Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Review: Magic Under Glass by Jaclyn Dolamore

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Magic Under Glass
by Jaclyn Dolamore
Published in 2009
Source: Bought

Goodreads Summary: Nimira is a foreign music-hall girl forced to dance for mere pennies. When wealthy sorcerer Hollin Parry hires her to sing with a piano-playing automaton, Nimira believes it is the start of a new and better life. In Parry's world, however, buried secrets are beginning to stir. 
Unsettling below-stairs rumors swirl about ghosts, a madwoman roaming the halls, and Parry's involvement with a league of sorcerers who torture fairies for sport. Then Nimira discovers the spirit of a fairy gentleman named Erris is trapped inside the clockwork automaton, waiting for someone to break his curse. The two fall into a love that seems hopeless, and breaking the curse becomes a race against time, as not just their love, but the fate of the entire magical world may be in peril.

Magic Under Glass is one of those books that was just okay for me. I didn't dislike it, but I didn't love it, either. 

I don't think I ever really connected with Nimira as a character. It was hard for me to figure her out, and though her motives for doing things were clearly stated, I didn't feel the emotion behind it.  She would say Nimira is doing something because of an emotion, but she wouldn't show that she was feeling that emotion. I also thought a lot of the secondary characters were underdeveloped, especially Parry. He seemed to be nothing more than a plot device, despite Dolamore's attempts to give him some character.  

The uniqueness of having Erris, a clockwork man, as a character certainly makes up for some of the less developed characters. Erris was my favorite, and probably the most developed of them all. He is one example of Dolamore showing his feelings more than telling them.

The plot is like nothing I've read before, and I really enjoyed how unique it was. Nimira's world wasn't developed enough for my taste, but then again, I like my fantasies rich with detail and so full of political intrigue I start to forget what the words "democrat" and "republican" mean. There was some explanation of how her world works, but it really just wasn't enough for my personal tastes. 

Perhaps because it wasn't bogged down by extensive explanations of the world in which it was set, this book had a nice, quick pace. It doesn't linger too long on any point, so it's not boring. It's also relatively short, and quite a light read. 

I enjoyed Magic Under Glass, but I never fully connected with the characters. It's a light read, but the fantastical elements are intriguing. As I mention above, I prefer my fantasies very detailed, sometimes to the point where they're boring at parts, and that is not this book. If you like yours a little easier to follow, then this could be a good fit for you!

3/5 Stars!


  1. I haven't read that many reviews about the Magic Under series, so thank you for sharing your thoughts, Taylor! I'm intrigued by the world of sorcerers and fairies but it seems that the characters are not as equally impressive. Hope your next read would bring a big smile on your face :)

  2. I'm kind of with you about this one. I enjoyed it, but it didn't quite WOW me. It's been a very long time since I read it, so I don't remember my thoughts more than that, but it was definitely a unique story.

  3. I enjoyed reading this book and was excited about the sequel but never got around to picking it up. It just didn't really grab me.

    Sidenote: I see that you're attending my dad's alma mater (yes in Ohio, not Florida)-hope you're loving it!

  4. I keep wanting to want to read this book, but the lack of rich world building and ability to connect with the characters keeps pulling me back. The story sounds so interesting and unique, but I know without the other aspects there I'd just be disappointed.

  5. Sorry you didn't connect with the mc. I have to have that to keep reading.
    Great review.
    Happy reading with <3, Brandi @ Blkosiner’s Book Blog


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