[511]: The Glass Arrow by Kristen Simmons

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GOODREADS SUMMARY | Tor Teen | Hardcover, 336 pp. | February 10th, 2015 | Young Adult | Fantasy | Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars


Sometimes, it’s those books that leave you feeling detached that are hard to review. The ones that didn’t leave a lasting impression that are the easiest to forget. The Glass Arrow is that book for me. Kristen Simmons’ books has had that curious effect on me. Whenever I read them, I always feel like I’m on the verge of something great, but never really coming through. It’s quite frustrating.

Women are scarce

In this imagined world, women are a dying breed. So in an attempt to   preserve the population, fertile women are sold off to the highest bidder to procreate. Women are hunted and kept in a facility that attempts to refine them so that they may fetch a higher price. Virgins are of course, prime property.

Aya of the Wild

The capture of Aya of the Wild was, I thought, the only exciting thing that happened in this book. Which is kind of sad because it happened in the beginning. The plot goes downhill from there – or my interest at least, waned from that point on.

When she was brought in to The Garden, Aya made sure she was the most difficult ‘livestock’ among the herd. She purposely hurt herself, caused trouble, and was perpetually in isolation. In fact, she much preferred if she was in solitary. Because it was only there that she gets to talk to the only ally she has: Brax, a wolf that finds an affinity to her wildness.

The appearance of the wolf was a bit jarring. He seemed a bit out of place, in my opinion. I don’t really understand how he found his way inside the compound; a place sequestered off with a surrounding electric fence, not to mention a creek filled with radioactive waste. I also don’t understand how none of the Watchers or guards didn’t notice him. Aside from being the obligatory sidekick, I just didn’t see its relevance to the plot. But hey, animal lovers rejoice! [spoiler] except perhaps when Brax meets his untimely death [end of spoiler].

The Driver

If you’re looking for romance, you need not worry. Enter the Driver. Drivers are known to be mute. When Aya met him, she’s encumbered with mistrust. For some reason, she kept thinking he’s there to kill her. After a few meetings, she starts talking to him. But because he’s mute, the conversations were usually one way. She named him Kiran. Because of his eyes [insert eye roll here]. The romance left me cold, to be honest. I wasn’t into it. Again, this is one of those times when further development was needed. It’s as if Ms. Simmons was fulfilling the romance requirement that was asked of her by her publisher.

It’s a mad world

The thing that drove me mad here is the lack of cohesive factor that ties all the elements in this world. I think this is one of those instances where I wouldn’t mind pages of narrative explaining the hows and the whys of this imagined world. I can’t figure out whether the author is making an attempt at Sci-Fi fantasy or just fantasy. There are beings/creatures that are some type of hybrid; and creatures who communicated with ‘chirps’. It was tough to imagine, that’s all.

You should still read it

if fantasy is your thing. The Handmaid’s Tale, it is not, but if you haven’t read that, the concept will probably bring forth adverse reactions in you. I wish they’d consider the literature that they’re comparing it to before they make such bold statements. Otherwise, they’re setting us up for a disappointment.

  • I actually have read this one and I quite enjoyed it. I did think the beginning where she was trapped in the Garden was slow paced and brought the book down a bit, but otherwise I liked it. Oh, and Kiran had to be my favourite character. I liked his loyalty and dedication, and the main character was awesome with how fierce she was!

  • Great review! I admit I’ve been drooling over this cover for a few weeks and didn’t know much about the plot, but now I definitely want to read it.

  • I’ve wanted to read this book for a while but hadn’t read any of the reviews about it. Now I’m a bit cautious about it since it seems a bit bland for my taste. But I’ll still give it a shot if the opportunity to read it arises. Great review!

  • That is disappointing you couldn’t like this book more but I can understand – I actually really liked it, the premise and cover are amazing. There was too much happening at once though which was kind of a miss with me but I did enjoy this novel for the most part. Have you read Article 5?

    • Yeah. I adored Article 5, but Breaking Point left me cold. so much so that I didn’t bother reading the third book. sigh.

  • So as you know, fantasy IS my thing so I plan on reading this one even though your not the only one to not love it. I am kind of curious as to how I am going to take to the romance since Kiran can’t talk…

    • You might enjoy this one, Nicole. Well…you should check it out. 🙂

  • This is the first review that I’ve read that wasn’t raving about how good it was. She named him Kiran because of his eyes? * rolls eyes * & why do I have this nagging feeling that our wolf is going to be a Shifter? I could be wrong though, I was too scared to click the spoiler lmao. I did purchase this back in Feb but I haven’t been able to pick it up yet, hopefully I’ll be able to enjoy it. Sorry it didn’t work for you girl!

