EDIT APRIL 30th 2018: This review is of an old version of the book. A new and revised version is being released in June 2018.
*I received an arc of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*
DISCLAIMER: This is my own personal opinion based on my enjoyment of the book. Some of the problems I had with the writing style may have been resolved in the finished copy, so please note that my opinion was formed after reading an advance copy.
Quinsey Wolfe’s Glass Vault is an impressive weaving of horror stories and fairytales set in a place of evil incarnate. It’s filled with twists and turns, some you’ll be able to spot if you’re reading closely, and others that are utterly breathtaking.
In the prologue we meet Vale, a mysterious immortal being, who plans to destroy the world. It sets the mood and hooks you right away.
During the first couple of chapters we meet the main character, Perrie, her cousin/best friend Maisie and learn about Perrie’s break-up with Neven.
The writing was choppy and lacked nuance. It gained more nuance as the story progressed, but it never reached the same level of enjoyability as the plot. There were some overly complicated sentences and unnecessary explanations, like this one:
She unzips her purse and pulls out a small notepad and pencil. Yes, she always carries around a pencil and small notepad. Maisie says a pencil works better than a pen because it has an eraser, and you need a notepad because it has multiple pages.
The combination of the two made the writing sound juvenile. That, along with too much telling and not enough showing, sadly made me unable to connect with the characters and surrender myself comepletely to the story. It’s a shame, because the story has so much potential.
Maisie’s Middle Eastern heritage and the question whether she was asexual was mentioned once and never brought up again. The same happens with Neven, when it’s mentioned that his dad is Asian and his mom is Italian. This is an example of where it would have benefitted the story to show instead of tell.
When the plot twist at the end unfolded I was taken by storm. I had to go back and read it again, just to make sure that it was really happening. Adrenaline flooded my body and I had trouble sleeping afterwards. Now THAT is exactly what you should experience while reading a horror novel and to me, it did just that.
The author, Candace Robinson, has managed to create a delightfully dark world of mystery and murder. And I’m sure, that with a little work and experience, she’ll be able to write some truly original genre-bending page turners.