Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Book Review: Magic Under Glass

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.

I read Magic Under Glass by Jaclyn Dolamore in anticipation of meeting her later this month. I hate meeting authors and then when they ask if I read their book, answering with "No... but it's on my shelf." And believe me, I've told so may authors this. I'm sad I waited so long to read this since it was amazing. But, at the same time, now I don't have to wait long for the next book. (It just came in the mail.)

Magic Under Glass was such a unique book. I haven't read anything like it. And I've read many books that included faeries. Nimira (Nim) is our main character. She left her homeland after losing her mother. In this new country she performs, singing and dancing, with other girls like her. Her skin is dark (like the girl in the second book cover) while the natives to this country are fairer skinned. She is looked down upon, even after she leaves the dance hall to join a special performance.

Wealthy sorcerer, Hollin Parry, hires her to sing, accompanied by an automaton that plays the piano. All of the singers hired before her leave after claiming the automaton is haunted. Nim doesn't believe it, but soon finds that the automaton isn't what he seems. There is a spirit trapped somewhere inside, but he's not a ghost.

Soon after I started this book, I realized that I'd never read the description for it. The cover caught my eye and friends had said they loved it, so I bought it on impulse. That's not an unusual thing for me. And it sat on my shelf far too long. There was a bit of controversy concerning the cover. The top picture in my post is the original cover. But it was redone, so the cover you'll see on the shelf is the second picture in this post. Personally, I like the first image best. The cover was redone because Nim looks like the girl in the second book cover. I have nothing against the second cover. The girl is cute. But it's kind of boring while the first one is just amazing. I really wish they'd have done the first cover with the girl from the second. It would have been just as stunning, but it also would've been accurate.

Which one do you like best? And how do you feel about putting a white girl on the cover of a book when the main character has dark hair and skin?


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