to me and fell a little short of what I desired from reading the first few chapters. The ending, also, felt too tame, and seemed to be a setup for a sequel, which meant that it ended rather abruptly and a little disappointingly.

Still, MAGIC UNDER GLASS was an intriguing read, and fans of Libba Bray's Gemma Doyle trilogy should definitely check this out. With a great blend of magic, political intrigue, and an "Old World" feel, this might be an unusual and appealing read for you!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Uneven debut, but shows promise, July 12, 2010
This review is from: Magic Under Glass (Hardcover)
Set in a fictional turn of the century England, Magic Under Glass follows dancer Nimira as she takes a job singing with a piano playing automaton. As her mysterious boss courts her, Nimira discovers the automaton is really a fairy prince transformed into a mechanical man. Torn between her gratitude to her boss and knowing he is the "smart choice" for a girl like her, and her true love for Erris the fairy-automaton, Nimira desperately tries to find a way to unravel the secrets of the past in order to discover a better future for herself and those she has come to care for. She has unwittingly stumbled upon events that prove far more devious and political than she originally thought, involving Bronte-esque mad women in attics, murder, cover ups, and war.

I really enjoyed the premise of this story, however, the execution and characters were a bit weak. The writing was rushed at the end and the whole Bronte plot part didn't work for me at all (that character was very poorly rendered). The racism parts were a little heavy handed and could have been handled better. While I can ultimately buy the love between Nimira and Erris, it lacked a certain spark and believability. It was very rushed with little reason for why they loved one another. Hollin, on the other hand, was a complex character I would have liked to have gotten to know better. Perhaps in the sequel, which, yes, this book does have a sequel and the storyline is not wrapped up in this installment.

Overall, the author is on the right track and shows great potential. I'm looking forward to the next book in the series.
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Magic Under Glass (Magic Under Glass, Book 1)
Magic Under Glass (Magic Under Glass, Book 1) by Jaclyn Dolamore (Paperback - May 24, 2011)
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