- Paperback: 305 pages
- Publisher: Bantam; Original edition (June 14, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0385344201
- ISBN-13: 978-0385344203
- Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.7 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,866,384 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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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.
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Top Customer Reviews
In a YA paranormal market awash with vampires, werewolves and the like, and set in English-speaking parts of the world (mostly the United States of America), The Glass Demon stands out thanks to its slow-building series of mysterious events and deaths due to uncertain demonic causes, and (more importantly), its German setting. It is that German setting that adds to the sense of isolation and strange discovery - while main character Lin is fluent in German enough to communicate with the townsfolk and attend school, her family is not. So not only are the family isolated by the tight-knit community into which they have arrived, as well as their out-of-cell-coverage, but also by language.
But not only does Lin have to play translator for her family with regards to their new home, she also attempts to play translator within it. From the outside they look like a wonderful family, but if they themselves were a portrait made of glass it would be full of cracks. Grant deftly combines the internal family problems with the external attacks on them, and ties the whole thing together with the foreshadowing of impending doom for one of them. All in all it makes for a compelling drama, in and outside the family.
The paranormal/horror aspects are very well-handled as well. The clues to the mystery are tantalizing, while the twists and new discoveries kept me turning pages to see what happened next. The Glass Demon was definitely one of those books that once picked up I could not put down, and Lin's first person narration was excellent at building up the tension and was filled with wonderful lines and pieces of imagery. In fact, I found Lin's voice to be at its most beautiful at the most tragic of moments, and the juxtaposition there made for absolutely breathless reading.
Overall, The Glass Demon was a compelling piece of drama and horror that captured me from the first page, and its combination of religious, historical and German elements made it a stand out read. I highly recommend it.
With his wife Tuesday, his two daughters (Polly and Lin) and his infant son Reuben with him, Fox journeys to remote Germany where they stay at a run down castle. Lin finds the corpse of an elderly farmer, which her father says to ignore; and she soon becomes friends with her new neighbor, Michel Reinartz. However, as Polly watches Ru, and Tuesday fixes her hair, Lin realizes the local want her family to go back to England out of fear of what Fox will bring to those who abet his search. Soon another mysterious death occurs making the seventeen year old Lin wonder if Bonschariant is not just real but stalking them.
This is a great horror thriller that uses the real Allerheiligen church stained glass windows as an anchor for a fast-paced tale that shows the grimmer side to fairy tales. Lin narrates what happens to her family and associates as she must overcome her fears to try to save her loved ones by solving the mystery of the glass. Readers will appreciate this terrific story as Lin gets closer to the truth of whether Bonschariant exists; incidents have already made her a curse believer.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
At first however, I wasn't too enthusiastic.Read more