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!
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.
Alcohol / Drug Use: