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Magic Under Glass Hardcover – December 22, 2009
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From School Library Journal
Grade 8–10—While working in a run-down music hall, Nimira, 17, is hired to sing accompaniment to an automaton that plays the piano. The "clockwork man," in the possession of wealthy, handsome Hollin Parry, a powerful sorcerer, is more than it seems. A fairy prince, Erris has been trapped in the automaton, and Nimira's struggle to free him, and their growing love for one another, is only part of the story. Mixed into this stunning debut novel are enough plot points to keep readers interested. With touches of steampunk, romance, fantasy, and mystery, there is a little something for everyone. The only downside, if there is one, is that the ending is inconclusive, leaving readers with the feeling that a second book will follow.—Valerie Davis, Campbell County Public Library, Newport, KY
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About the Author
Jaclyn Dolamore spent her childhood reading as many books as she could lug from the library and playing elaborate pretend games with her sister. She has a passion for history, thrift stores, vintage dresses, David Bowie, drawing, and organic food. She lives in Orlando, Florida, with her partner and two black tabbies that have ruined her carpeting (the cats, that is, not the boyfriend). This is her first novel.
Top customer reviews
She falls in love with a musical automaton who must be wound with a key, and can only communicate with her one letter at a time, like a ouija board. It speaks a lot for her perseverance and/or wishful thinking that they manage a relationship like this.
Meanwhile, her employer is falling in love with her, with all the creepiness inherent in an inequitable relationship where he has all the power and she has talent.
Nimara and her clockwork beloved are arrayed against dark powers, and work to help restore the status quo.
I liked Nimara as a character. I think it would be easy to write her off an a victim of circumstance, but then she says things like
I felt a little sick, but pretending was a woman's lot, more than ever on foreign soil.
Erris had enough to worry about without needing to console me. He tried to put his arms around me, and I turned away. "No. I'm not crying like one of those girls-- who only wants to be held." "You do want to be held." His arms went around me from behind. I felt his strength. "And how I've wanted to hold you, Nim. I do like Nim. And I don't just mean the name."
I stopped pushing. I let out my breath. Some resistance inside me broke, letting in a rush of something I'd never allowed before. I had never been so weak; yet I had never been so strong.
I really like that she is aware of her societal place and roles as a woman, and accepts that sometimes it is dangerous, and knows that sometimes she does not want to act like her conventional notion of femininity. She wants to be sure that Erris knows she is not manipulating him by crying.
Of course, it's hard to sustain that level of self-awareness through the book, but I feel like Dolamore did a pretty good job of it. I had a lot of sympathy for Nim here:
Sometimes, before you make any plans or resolutions, before you declare your heroic intent to persevere, you just have to cry.
And cry I did.
But then after her sobbing fit, she gets up and gets on with being useful and competent.
I am certainly looking forward to the sequel. This one ends on a bit of a cliffhanger.
Read if: you like self-aware heroines who critically analyze their feelings and situation. You can't get enough automata.
Skip if: you don't like exploited-girl-in-peril stories, you want the villains to be more sypmathetic or understandable than pure evil.
Intersting characters with a well thought out story that I became engrossed in almost immediately. I liked that this was a unique story: automotan ( wind up robots), humans erecting a wall between themselves and fairies ( a tad familiar), but mostly the story of Nimira. This is a solid read worth the charging price, have at it!\
Review courtesy of Bookdevour
Magic Under Glass is an excellent fairy story with a strong romance and elements of the gothic and steampunk. There is a whole new world in this novel, and yet the reader doesn't get bogged down in details and exposition. I liked that this story was different than every other book out there, with NImira's background and skin color adding another element to the challenges that she faces. This is an impressive debut novel and I look forward to reading more by this author.
Most recent customer reviews
Nimira is away from her homeland for some unknown reason, and she is...Read more