- Hardcover: 336 pages
- Publisher: Tor Teen; First Edition edition (February 10, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0765336618
- ISBN-13: 978-0765336613
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.2 x 8.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (105 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #42,238 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Glass Arrow Hardcover – February 10, 2015
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From School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—In a not-too-distant future, void of the belief in prayer and God, prayer is outlawed. Each public auction of available young girls raised for breeding purposes begins with a moment of silence to give thanks to the rich men who seek out subjects to purchase. Not only are women denied basic human rights in this caste society, but no one is given the opportunity to rise out of their assigned station. Lower caste men are neurologically altered to serve as either mindless, fashion-conscious baby-sitters for the chatteled young girls or emotionless security guards to keep the girls in line. Sixteen-year-old Aya, an educated renegade raised to think independently, is captured for sport by a rich young magnate and turned over to the capital city of Glasscaster for auction to the highest bidder. Aya is valuable because she has lived her life free, with natural foods, unlike the chemical substitutes given to the young girls raised within the city walls. This means that Aya has a higher chance of giving birth to a male child. Despite her attempts to sabotage her auctions, Aya finds herself not only sold, but also transferred to the highest household in town, Mayor Rykor's home. The extensive security system in the home makes it hard for Aya to find a means of escape, and much to her surprise, she discovers that it's not the mayor who has purchased her; it's his nine year old son. There's a much of Katniss Everdeen in Aya—a familiar strength and determination. Aya is an independent thinker, strong and self-reliant. Despite some slow pacing in the middle, fans of dystopian and postapocalyptic YA fiction will thoroughly enjoy this read.—Sabrina Carnesi, Crittenden Middle School, Newport News, VA
“The Glass Arrow by Kristen Simmons plunges readers into a heart-wrenching and wholly startling new world. Aya's story is terrifying in the best possible way, and left me shuddering over the painful awareness of humanity's darkest capability, and yet not losing sight of its greatest potential. Simmons portrays a stunning heroine of strength and resilience that captivated me until the very last page.” ―Christina Farley, author of the YA bestseller Gilded
“Fully imagined and richly written, The Glass Arrow seamlessly blends the best of adventure and romance with characters you will root for. I was transported.... A dark tale shot through with hope and the idea that sacrifice and love can conquer all. I couldn't put it down.” ―Amy Christine Parker, author of Gated and Astray, on The Glass Arrow
“The Glass Arrow is an intense and disturbing read that is impossible to put down. From the rush of the first chase scene to the emotional conclusion, Aya is a fearless heroine that you can't help falling in love with. I stayed up way too late completely enthralled, chilled and ultimately satisfied by the frightening world Simmons created. Now where is book 2? I Need it right now!” ―Ellen Oh, author of Prophecy
“There's much of Katniss Everdeen in Aya--a familiar strength and determination. Aya is an independent thinker, strong and self-reliant…. Fans of dystopian and postapocalyptic YA fiction will thoroughly enjoy this read.” ―School Library Journal
“Romance readers will find plenty to swoon over, while fans of dystopian futures will find this a compelling… read. Aya's fierce determination and ability to think quickly and creatively in crises make her a great role model, and her nature-based faith lends an interesting balance to the action-driven tale of social justice. Simmons creates sympathetic yet intriguingly flawed characters, and tweaks familiar dystopian elements to excellent effect.” ―Booklist
“This grim cautionary tale opens taut and suspenseful, with its heroine being hunted down like an animal, her adopted family slaughtered and scattered…. A world where girls and women are commodities to be sold and resold is frightening enough; more chilling are the girls who embrace their fate or the women who participate in the system for profit and status.” ―Publishers Weekly
“Article 5 is a gripping, atmospheric story of survival. Alongside a fierce depiction of oppressive government, Simmons has created a bleak portrait of an America lost. I could hardly put it down.” ―Kendare Blake, author of Anna Dressed in Blood
“The realistic underbelly of Article 5 is what makes this dystopian tale a haunting read and incredibly engaging. A true dystopian force.” ―The CW
“This action-packed novel is a dystopian unlike any other I have read.” ―The Huffington Post on Article 5
“An adrenaline-pumping ride into a terrifying future. I have no nails left.” ―Anne Greenwood Brown, author of Lies Beneath, on Breaking Point
“The action never stops.” ―Booklist
“Paints a picture of a world that could easily be our future. [Simmons's] fluid writing creates an easy-to-read story that opens the eyes of readers to what the loss of civil liberties could entail. This book is a must have for all young adult collections.” ―VOYA
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Top Customer Reviews
Kristen Simmons has done it again in this EPIC standalone, that interweaves thrilling dystopia, heart-pounding adventure, turmoil of survival, and a fresh and truly unforgettable romance, that will touch your hearts for years to come. THE GLASS ARROW definitely delivers!!!
If there's one thing I know for sure about Kristen Simmons, it's that she NEVER fails me, NEVER!!! Even though I didn't love this standalone as much as her other series, ARTICLE 5, it came pretty close!! She has this powerful way that quickly gets her readers engaged and invested into the characters and story as it unfolds. And these characters in THE GLASS ARROW had the worst of the worse happen to them, so I was able to feel connected and drawn to them and their sorrows and desperation, an route for their success.
The world building is original, yet, their are a few similarities to other books I've read. But that's to be expected with any dystopian books. But Kristen Simmons was able to throw in her own unique plot, and collide them with the general dystopian setting, and sets this book on fire with her epic storytelling that never ceases to fail!!
