The Girl with Glass Feet by Ali Shaw
Published Year: 2009
Subtitle: No Thank You
"Strange things are happening on the remote and snowbound archipelago of St. Hauda’s Land. Magical winged creatures flit around the icy bogland, albino animals hide themselves in the snow-glazed woods, and Ida Maclaird is slowly turning into glass. Ida is an outsider in these parts who has only visited the islands once before. Yet during that one fateful visit the glass transformation began to take hold, and now she has returned in search of a cure."
I really, really wanted to like this one. I went into it expecting to really enjoy it! The last three or four times I went to my local secondhand bookstore, I would find this one on the shelves and pick it up. The blurb was very intriguing (and the cover was obviously gorgeous), but I was hesitant. It sounded like true fantasy, and I wasn't always in the mood for that. Anyway, last time I went, I decided to go for it and finally came home with it. I'm so sad that I was ultimately disappointed!
AS's writing style was very difficult for me to get used to. It was just overall unclear. It took a very long time for information to be transferred (if any information was transferred at all). He has an almost forced eloquence of descriptions that distracted from the plot, and had me skimming through passages. I mean it was beautifully worded, but it felt forced.
The characters were all frustrating in their own (uniquely annoying) ways and felt very unreliable as a whole. Ida was almost a caricature of a person rather than a person. Midas had very little character development whatsoever. I could have done without Carl completely as a character. Henry's fascination with bugs, to be honest, felt the most normal (yeah, I said it, and I can't believe it either?). Midas's friends Gustav and daughter Denver didn't even feel like characters to me, which was a complete shame, as they probably had the most depth.
I also had a really hard a had time with the setting of this book. I thought this novel was going to be high fantasy (set in another world, separate from our own), but it wasn't. It was set on a fictitious set of islands, but it was firmly within our world with our technologies and our rules of physics and our animals. Which 100% messed up my understanding of what was happening in the story.
The plot/fantasy elements were not even remotely explained -- by the end of the book, we aren't given anymore information than what we started with. There were things I felt like really needed to be explained that weren't, and things that maybe didn't need to be explained that were explained. It felt very backwards and upside down. I really wanted to like this book, but I just didn't. I was frustrated with the style, the characters, and the complete lack of information.
1 out of 5 stars.