Thursday, February 25, 2010

IBBMP Review: Magic Under Glass by Jaclyn Dolamore

I'm so excited because I was chosen this month for the International Book Blogger Mentor Program by Lenore from Presenting Lenore. She sent me three absolutely FANTASTIC books, and this is my first review of one of those books. THANK YOU, LENORE!!!!

Title: Magic Under Glass

Author: Jaclyn Dolamore

Rating: 1/2

Who Should Read It?

What I Have to Say: I finished this book 2 days ago, and I'm still sort-of in awe. Magic Under Glass was a stunning, beautifully written, uniquely nontraditional debut novel. It left me breathless.

Right from the start, I knew that Nimira was going to be the type of narrator that I love - gutsy and ballsy and totally identifiable. She keeps a good attitude and a strong composure despite all of the hardships she has suffered, and even if she has trouble admitting it, she continues to let herself dream.

When Mr. Parry, a fancy magician, comes along and wants to hire her to sing with his automaton, she believes that her dreams have come true. What actually happens, though, is unlike anything she had ever even thought to dream of. The secrets Nimira uncovers when she moves into Mr. Parry's house send her on a wild journey of magic and love and deceit and friendship and betrayal.

Dolamore has done an amazing job of giving Nimira a distinct voice, that leaves the reader believing they are reading something that takes place in the past while at the same time taking place in a creative, believable fantasy world, rife with magic and faeries and racism and politics. She has peopled this world with interesting, unique, believable characters and hard-hitting problems.

In the end, though, "Magic Under Glass" is, in essence, a love story like no other, and I have always been a sap for forbidden, strange love. Nim, a lowly trouser girl, and Erris, a fairy prince, are so different, and yet their circumstances are so similar that it is easy to see how their friendship, as it develops, easily turned into love. I fell hard for them both, and I couldn't stop turning the pages, practically praying that things would work out for them.

Magic Under Glass is fast-paced and enchanting, with an ending that will leave you shocked and wanting more. No, make that needing more. Dolamore has written her debut novel with such beauty and grace that I couldn't help but wonder if it really is a debut novel or if there's something she's not telling us.

Summary:Nimira is a music-hall performer forced to dance for pennies to an audience of leering drunks. When wealthy sorcerer Hollin Parry hires her to do a special act - singing accompaniment to an exquisite piano-playing automaton, Nimira believes it is the start of a new life. In Parry's world, however, buried secrets stir. Unsettling below-stairs rumours abound about ghosts, a mad woman roaming the halls, and of Parry's involvement in a gang of ruthless sorcerers who torture fairies for sport. When Nimira discovers the spirit of a dashing young fairy gentleman is trapped inside the automaton's stiff limbs, waiting for someone to break the curse and set him free, the two fall in love. But it is a love set against a dreadful race against time to save the entire fairy realm, which is in mortal peril.

Cover Story: There was quite a bit of controversy about the US cover of this book, and so they changed it. After reading the book, I understand why this was so necessary, as Nim's race is such a major part of who she is and what she has to go through in a new country. Unfortunately, I think the new cover is attrocious, and it gives me no desire whatsoever to read this book. The British cover, however, is quite lovely.

21 comments:

Becky said...

I whole-heardtedly agree with your brilliant review!

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Great review! Everyone is just raving about this book. I better pick it up some time.

Mel (He Followed Me Home) said...

I loved this one too! I read a tweet by Jaclyn about her working on book 2 Magic Under (something I can't remember, grrrr)!

Angiegirl said...

Wow, left you breathless! That's high praise. I've read reviews all across the board on this one but I still really want to read it. Glad it worked so well for you!

Aik said...

Sounds like an interesting read! You've got an award on my blog! Please check here to see it:

http://aik-friendsnfamily.blogspot.com/2010/02/ive-got-another-award.html

Best regards,
Aik.

Alexa said...

Gosh, breathless! That sentence alone made me want to read it. Thanks for the review.

I must check out the new US & UK covers, might make a good cover wars and perhaps we'll agree for once :)

Cleverly Inked said...

loved your review. I loved the UK cover too

misskallie2000 said...

Awesome review. I have read other reviews and this is the best. All of them raved about the book. I want to read this so bad. Maybe someone will have a giveaway I can enter.
Thanks for the terrific review and I do enjoy reading your blog. You really rock.

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

bianca_riot said...

love your review, definitelt going to read this book! sounds like something i would read. :)

Martha Lawson said...

I've been wanting to read this one for awile now. Your review only reinforced my desire to read this one!! Great review.

Chase92 said...

Great review! This sounds like a fascinating read!

Vicki said...

Another great review!

Bunny B said...

Great Review! I want to win this and read it too! :)

Margie said...

Your review makes me want to read this book! It sounds fascinating.
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

EVA SB said...

Wow! Fantastic review. I definitely want to read this book now.
An personally I prefer the UK cover, it seems more magical

Michelle @ The True Book Addict said...

I've been hearing a lot about this book, what with the cover controversy and all. I'm glad to hear that it is a good read and can get past all the hype. Great review!

Haleyknitz said...

I agree about the cover. I like the original. I don't like either of the new ones.

Bhumi said...

This book sounds amazing!

Tina said...

Great review! The second cover looks so cute :)

bookaholic said...

I may sound weird but I love anything to do with magic!! Loved your review and I heart both the book covers :)

jmspettoli said...

Great review! Definitely putting this book on my TBR pile!!

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