Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Review: Magic Under Glass by Jaclyn Dolamore

Magic Under Glass by Jaclyn Dolamore  (Magic Under #1)
Pages:  225
Release Date:  December 22nd, 2009
Date Read:  2011, October 12th-13th
Received: Library
Rating:  2/5 stars
Recommended to:  13+

Nimira is a Trouser Girl, a lowly singer for a company.  But her voice is beautiful, and it catches the eye of a man who has something very special in mind for her.  He owns an automaton, which plays beautiful music on the piano; Hollin Parry, the gentleman, wishes Nimira to come sing with the automaton as a full-time job.  A few other girls tried the job, but they all claimed the automaton is haunted!  When Nimira discovers that this is, indeed, true, will she have the courage to do whatever it costs to free the man locked inside the clockwork piece?

I've wanted to read this book for about a year now.  And as most of you know, when you've had a book on your list for a whole year, you kind of want it to be good.  Well, I'll speak honestly and plainly - I thought Magic Under Glass was stupid.  I hate using the "s" word in reviews, but there it is.

I thought it had potential to be good (probably not great, but good).  It had nice characters and decent writing, with a sweet love story.  But there was no room to develop, and the ideas the author used to make the story go faster (that's what it felt like) weren't strong or fascinating or awe-inspiring.  If she had built a little more and allowed herself more room, honestly, I probably would have liked it.  It was too crammed in, like she was trying to force 200 pages instead of 300.

These characters were good enough, but they didn't grow after page one.  They stayed the same, never learning or growing; never developing more for the reader to enjoy.  I guess this is not exactly possible in 200 pages, but I expected more.  I felt that not even the basics of building characters (and story - see below) were displayed.

Some of the characters were also super...I dunno.  Out of character?  Immature?  Some of the conversations seemed strained.  Things have to flow naturally....  If a scene doesn't flow, then I'm reminded that I'm reading, that I don't belong in the story, that it's all make believe.  I dislike that very much.

This could've been an adorable fairy tale.  Instead, it was full of some weird characters, a world that felt unestablished and removed, and had a very strange ending with lots of holes.  There was so much room to grow, but that room, I felt, was not utilized.

The end was very abrupt to me, too weird for my tastes, and just stupid.  I felt like I did when I read The Pirate Captain's Daughter - all the mysteries and dilemmas were soon solved, leaving no suspense for the reader.  Nimira hears the name of the Queen of the Dead, once, then decides she needs to call on her to free Erris.  She learns the incantations and summons the Queen, who mutters a chant and disappears.  Viola - 4 pages later, and we've moved on.  No dwelling.  No details.  Oh, and get this - the wicked Queen of the Dead who is extremely dangerous...she came in love because of love. ?????

Forced.  And, well...stupid.  I'm kind of sad I wasted my time.  Oh, and what was with the weird Jane Eyre copying?  Seriously?!
I know my reviews aren't normally this scathing, but this one really got to me, and as a reviewer I have to be honest.  A lot of people have really enjoyed this book, but I just couldn't.

A few minor cuss words.  Some reference to affairs.  Some dark magic is involved to free Erris.  Overall clean.  13+


  1. this seems to cool!! I think I just added another book to my to- buy list :D!! great review by the way...

  2. Only 225 pages? That's way too short. This book sounds rather boring; I think I'll give it a miss. Thanks for the review. :) It's a shame you didn't enjoy it, maybe if it had been a little longer.