I’ll start off by saying that anyone with any kind of squicks about food should use caution when reading this book. A lot of emphasis is put into describing foods and eating and I know it can be a sensitive subject for some.
Through Glass by Rebecca Ethington has its flaws but is a solid piece of dystopia/invasion YA fiction. The mythology it offers is muddied at times, but refreshing in a genre that’s becoming over populated. Action scenes are often bogged down by redundant writing and the practicality of a half-starved protagonist being able to fight off horrific and deadly monsters made me take pause, but if you can suspend belief, then it’s a good read. A twist about 3/4ths of the way through really did take me by surprise, which is the first time I’ve had that happen in a while.
I’ve put off writing this review for a couple months because it’s difficult for me to pin down my feelings. I like this book -- it’s different, not like some of the other YA I’ve read lately in the same genre. The enemy is interesting and I genuinely want to know more about them, to figure out the mystery. The main characters are likable -- I didn’t fall in love with them, but they didn’t drive me crazy like others have. There are parts that are truly creepy too, and turns that I really wasn’t expecting. All these things add up to something refreshing.
But the writing itself could use some work, or at least a critical editor. The structure of the writing --the characters, plot, world building, etc -- is solid. Yet no matter how good the idea, I still stumble when I come across sentences like:
“...its usual attempt at control attempting to cripple me.” (page 145)
“The sound of grinding metal sounded through the empty street...” (178)
“...the rough texture of the dead plants rough against my skin.” (183)
Combine that with action scenes that seem to loop back around on themselves, the book can be difficult to follow at times. About halfway through, I found myself skipping and skimming the fight scenes so I could just get on with the book.
The only other problem I had was with the idea that the MC is so weak from near-starvation that she can’t hold up a water bottle to fill it, but can suddenly fight off monsters all by herself. I can understand why this happens (for the sake of the plot), but it still doesn’t sit quite right for me.
So, I like this book, but it has issues. It makes me go, ‘meh’ in a way that’s not bad, but not great either.