Title: The Glass Arrow
Author: Kristen Simmons
Publish Date: February 10th, 2015
In a world where women are a commodity, good only for producing male offspring, Aya is one of the few truly free women in their world, living wild in the forests outside city limits. Her whole life she has been hunted, her wild upbringing makes her more fertile than any woman in the city, and thus more valuable. Aya escaped capture for 15 years. But then she was caught. Brought to a farm for women to be held until auctioned off to the highest bidder, Aya manages to avoid her fate for 5 months. She knows she can't avoid it for ever, and it's a race against the clock to escape and return to freedom.
I don't think I've ever read a stand alone dystopian before. And while I love the fact that the story gets to continue with series, waiting years between installments makes it hard for me to start a new release "first in the series" book because I know if I fall in love with the characters or world it'll be years before I get to read the ending. So when I saw that this was not only really interesting sounding, but also a stand alone, I knew I had to get my hands on a copy.
Cover: The cover was the first thing that drew me in to this book, before even reading the description. Its just so stunningly awesome. I love the font, I love the twisty swirly trees with arrowheads for leaves, and I love the glass arrow in the foreground. Its a beautiful addition to any bookshelf.
StoryLine: There is so much jammed packed into this book. You're thrown into action in the very first scene and the plot just keeps going from there. Being trapped could have resulted in a storyline that seems to drag on a do a bunch of nothing, but instead you feel her panic and desperation, her borderline hopelessness, and her fierce determination. Split into four parts, I could see how this storyline could have been split up and dragged out into a four book series. But instead of feeling rushed and overwhelming, it was page turning excitement.
One way the author accomplishes this is they never took the "one girl who single-handedly changes the world" route. I really respect that. If one girl can bring down an entire society, especially over the course of one book, just how weak was the society in the first place? It would have undermined the whole premise if it was that easily accomplished. And the author proves that you can still have a satisfying conclusion without it.
Characters: In addition to an amazing storyline is a cast of intriguing characters. I loved that Aya didn't just wait around for things to happen and someone to rescue her, she fought for her freedom with every ounce of her being. And more than just acting, she was smart about it, she created plans and didn't just rush around recklessly. And I loved the relationships between her and Brax and her and Kiran, both which felt fleshed out and meaningful even without the benefit of being able to talk. Even without a single line of dialog I fell in love with both Brax and Kiran. And even the supporting characters were complex and believable.
Parting Thoughts: To make me feel so invested in the characters and stories, and to create a believable world and wrap the story up at the end in a satisfying manner, all in the course of a single book takes amazing skill. I highly recommend this book, and can't wait to check out Simmons' Article 5 series.
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