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Magic Under Glass Hardcover – December 22, 2009

4.1 out of 5 stars 74 customer reviews
Book 1 of 2 in the Magic Under Series

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Editorial Reviews

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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Review

'A memorable, delicate and ethereal fairytale romance' Bookseller 'The prose has a delicate, ethereal quality that matches the story well' SFX Magazine 'A dark, florid vigour runs through it' Financial Times 'Precise and picturesque, this is a sterling debut' Literary Review --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: HL680L (What's this?)
  • Series: Magic Under Glass
  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens; 1St Edition edition (December 22, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1599904306
  • ISBN-13: 978-1599904306
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,570,592 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: 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.
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Format: 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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Magic Under Glass is one of those books that was just okay for me. I didn't dislike it, but I didn't love it, either.

I don't think I ever really connected with Nimira as a character. It was hard for me to figure her out, and though her motives for doing things were clearly stated, I didn't feel the emotion behind it. She would say Nimira is doing something because of an emotion, but she wouldn't show that she was feeling that emotion. I also thought a lot of the secondary characters were underdeveloped, especially Parry. He seemed to be nothing more than a plot device, despite Dolamore's attempts to give him some character.

The uniqueness of having Erris, a clockwork man, as a character certainly makes up for some of the less developed characters. Erris was my favorite, and probably the most developed of them all. He is one example of Dolamore showing his feelings more than telling them.

The plot is like nothing I've read before, and I really enjoyed how unique it was. Nimira's world wasn't developed enough for my taste, but then again, I like my fantasies rich with detail and so full of political intrigue I start to forget what the words "democrat" and "republican" mean. There was some explanation of how her world works, but it really just wasn't enough for my personal tastes.

Perhaps because it wasn't bogged down by extensive explanations of the world in which it was set, this book had a nice, quick pace. It doesn't linger too long on any point, so it's not boring. It's also relatively short, and quite a light read.

I enjoyed Magic Under Glass, but I never fully connected with the characters. It's a light read, but the fantastical elements are intriguing. As I mention above, I prefer my fantasies very detailed, sometimes to the point where they're boring at parts, and that is not this book. If you like yours a little easier to follow, then this could be a good fit for you!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Nimara and Jane Eyre have a lot of similarities. They are both odd ducks who take risky positions in isolated country houses where they discover dark secrets and drama-driven romance. Of course, since this is the modern age, Nimara has a lot more scope for action.

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.

and

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.
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