    • Well, if you’ve been known to enjoy Fantasy novels from time to time, you might have better luck than I did. As for that wolf – well…

  • I must admit, I’ve never read one of her releases before, and this doesn’t really fill me with a need to pick one up either. The whole concept sounds pretty blase, like just making up the numbers type of thing. Mute driver? Well, that makes for an interesting love interest… Yeah. No. Lots of the heroine talking to herself them awkward swooning ensues. It all sounds a bit awkward. Going to give this one a miss, I do love that cover though. Wonderfully honest review Joy, hopefully the author can redeem herself with her next book <3

    • One of the big spoiler about this novel is Kiran’s true identity, so while there was a lot of one-sided conversation, she’d at least dialled down the swooning. Not really sure if this is a series, though. But I wouldn’t be surprised if it is…

  • I absolutely agree that this is nowhere near as feminist or remarkable as I expected it to be but it’s a solid read nevertheless. Lovely review, Joy–you summed this one up perfectly.

    • Thanks, Keertana. I’m glad you enjoyed this so much more than I did. At this point, I think Kristen Simmons and I are just not meant to be. Sigh.

  • Fantasy is my thing, but I think I would be too annoyed with “the issues” you mentioned, so I’ll skip this. Hope your next reads are better!

  • This book probably would not be my thing, but I would so buy this book for the cover alone. I’ve read mixed reviews – some people seemed to love it, some thought it was okay, others hated it. Might have to find out for myself where I lie in the spectrum 😀

    • I love the cover too! But I don’t get the implication of The Glass Arrow, to be honest.

  • It’s hope ridiculous how quickly I DNF’d this book, really. I barely read 20 pages or so and was like, ”No, this is not for me.” which is quite unfortunate, when you think about it, because it does have this interesting premise…. ugh.

    • Trust me, I’ve contemplated quitting as well. But I think I wanted it to redeemed itself.

  • Naomi @ Nomi’s Paranormal Palace

    Well… lack of excitement has got to be annoying. And a romance developed with a mute, can he not communicate any other way and tell her his name? Seems a little weird to me. Good review Joy!

    Naomi @ Nomi’s Paranormal Palace

    • That’s the thing about Kiran…he’s got a secret…

  • A lot of bloggers I folloW are not a fan of this too. I feel your pain, Joy. I just read a book that gave me the same feelings you have for this book. *still confused*

    • Ugh. And I get confused quite easily, so while the book may be transparent to some, it was a lost cause for me.

  • I don’t like the premise of The Handmaiden’s Tale (it creeps me out) so I probably wouldn’t have picked this up anyhow. Sorry to hear this underwhelmed you. Great honest review, Joy! 🙂

    • And I enjoyed it. But I don’t like it when a book is being compared to a Literary powerhouse such as Atwood’s work. Sigh. When will we learn?

  • All I’ve been hearing for this book is raves upon raves, and I’m disappointed that you didn’t like it. 🙁 To be honest, I’m kind of scared to read this now. Aya sounds like one of those annoyingly dense, rebellious characters that will get on my nerves. And naming your love interest based on his eyes is definitely not a good sign. So sorry you didn’t enjoy this, but fabulous review otherwise!

    • She was rebellious, but her method wasn’t fruitful. She came off as petulant more than anything.

  • Aw. Great review Joy. <3 And I love your photo a whole lot. Looks gorgeous 😀 But aw. I'm sorry you had issues with this book sweetie 🙁 It was a four star for me, but I also do agree with a lot of the things you say, hiih. But I did enjoy it. And I'm glad you mostly liked it too 😀 Thank you for sharing sweetie. <3

  • Hmmmm. Fantasy is not really my thing so not sure about this one. But I enjoyed reading your thoughts about this one!
    Jen at YA Romantics

  • It really sounds like this book had so much potential and then just poof, it was gone. Sorry this wasn’t everything you were hoping it would be.

  • I’m sad that you didn’t love this one more, but I definitely see your point. It’s more of a mellow kind of dystopia/fantasy and that probably doesn’t work for everyone. I thought it was sort of refreshing from all those highly intense books. I’m glad you gave this a shot and liked parts of it at least.
    Great review!

    • I know. I’ve seen your review, and I feel bad. 🙁 I really wish I’d loved it more.

  • I have been reading quite a bit of fantasy books lately, so probably end up giving this one a go. And I have to agree with you, three star books I always find the hardest to review, but thank you for your honest review on this one, I’ve only seen praising reviews so far, so it’s great to get a different perspective!

    • Yes, jas. You have to read this one, despite my mediocre experience. Especially if you’ve been enjoying fantasy novels lately. 😉

  • I don’t know… I really dislike it when the world-building is lacking and descriptions are scarce. I have seen this book making the rounds. I actually think that as a Fantasy lover, the things that annoyed you will drive me crazy. So, I’ll give it a skip. Great review Joy! :]

    • This is quite a conundrum. I get so terribly bored with info-dumping, but I think this is the first time when I’d wish there were more.

  • Christy

    Ugh, yes, it kind of sucks when a book leaves you feeling that way. I haven’t read anything by Simmons, but she’s been on my tbr for years.

  • I really have no idea whether this book is for me or not, I have a slight feeling I would get annoyed

  • Evevn if it’s difficult to really say your impressions about the book it sounds like something a bit different and interesting too. I confess that I’m intrigued.