Jan 12, 2010

Magic Under Glass by Jaclyn Dolamore

Nimira is a trouser girl. Not many people think much of these talented singer/dancers anymore. Once they were the highlight of the night life and quite well respected, at least in Nimira's home country. Those days are sadly long gone and Nimira has been forced to perform in a seedy night show routine at a dirty bar. Until the night that Mr. Parry shows up and informs her that he is in need of a singer to duet with his piano-playing automaton.

At first Nimira is reluctant to leave the familiarity of her current troupe, but she determines that there is very little really keeping her there. So she packs up her meager belongings, mostly heirloom items that her mother made, and heads out to meet the mysterious Mr. Parry. After a long and bumpy road they arrive at his estate; and what an estate it is! There are multiple floors, more rooms than she can count, and a library to rival anything she's ever seen.

Unfortunately that's not all it comes with. There is talk of other girls who ran away claiming that the automaton was alive and a nefarious house maid who doesn't like Nimira from the moment she set foot in the house. Nimira decides to put all that aside and just do as she is being well-paid to do. Only when she beings practicing with the automaton does she begin to believe that the stories are true.

His name is Erris and he suffers through a terrible existence. A soul trapped in mechanical armor, all he wants is some company. After establishing a communication system with Nimira, Erris starts to tell his story and ask for help. Only, since nothing can ever goes as planned in these stories, they are continually interrupted by the sketchy Head of the Sorcerer's Council. He has taken a keen interest in Erris and is determined to get to the bottom of the situation and rid of Nimira.

This book was quite an adventure. You could tell that it was set in a fantasy world as it speaks of fairies and "far off lands" but it wasn't a major plot point. It was almost as if I was reading a story taking place in a foreign country more than one in a separate system or universe. This was a very easy and pleasant read. Nimira was a bit flighty for my tastes; one minute she was being a good girl and following orders, the next she was defying everything and everyone and being her own person. I felt she could have been a touch more independent, but I think her hesitance was intentional. Mr. Parry, her benefactor, was a likable enough guy, but his actions were very opposite of her personality. Erris was well-played. His personality and reactions were right on the mark for what was to be expected for his character.

The overarching storyline was fairly interesting. The fact that a "nobody" kind of girl could free a soul trapped in a metal body and then take on a powerful sorcerer made this a fantastic read. I felt so drawn to Nimira and her plight. I felt like I really was there, rooting for her. The plot was a little heavy handed and seemed to jump around a bit, but when you consider that this is a debut novel, I can overlook somethings. Most of all I liked how the ending left off. It was an ending befitting a single book or the beginning of a series. It was a great way to leave it. Overall I really enjoyed this book. It wasn't the best book ever, but it was decent. Let me know what you think if you've read it.

Oh and one last thing. This is the new cover:
All I can say is that I LOVE IT! It is so much more appropriate than the first one. I'm going to have to buy it just for the cover! Ok, I'm done now, I promise. :D

1 comment:

swiggett said...

That was quick! You just posted about this book in "Bringing in the Loot!" I look forward to this read, you enabler, you. ;)