Review: Storm Glass by Maria V. Snyder

Storm Glass by Maria V. SnyderAs a glassmaker and a magician-in-training, Opal Cowen understands trial by fire. Now it’s time to test her mettle. Someone has sabotaged the Stormdancer clan’s glass orbs, killing their most powerful magicians.

The Stormdancers—particularly the mysterious and mercurial Kade—require Opal’s unique talents to prevent it happening again. But when the mission goes awry, Opal must tap into a new kind of magic as stunningly potent as it is frightening. And the further she delves into the intrigue behind the glass and magic, the more distorted things appear.

With lives hanging in the balance—including her own—Opal must control powers she never knew she possessed… powers that might lead to disaster beyond anything she’s ever known.

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Review

Occasionally all readers will experience this problem; when you start reading a book you really want to enjoy, but end up not being able to get into at all, and are left disappointed. This is what happened with me and Storm Glass. I read right to the end hoping at some point I would finally be engrossed enough to not check the time every few minutes. It didn’t happen.

I’m not completely sure why, but my theory revolves around the characters and possibly the delivery. What gets me is the characters aren’t necessarily badly written or even unlikeable. They have distinct personalities from each other, which is something you want in a story, and the villains are appropriately devious. But (of course there’s a but) I seemed to like the horses better. When you read a character driven story and prefer the horses you know there’s something not quite right.

I think it may have been Opal’s ruminations and perspective that was Storm Glass’s downfall for me. I’ve read stories where the main character has confidence problems (come to think of it, perhaps having plenty of confidence is a rarity) and insecurity, which they question during the story, but that didn’t mar the read for me. Opal on the other hand; I felt her ruminations were too much. Her ability to learn and grow didn’t happen till the end of the story and I got the impression she was just going with the flow. In everything. The romance, studying at the keep, taking part in missions, getting out of potentially lethal situations; all of it.

Maybe she just harboured a lack of conviction and this rubbed me the wrong way. For someone who has her own confidence problems coupled with anxiety and insecurities, I still believe you can have those problems and also have some convictions towards a few subjects and beliefs. I wasn’t picking up on that with Opal. I couldn’t gauge her passion for glass making even though she had been doing it for years, but I feel I adequately know how glass making works.

And that leads me to my main problem with Storm Glass. I felt as though Opal was recounting her tale, telling me, rather than showing and helping me to appreciate the events she was experiencing. I’m not sure if this is due to Maria V. Snyder’s style of writing, as I haven’t read anything by her before.

I’ll be reading another one of Snyder’s books because what spurred me on with reading and finishing Storm Glass was concept. I thought the fantasy combined with magic wielding beings that use glass as an element to channel their abilities was one of the freshest fantastical ideas I’d come across since reading The Painted Man by Peter V. Brett. This isn’t enough to pique my interest for the next book in the Storm trilogy, but it is enough to make me curious about what else Snyder has written.

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