These ‘about me’ sections, or even sections that inform you about blogs, have never been my forte. Much to my chagrin, I was never taught the unwritten rules of what you are supposed to say. The links at the side of the blog – Twitter and Goodreads, for example – are liable to tell you more than I could ever say in words.
Mostly, this will be a book blog. I read a lot, and I love to share my views on my most recent reads. I try to read a little bit of everything, but if you look closely you’ll notice I will occasionally become obsessed with one specific genre for a short period of time. Old books, new books, yet to be released books – I read them all. If you’re an author looking for advance readers or just wish for more reviews of a book you’ve already released, please feel free to contact me. There is a contact form at the side of my blog – if you scroll down below the Twitter and Goodreads sidebar you will find it – so drop me a message and I’ll be sure to get back to you in double time. After all, finding new authors is what makes the book world go around.
Thanks for taking your time to read this. With a little bit of luck, you will find my blog much more interesting than this mundane introductory section.
Saturday, 5 August 2017
Review: Quinsey Wolfe's Glass Vault
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I have a very complicated relationship with young adult horror novels. You see, I was well acquainted with classic eighties horror (think King, early Koontz, for the Brits think Herbert, and all the eighties horror movies such as A Nightmare On Elm Street and Child’s Play that we all think of when someone mentions horror reaching the peak point) before my school friends were brave enough to pick up Goosebumps. This can be taken in one of two ways. First, my mother was amazing. She introduced me to all elements of her younger years from the heavy metal of her youth through to her creepiest horror films. Second, which quite a few will probably consider when they imagine a young child sitting watching A Nightmare On Elm Street and laughing at their father for being a coward, is that my mother has some serious issue. I, myself, flicker between the two. She certainly didn’t bring my sister up in the same way and she turned out very different, so I’m not at all sure what that says.
Anyway, I’m starting to slip off at a tangent. Think what you will of my mother, I skipped the children’s horror books stage of growing up. I read a few, but they never really held my attention. I’d always be on the lookout for the classic adult horror twists. I’d be disappointed when it was a mere creepy feeling rather than a brutal description of a blood and gore filled scene. My sister, however, followed the correct reading pattern – she did the children and young adult books first. During this stage, I borrowed some of her books to read. I’ve since grown more of an appreciation for young adult horror than I did when I was the right age, but it rarely never grabs me in quite the right way. I’m always waiting for something a little bit more.
Despite my complicated relationship with the genre, I was intrigued by Quinsey Wolfe's Glass Vault. It is one of those books I kept seeing across Goodreads. So many people I know seemed to be picking it up. Not to mention the cover is gorgeous. Not that you should ever judge a book by the cover – but we all know a beautiful cover can do wonders when it comes to deciding what book we’re to pick up.
Before starting the book, I pushed my preconceptions aside. I entered with the nearest thing to an empty mind that a reader can. Of course, there were little things that were hovering in the back of my mind. The main thing is that I had already read Candace Robinson’s Hearts Are Like Balloons. It’s a very different kind of book, but I enjoyed it a lot. If Quinsey Wolfe's Glass Vault had the same kind of punch, I’d enjoy it as well irrespective of my love-hate relationship with the genre.
I’ll be completely honest and say it did take me a bit of time to get into this story. Quite a lot of time passes before the horror feel kicks in. You’re aware that something is wrong, but the horror aspect of the story doesn’t come in for quite some time. Up until this point, the story had a rather contemporary feel about it. We had what you expect from young adult contemporary novels – high school drama, mainly of the relationship kind. The drama was interwoven with the details that allow you to fall in love with the characters, yet I did find myself growing expectant of the horror element. I know some people stopped reading this book because of this, but once the horror element is introduced things do become a lot more fun.
The story twists a number of wonderful elements together. We pass between so many different worlds in this one. History and fairy-tales come together in a wonderful way, leaving us unsure as to what we’re going to be given next. It certainly makes for a read that keeps you on the edge of your seat, pulling you in and leaving you excited about what would come next. You would think the story would become repetitive considering the characters have the same task over and over again, yet each situation is unique and leaves you intrigued regarding how everything will play out.
I’ll be completely honest, though. As addictive as the story was, I was considering a three star rating. It was interesting, yes, but it did not blow my mind. Some elements felt a bit slow and I would have liked more detail about certain aspects. I think this is just a reflection of why I’m not the biggest lover of young adult horror – it never quite reaches the depth I favour. I was more of a three-point-five in all honesty, as I enjoyed it more than a lot of other young adult horror books, but I was erring on the side of rounding down. A large reason for this rounding down is that I felt as though, at times, the writing seemed more for the lower end of young adult whereas the situations were calling for the upper end of young adult. It’s a fine line to walk, and this isn’t the only story where I felt as though the writing didn’t quite match up with the story. As this was Candace Robinson’s first book, I was willing to chalk it up to that. Having read Hearts Are Like Balloons, I’m well aware of what Candace Robinson is capable of when it comes to writing. I just think things weren’t quite as well matched as they could have been.
However, as you can see, I opted to give four stars in the end.
The ending. It hit me so hard. I was looking at the percentage on my Kindle thinking ‘how is this going to come together’, and then bam. It caught me completely off guard. I did not expect that to happen. It was great. I loved it. The book instantly went up to the four star rating. I was left bereaved, needing to pick up the next book instantly. There are so many ways in which the book could have ended, but the ending we were given was wonderful. I could not imagine any other choice. I love it when authors take us down the unexpected path, and such is what happened with Quinsey Wolfe's Glass Vault.
Without a doubt, I came to enjoy this one even more than I’d originally anticipated. For a debut book, it was a wonderful read. The moment I was finished, the second book in the duology was picked up. Answers were needed, and they were needed right away.
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