06 January, 2010

Magic Under Glass - Review

Magic Under Glass by Jaclyn Dolamore
Publication date: December 22, 2009
ISBN 10/13: 1599904306 / 9781599904306

Category: Young Adult Fantasy
Format: Hardcover
Keywords: Romance, Independence, Social Class, Enchantment, Fairies

Find the synopsis on goodreads.com.

How I found out about this book:

Maggie Stiefvater recommended it (not to me personally, but to everyone... although I like to think that she recommended it to me especially :)

My Review:

It's Jane Eyre with fairies and sorcerers! Er, perhaps that's too simplistic.

I really enjoyed this novel and actually did stay up all night (normally that would have earned it a 5-star rating by default), reading until 6 am... on a day when I had to be at school (oop). The story was very neatly told, however a tiny bit predictable for people like me who have Jane Eyre on the brain all the time (I blame Toby Stephens and Ruth Wilson for this... but particularly Toby!) and perhaps over-familiarity with that story killed some of the excitement for me.

That is to say, it was a very good inspired-by-classic novel, with its own special twists and turns. Erris, the automaton with whom (with which? hmm) Nimira spends her days and falls in love, is very well drawn at the start, and the way they communicate is quite interesting, however just too unbelievable for me. I think some "txt"-cultural ingenuity could have been applied to this, perhaps with hilarious results.

I enjoyed the character struggles that Nimira and Hollin face--consequences for bad decisions they made that seemed right at the time, but now cause them seemingly endless worry and discontent. The sumptuous settings took me right out of my comfy couch and into the plush Parry mansion--Vestenveld--which I sort of envisioned as a blend of Thornfield hall and Hogwarts. (I was very, very sleep-deprived!) I would have liked to know more about the fairy kingdom, but perhaps that will come in a later installment--this one's only 225 pages or so.

The one big thing that would have cinched that last star for me was the songs... as in, where are they? We get song titles and a snippet here and there of lyrics and a little bit of humming, (da da da da, da da...) but otherwise, the music/poetry I was expecting just wasn't there. Still everything else made me quite happy. Magic! Ghosts! Wicked sorcerers! Oh, did I mention her Mr. Rochest--I mean Hollin Parry, is super cute? Well, now you know.

All in all, Nimira's spunk and cleverness will keep readers enchanted enough to follow her further adventures. There will be further adventures, right? I sure hope so!

Who should read this:

There are little hints at naughtiness (after all, she starts out the story as a "trouser girl"... I pictured an outfit kind of like Princess Jasmine from Disney's Aladdin, but shorter and possibly more see-through) but nothing graphic. No swearing. I'd give this to someone as young as middle-school if they can handle a little human/fairy political struggle without yawning.

If you're looking for a female protagonist with beauty, brains, and just the right amount of chutzpah, this is the book for you!

Magic Under Glass is Jaclyn Dolamore's debut novel.

Find the author at jaclyndolamore.com, on Twitter @jackiedolamore

Shortlink to this review: http://bit.ly/rnslmagicglass

Find this book on goodreads.com, or buy it now!

Author photo by Megan Lee Katauskas


What do you think? Is this something you would read? If you've already read it, put in your two cents... (no spoilers, please!)


  1. this is a book I'd love to read but just haven't gotten round to; I've got a long TBR list and an unorganized life at the moment :")
    Your mantra "read now, sleep later" could not be more accurate, lol

  2. Jane Eyre with fairies! I love that idea.

  3. Bella, I recommend bumping this up the list--it's very short and very fast... if you don't have a lot of time, you can get a nice feeling of accomplishment by finishing one fast! :) I read it in about 4 hours. Started at 2 am and finished at 6 am.

  4. I love your review! I've been looking forward to this one and it seems like everyone is wondering if there will be a sequel or not. I hope there will be.

    Had to laugh that you have JANE EYRE on the mind all the time. There are worse things, no?

  5. Thanks, Angie! It's definitely set up for a sequel. I wonder how many. Will ask her if I get a chance.