The Glass Spare
by Lauren DeStefano
Publication Date: October 24th 2017
Find This Book: The Glass Spare
An ARC of this book was provided to me by HarperCollins in exchange for an honest review.
I wasn’t quite sure where this book was going to go and was pleasantly surprised. The world-building is an interesting mix of industrial-revolution, mythology, alchemy, and “marvelers” aka magicians. The main character, Wilhelmina or “Wil” for short is everything I want in an MC; she’s feisty, strong, smart, and very skilled. Is she magically all of these things? No. She’s had years of training being the 4th in line to the throne (or the spare child). As Wil had trained to by the King’s spy her whole life, these skills come to great use on her journey.
Wil has an interesting dynamic with her parents and siblings, which only becomes more complicated when she discovers that an adrenaline spike will allow her to turn anything she touches into gemstones. I’m really excited to see how that continues! Viewing all of her options through the perspective of having a curse and how she might affect other people was really impactful. Here is a young girl in an unfortunate situation, and while she might think of herself and her power as a monster, her kind actions tell the reader otherwise. Maybe I’ve just read too many villain origin stories recently, but having such a noble character not cave to the treacherous world around her was really inspiring.
What knocks this down one star for me was the occasional switching of the POV. It happened only a couple times and wasn’t consistent. It felt like “oh the reader needs to know this but Wil doesn’t, what do I do?” sort of situation and it always felt a bit off when I was out in a different character’s shoes. The world building as I mentioned above was an interesting mix. The industrial-revolution wasn’t super impactful in this book as Wil’s father is pretty apposed to new machines, but I’d be into the weird plants and potions and then all of a sudden peanut butter was mentioned and I’d be briefly taken out of the scene wondering “wow they have peanut butter in this world?” All minor stuff but it did stop me from being fully immersed in the story.
Story-wise, there are a couple plot twists along the way, but what I really enjoyed was that the ending was a bunch of slow reveals. I wasn’t thrown for a loop or cliffhanger and I was still effectively steered into wanting reading book two which was a nice change of pace. I grew really attached to Wil and her companions Loom and Zay and will definitely be reading the next book!