Monday, May 28, 2012

Glamour in Glass

Glamour in Glass. Mary Robinette Kowal. 2012. Tor. 336 pages.

Finding oneself a guest of honor only increases the presentiment of anxiety, should one be disposed to such feelings. Jane Vincent could not help but feel some measure of alarm upon hearing her name called by the Prince Regent, for though she fully expected to be escorted into dinner by someone other than her husband, she had not expected to accompany His Royal Highness and to be seated at his right hand.

 Sequel to Shades of Milk and Honey.

How much should you know going into a book? On the one hand, I had a difficult time getting into Glamour in Glass and just a hint of what it was REALLY about would have helped me so much. On the other hand, would knowing have taken out all the suspense and tension?

I enjoyed quite a few things about Glamour in Glass. I liked that it was a clean read, for the most part. It is so refreshing to read a honeymoon book that is not graphic in detail. I know that wouldn't be a plus for every reader, but, for me, it worked out well. And while this one is a 'honeymoon' book--meaning that everyone is waiting to see *when* the honeymoon would be over, when the couple would start fighting and getting annoyed with one another--it isn't just that though. If the real drama had not started, I might have given up on this one. If the book had just been about the tension between these two as business partners--as glamour partners--or if the book had just been about her getting annoyed with her husband for not sharing enough about his feelings, his memories, his doubts, his dreams, etc., then I would have probably given up on it.

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But this book is set in Europe during a dangerous but exciting time (exciting to read about perhaps, not exactly exciting to live through). Napoleon's threatening return. And since this honeymoon just happens to be in his path--well, things get a bit exciting.

What I didn't exactly love in this one was all the talk about glamour, about *how* glamour worked, about the new experiments in glamour, about all the rules of glamour and what that meant for married women in particular. In some ways the talk was just too much, but in other ways even with all this talk, not enough was clearly said. For example, we're told that pregnant women could never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever use glamour. Ever. But we're not told why really. We're not told how using glamour effects the unborn baby, and what risks would be involved if a woman dared to break the rules.

Read Glamour in Glass
  • If you enjoy Regency romances, particularly clean romance
  • If you enjoy historical fiction
  • If you enjoy fantasy (though this is more alternate history...what if magic/glamour were real)
  • If you enjoy Jane Austen or other classic authors

© 2012 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
3) I am not promising anyone (author or publisher) a positive review in exchange for a review copy. That's not how I work.
4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
5) I do not guarantee that I will get to your book immediately. I've got so many books I'm trying to read and review, I can't promise to get to any one book in a given time frame.
6) Emailing me every other week to see if I've read your book won't help me get to it any faster. Though if you want to email me to check and see if it arrived safely, then that's fine!

Authors, publishers. I am interested in interviewing authors and participating in blog tours. (All I ask is that I receive a review copy of the author's latest book beforehand so the interview will be productive. If the book is part of a series, I'd like to review the whole series.) Contact me if you're interested.

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