Sunday, March 15, 2015

Book Review: The Glass Arrow by Kristen Simmons

The Glass Arrow 
by Kristen Simmons

Genre: YA, sci-fi, dystopian
Published February 10th 2015 by Tor Teen
Source: Publisher
Local order/purchase: Fully Booked * National Bookstore

Blurb (Goodreads):
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.

My Thoughts:

Pre-reading thoughts: It's written by Kristen Simmons! The author of Article 5 trilogy, which I really liked. (Without reading the blurb..) The title alone sounds really good. I'm imagining a fantasy Hunger Games-type or the likes. The cover looks bad-ass and pure angst. I'M VERY EXCITED FOR THE GLASS ARROW! I have no idea, however, about both the The Handmaid’s Tale and Blood Red Road thing so I'm not sure what to expect, I just read it like it was all new to me (well, it was). So I just held myself in a proper reading position and try not to squee so I could understand the story.

In The Glass Arrow, females are scarce and being hunted. The Trackers will send them to a farm, where they'll be groomed and fattened, and sold at auction to any Magnate (a wealthy or influential person) who can pay the price (page 13). This was in the city, while some are free and hiding in the wilderness. Aiyana or Aya is one of them. Being a natural born and raised with the natural environment and food, the price in the head of Aya and her kind is higher than the girls groomed and raised in the city. And that's why Aya and her family is being hunted.

The idea and world-building for this book is obviously sickening. Girls are being used as a toy, a breeding machine. These kind of unfair/inhumane world-building in dystopian world is very common. And though sick, it makes the book stand out and be more interesting. A complicated game a gamer is determined to solve and outwit, and that's how I see dystopian books--this novel.

I didn't know until I was writing this review post that The Glass Arrow is  a standalone. I really thought this was a first in a series. So my thoughts while reading was affected. One of the things affected was my POV about the pacing. I think it was slow in the beginning. BUT the slowness wasn't something annoying or dragging. It was interesting. Like when you're trying to grow a plant. The process was slow but when you had your eyes in it, you're waiting for each step to be done, you're in awe of what you're witnessing. The unraveling of a beautiful plant until you reach the point to witness the main attraction, the flower. It was like that when I was reading The Glass Arrow. I've witnessed the life of Aya the day of her capture until day by day she became stronger and more courageous girl. I've witness the process of the book--the entire story, without getting tired or bored. It was a wonderful experience.

I really like Aya. She's a faithful and loving daughter and member of the family. Although she never really had a blood connection with her "cousins", she remained strong and determined to be free in order to save her "family". She's innocent and fierce at the same time. I also love the love story. Shall I call it a love story? Yes and no. I don't know. The..thing..was new to me and it was like a breath of a fresh air. It [love story] was lovely and different from the ones I've read or watched before. Like Aya's life, the love story was like a process. A beautiful process that is enjoyable to witness. The rest of the story and journey was the same. 

I truly enjoyed The Glass Arrow. It was told in Aya's POV, but the storytelling was wonderful. It was the kind of dystopian novel that is distinct. I agree with Paula of Her Book Thoughts: the world is not ending. Nobody is special. Nobody has a special gift. There's not insta-love or love triangle. The Glass Arrow need not to be grand with superpowers or an ordinary-turned-special/high-ranking main character or a hot love interest. The way the story was told, the characters, and even the love story was the most special element in this book. It may not be a fantasy and a series like I first thought it was, this book still managed to rock its own identity. Emotional and truly beautiful in its own way. Survival + family + friendship + freedom + fierceness = the epic-ness of The Glass Arrow. Thank you, Kristen Simmons, for writing yet another wonderful novel. I do not regret the moment I decided to read any book from you the moment I read your Article 5 trilogy. And this book seals it.

P.S The reason I thought this book was a fantasy because it's called The Glass Arrow. I thought it had something to do with a, well, magical glass arrow. But I was wrong. I took the title literally. I The glass arrow was something more symbolic in the story. Do you want to know what it means? Read it! :D

*Thanks to Tor Teen for the review copy in exchange of an honest review!



  1. I'm so glad you enjoyed this book, because I'm definitely planning to read it! And the fact that there's no instalove or love triangle is GREAT news. :D The topic is definitely intriguing, but I have a feeling it's going to be hard to read about at some points. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    1. Yes, yes, this is definitely a different yet amazing read. You'll surely enjoy this one as well!

  2. Loved the review! I'm glad you liked this because I was completely blown away when I picked it up--utter love! (I thought it was a fantasy too, so you aren't alone)

    1. Same thoughts here! And I'm glad I'm not the only one assumed some literal meaning. LOL

  3. Happy to hear that you liked it! I loved the Article 5 series, too, so I can't wait to get to this.

    1. Yay! You will enjoy this one just as in Article 5. :D

  4. Good to know that it is a standalone novel which in itself is rare these days. Also good to know that there isn't a love triangle! So tired of those :)

    I believe there is another YA novel coming out this year with a similar premise but I can't think of the title. I ordered a copy of this for my library's teen collection so I'm glad to find out that you liked it.

    1. Yes, this book is definitely like a breath of fresh air. Enjoy reading!


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