September 12, 2016

Review: The Glass Arrow by Kristen Simmons

Title: The Glass Arrow
Author: Kristen Simmons
Publisher: Tor Teen (Macmillan)
Published: February 10, 2015
Hardcover, 334 pgs

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The Handmaid’s Tale meets Blood Red Road in Glass Arrow, the story of Aya, who lives with a small group of women on the run from the men who hunt them, men who want to auction off breeding rights to the highest bidder. In a world where females are scarce and are hunted, then bought and sold at market for their breeding rights, 15-year old Aya has learned how to hide. With a ragtag bunch of other women and girls, she has successfully avoided capture and eked out a nomadic but free existence in the mountains. But when Aya’s luck runs out and she’s caught by a group of businessmen on a hunting expedition, fighting to survive takes on a whole new meaning.

First off, I need to point out that I am a huge fan of Kristen Simmons. Her Article 5 novels had me captivated throughout each book and I was actually sad when I realized that they had to end. So when I happened to come across this novel, it easily found its way to the top of my "to be read" pile.

The Glass Arrow is one of the most unique novels I've read in a long time. It is set in a world where women are treated no better than the dirt on the bottom of your shoe. They are in the world to serve as toys for men -- to give them children and then to be thrown aside like trash. Through each of the female characters you meet, it's fascinating to watch how the effects of living in such a world play out. There are some who embrace the life they've been brought into. There are others who would rather die than suffer through it. And then, there's Aya -- who doesn't want to go either way. Aya is determined to get out of the situation, no matter what she has to do. She is determined to find her family and escape.

I adore Aya's character. From the very beginning, she is intelligent, introspective, and a hardcore fighter. While she has moments where she's afraid of what might happen to her, she always fights through the fear in order to accomplish her goals. But all the while, she never stops caring for others. She cares about the mute boy she meets while in solitary confinement. She cares about the girls who are trapped with her, even though they always treat her horribly. And she even cares about her female captor -- always wondering what happened in her life to make her act the way she does.

The Glass Arrow is a very quick read, with even a bit of romance thrown in, that will keep you turning the pages as fast as you can. The concept is new and different, and for that reason alone, you should give it a try. It will be well worth your time!

5 out of 5 stars!

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