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The Glass Demon: A Novel Paperback – June 14, 2011
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Praise for The Glass Demon
A spectacular mix of history and horror that expertly draws from numerous genres….Skillfully mixing the strains of a dysfunctional family with the rising terror of the supernatural, Grant has produced a mesmerizing page-turner that brilliant depicts the claustrophobic fear of a young woman grappling with the deadly secrets of the forest and the demonic nightmare lurking within.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Sure to cement her growing reputation as an original storyteller and elegant writer…. Grant expertly builds suspense….
With its fascinating information on medieval folklore,unique setting, and increasingly claustrophobic sense of terror, this is an exhilarating page-turner that offers a cerebral blend of horror and mystery.”
—Booklist (starred review)
“Page-turning and portentous, mysterious and chilling, this will attract readers who loved Pamela Dean’s Tam Lin and fairy tales and legends in modern settings.”
“The Glass Demon is a riveting tale from Helen Grant, who proves she is a master of suspense. From beginning to end, I was kept guessing by this spine-tingling tale that interweaves family relationships, folklore, deadly glass, and dangerous secrets.” —Stefanie Pintoff, Edgar Award-winning author of In the Shadow of Gotham
"Skillfully mixing the strains of a dysfunctional family with the rising terror of the supernatural, Grant has produced a mesmerizing page-turner that brilliantly depicts the claustrophobic fear of a young woman grappling with the deadly secrets of the forest and the demonic nightmare lurking within." -Publisher's Weekly, starred review
“A gripping and atmospheric adventure.”—The Observer (U.K.)
Praise for Helen Grant’s The Vanishing of Katharina Linden, winner of the ALA Alex Award and shortlisted for the Booktrust Teenage Prize and the CILIP Carnegie Medal
“Steeped in spooky legends and set in a country that, for all its present-day serenity, can’t fully escape the burden of its harrowing past, this is a mystery with unusual resonance.”—The Washington Post
“A contemporary story that feels age-old, too . . . dotted with creepy tales.”—The New York Times
About the Author
Helen Grant is the author of The Glass Demon and The Vanishing of Katharina Linden, winner of the American Library Association Alex Award and shortlisted for the Booktrust Teenage Prize and the CILIP Carnegie Medal.
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Top customer reviews
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Helen Grant weaves a tale of mystery and suspense involving not only the stained glass surrounding the legend of the The Glass Demon, Bonschariant, but the mystery of Lin's family itself. Each chapter unveils a bit of the secret of both. Each step and discovery Lin makes, whether it be about her family, the village, the glass, her emotional status, her father... everything is intertwined, like "a thicket of thornbushes", as Lin has narrated to us about one of her father's reading recommendations:
`"The abbot's niece." My father was holding a small hardback book in a faded green binding; now he flourished it to me. "This is a fascinating book," he added. "You should read it."
I didn't take the bait. One glimpse of the Gothic title stamped on the spine in gold had convinced me that trying to read even a single page in that typeface would be like picking your way through a thicket of thornbushes. Even if you got to the other side, you would wish you hadn't tried it.' (shared from book-location 1821)
Obsessions are a key theme throughout the book, and all are a lot like "picking your way through a thicket of thornbushes." (Lin's fabulous simile of her father's book) It fits in not only with the dysfunction enmeshed within the family, but also saturates the plotlines. There is not one word that can describe everyone's specific obsession. Tuesday is obsessed with not being old and labeled a mother. Poly is obsessed with not being fat. Lin's father is obsessed with finding the glass so much he doesn't have time for anything or anyone else. The laicized priest is seemingly obsessed with convincing everyone the glass does not exist anymore, but... oh, spoilers sweetie... And Lin? Lin is obsessed with a plethora of things, and she can be; she is the protagonist!
The story is narrated by Lin, and though first-person point of view is one of the hardest POVs to write in, Ms. Grant pulls it off without a hitch. There were no problems at all. Not once did the tone drop out of Lin's voice. In the dark, or in sunlight, or in humor, Lin's snarky teenage voice shines through. Helen writes with a great use of similes, as shown above in the example. This is still in Lin's voice, due to her being a very smart teenager. We still see the typical weakness in her actions and choices, same as most teens have. To name a few, her unsure and awkward tendencies when faced with love or lust or the crush of a boy, and being the new kid in school.
I could not put this book down once I opened it up. With the pattern of murders splintering the countryside, leaving a trail of broken glass and feeding the paranoia of the legends and tales of The Glass Demon, it is no wonder this book had me trapped and unable to sleep till I was finished. This is a book I would recommend as a family read, and definitely fits into the Young Adult genre; however I highly recommend this to anyone looking for a smart, well-written literary suspense.
A full 5/5 stars.
The main story was mystery and a touch horror combined, underscored with the secondary plot of Lin's sister, Polly, having anorexia, and Lin's fear for her. This adds tension to the main narrative. It was all woven together smoothly. Her similes were deftly drawn, one of my favourites being, "Reality seems to be unraveling as though it were a piece of knitting and someone had taken the end of the wool and pulled until the stiches slipped, one after another, dissolution running back and forth across the work, faster and faster...".
The journey Lin undertakes reveals her strengths, while it exposes the weaknesses of those around her, including her father and mother. While I was not scared while reading this book, I did fear for the characters, although assumed Lin would come out of it alive since she was narrating it. If you want a book that is within the thriller genre but has a literary slant, you should try this book. I couldn't put it down. I'm off to find Helen Grant's other books now. Bye.
I just couldn't put this book down. And for those of you who have overactive imaginations (like mine), I don't recommend reading this book alone at night.
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At first however, I wasn't too enthusiastic.Read more