Publisher's Note:  

A New York Times Best Seller
An Indiebound Best Seller
A Kids' Next Top Ten Book
A Summer/Fall 2014 Indies Introduce New Voices Selection
A Junior Library Guild Selection
One of Publishers Weekly’s Best Summer Reads

She has only seen the world through maps. She had no idea they were so dangerous.
Boston, 1891. Sophia Tims comes from a family of explorers and cartologers who, for generations, have been traveling and mapping the New World—a world changed by the Great Disruption of 1799, when all the continents were flung into different time periods.  Eight years ago, her parents left her with her uncle Shadrack, the foremost cartologer in Boston, and went on an urgent mission. They never returned. Life with her brilliant, absent-minded, adored uncle has taught Sophia to take care of herself.

Then Shadrack is kidnapped. And Sophia, who has rarely been outside of Boston, is the only one who can search for him. Together with Theo, a refugee from the West, she travels over rough terrain and uncharted ocean, encounters pirates and traders, and relies on a combination of Shadrack’s maps, common sense, and her own slantwise powers of observation. But even as Sophia and Theo try to save Shadrack’s life, they are in danger of losing their own.

The Glass Sentence plunges readers into a time and place they will not want to leave, and introduces them to a heroine and hero they will take to their hearts. It is a remarkable debut.

The Glass Sentence

by S.E. Grove

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Overall Review:  

The Glass Sentence is the debut novel of S.E. Grove and it is getting a large amount of good book buzz.  The outstanding feature of this work is the uniqueness of the fantasy concept and world that the author has created.  It is rare that a truly original idea comes along, but this book has it.  (It brings to mind another recent and original middle grade fantasy novel by Brandon Sanderson, The Rithmatist.)  The author has invested deeply in creating a detailed and complex fantasy world--something that seems to be done less these days in favor of a quick, action-driven fantasy novel.


The prose and dialogue aren't always fluid and sometimes snagged a bit.  The characters are pleasing, but the author didn't develop them to the same degree as the concept and the world.  While there was plentiful adventure, a lack of humor did give this novel a serious feel.


The book jacket recommends for ages 10 and up and that is probably a good recommendation.  It is a hefty middle grade read with a heavy dose of description and concept development so it probably won't hook a casual reader.  The author's investment in the fantasy world leaves it perfectly poised for other diverse and interesting storylines.  A world and author to watch!

Content Analysis:  

Profanity/Language:  2 mild obscenities.


Violence/Gore:  Brief mob scene with pushing, a fire, policeman hits someone with a club; report of a fist fight; destruction of property with no mention of casualties; kidnapping; report of severe injuries, with some details; a few separate instances where characters are chased, knocked down, receive minor injuries; report of a kidnapping; chase with gunshots; report of a pirate ship battle, deaths implied; wooden block and wire torture device is used on a character, little description; report of death by poisoning; report of experiment on a mythical creature by cutting, non-descriptive; brief scene in which a character has a torture device placed in mouth and then memories are removed; report of a character losing a leg; chase with sounds of fighting, a hand is cut, character knocked unconscious; report of injury in the past; massive destruction with a death implied; characters chased and shot at; report of character being hit by a bullet, non-fatal.


Sex/Nudity:  Young male character kisses young female character on a cheek, holds hand, touches face, and puts arm on shoulder--however, these actions could be interpreted as platonic rather than romantic in nature.

Mature Subject Matter:  

Death of a family member, torture, kidnapping.

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Reviewed By Cindy
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