The Glass Arrow
by Kristen Simmons
Click the title to read the premise on Goodreads.
Wow!! I love this book!!!
This is the first book I've read by Kristen Simmons, but now I want to read anything and everything she writes.
The title has significant meaning. 2/3 the way through the book, a legend is told about the glass arrow and even before I realized how significant the lil' tortoise-n-hare type legend would be, I loved the concept. Arrows, in general, are significant... Ok, everything is significant, from cleanliness levels to names to communication.
I am a smidge hung up over the importance of lineage. Seriously?! It's THAT important what blood flows in your veins?! I can't help feeling separated from the main character in that moment b/c no matter how good of an imagination I have (and it's good), I know my family does not come from any people groups inside this story. And that is quite a disappointment.
And a relief. This is a harsh dystopian world that does not have those fuzzy lines where captives sorta become attached to their overbearing masters. It was refreshing to NOT sympathize with the monsters in the story. The mean people remained mean, even after getting to know them better. Mean, spoiled, dirty, scarred, broken, unforgiving... the world is revealed at a fast, rigid pace and stays there letting Aya navigate it as best she can.
Aya is a fun character, too. She is unique... not like me, not like anyone else I have read about, and yet I love(d) being her, inside her head. I wasn't frustrated with her choices even though I had to hold my breath or grip the library book with increasing frequency as the story progresses.
For some reason, I never assumed that anyone would make it. Every danger was real... maybe because of the mind-set of acceptance or the moments when knives are used and blood flows and bodies hang. There's enough real fear and real disasters to make me fear for the main characters and all the side characters... all of whom felt unique and vibrant to me.
Not saying I got enough of any of 'em. Yes, I love that this book is complete in itself, but at the same time, I did not get enough of the twins by half. Or Kiran... or the Driver society. This is like a unique candy that's taken away after a delicious taste. More would be nice, if the author's listening.
I really like Kiran (except for that bit of bloodline rigidness, darn it). He's described progressively, as Aya learns more about him. I like his layers. I like having to rescue him, although... some lameness there, too. I can't think quite as highly of someone who tries to bluff his way past a deadly injury, I mean, he had to have known things weren't going well, but he continues to try to rescue people like he's got it under control. (Nice bear, dude.)
The ending is veeeeerrrrrrryyyyy satisfying. It's got some glass arrow - full circle stuff plus a healthy does of Kiran's own medicine that just hits the spot. Back at ya, mute boy!!
I need this book in my library and I'll re-read it some day. It's a real 5 star for me and possibly my first raving-good-book of 2015. If I had to admit why, I'd say it's that I could feel the dirt on me and smell the stinky hides, I cried on the public transit reading this story - twice, and that romance... in a world of "insta" and love triangles, this romance buds out of nothin' and is as real/fragile/threatened as the rest of the story. My imagination will carry Aya and Kiran far into the future since there's so much more for them. I am a reader who appreciates more... but what's in this story is perfect for this story. I believe I already mentioned that I want MORE, ya?