[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.