Aya was such a solid protagonist. She was hardcore and willing to risk it all just to be free, and to free the ones she loved. Growing up in the mountains, trying to evade capture had turned Aya into a "Wild" girl, willing to get down and dirty and do the things that many wouldn't. She had all the character traits that I love in my female leads. She had this wild demeanor, yet, she knew when to play that card and when to lay low and wait for the perfect time to strike. She was such a strong character to have to endure the many things she had, and in this relatively quick standalone novel, she achieved much.
Kiran was another great character that I enjoyed. He was a little harder to figure out though. He was a driver, and considered mute. So in the beginning when Aye and Kiran would secretly meet, Kiran would express himself with actions. But what I loved about their connection was that they were able to communicate without having to speak any words. And it was beautiful, and truly heartwarming to watch this beauty unfold in such a harsh world. And I think it truly made the romance build up and slowly blossom to what it became.
But what I really loved about this book was that the characters were determined to survive, but not determined to save the world. In most dystopians you have the main characters fighting to get out of their bad situation, then fighting to fix the core of the problem. But not in this novel, the characters were only out to save themselves and the ones they loved and say the hell with the rest of world and all it's screwed up ways. And I LOVED THAT!!! It was a breath of fresh air to have a dystopian novel so different from the rest, and VERY rare. But unsurprisingly, Kristen Simmons did it just like I knew she would!
Aya knows how to survive, she's been doing it since she was born. Hiding within the mountains, blending into the tress and becoming one with the earth, and only interacting with the ones she loves, trying to keep her people alive and remain safe, and free....
Aya has been her groups best chance of survival since her mother passed away and she was left to take over. She's strong, skilled, determined, and as loyal as they come. But most importantly, she'd rather be caught and claimed then see someone she loves go in her place. So she is the groups only chance of survival....
But then Aya's luck finally runs out when her group is torn apart by a bunch of business men looking for easy prey out in the mountains. She's captured and forced to abandon her family to the mercy of the predators who roam the mountains searching for their next breeder. Aya's world has been turned upside down, and the real fight for survival has just begun...
Aya is taken to the Garden--a Rehabilitation Center of sorts for girls to be groomed and prepped to be sold to a future buyer, for him to do as he pleases, for girls are merely property for the owner to do as they see fit. But Aya's not your normal Garden girl, she's been raised wild in the mountains and has a few tricks up her sleeve. She's determined to make sure she never scums to that horrible fate, but if she does, she's ready to go down fighting.
But then Aya's plans take a wild turn when she meets Kiran, a very strange but highly interesting mute driver that is determined to help her escape. At first she doesn't know what to make of him as no one in or around the Garden as ever seemed like they wanted to help her, except him. But their is something about his persistence, and caring demeanor that makes her feel she can trust him.
But before they can put their plan into action Aya's is sold to her buyer and forced to finally leave the Garden. Alone and out of options, Aya is done playing games, she's ready to get down and dirty and get herself free of the manic that has now claimed her...
Overall, THE GLASS ARROW was a great dystopian that brought fresh air and a touch of originality to the dystopia genre. Kristen Simmons did not fail and still remains one of my favorite authors, and I'm so excited to see what else she comes up with next!
NOTE: I received a physical ARC from Tor Teen for reviewing purposes! All opinions expressed are my own and are not influenced in any way!
In the future, women are viewed as commodities. Their value is based on their breeding ability. They are kept in confined areas where they are primped and pampered in order to sell to the highest bidder. If they prove to be of value (by birthing a male) they may be kept around the household for a while as a forever wife. If not, they’re thrown back out into society as damaged goods.
Aya was born out in the “wild;” she was born free which makes her doubly valuable when she’s captured. Once confined to the “garden” where they keep the eligible girls, Aya immediately starts trying to figure out ways to avoid the monthly auctions. By the time The Glass Arrow starts, Aya has been locked up for 107 days. She’s gone to auction once. She picks fights in order to be sent to solitary confinement that consists of being chained to a stake in the middle of a field with a guard watching you 24/7. Aya doesn’t mind solitary as it allows her visits from her adoptive wolf pup Brax whom she discovered during a different solitary stay (noticing a trend?). This time, however, she meets someone new. A driver whose job it is to take care of the horses for the magnates in the city. Drivers don’t have the ability to speak, and Aya finds herself confiding all her secret hopes and fears to this boy, but regardless she still doesn’t know if she can trust him.
Aya’s determination really drives the story. One way or another she will get back her freedom, even if it comes down to sacrificing herself, Aya wouldn’t falter, but her main concern is making sure her remaining family is safe first and foremost. She doesn’t discard others who may need her help, but the point is most of the women and girls in captivity don’t want any help. They don’t view their situations as bad because it’s been ingrained in their upbringing for hundreds of years that this is their lot in life, they don’t know any different. It’s really quite sad.
The relationship that develops between Aya and Kiran (a name she gives him since he cannot speak to tell her his name) is so tentative and sweet. It forces Aya to acknowledge that she can still belong to someone and be free at the same time. I also have to give Kristen Simmons major props for writing such an interesting character with no dialogue.
There’s no definitive time period given for the setting of the story. There’s references made to electric cars, and based upon some of the modifications forced upon those in servitude to the wealthy, we can assume it’s the future. Although the story reads as though things have developed and gone so far ahead into the future that we’ve started to regress.
I appreciated the singular view that Kristen Simmons decided to take on the story. Instead of making it an epic story of change (in which case this would not be a standalone), it’s the story of one girl’s struggle for the life she wants. It’s Aya’s determination of self-worth and what it means to be free. By simplifying the scope we’re able to see the true deterioration in society. Although by the end of The Glass Arrow Kristen Simmons does leave readers with a great sense of possibility and hope for the future.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The idea was really cool, and the writing style was decent.Read more