Thursday, July 28, 2011

Review - The Glass Demon by Helen Grant

The Glass Demon by Helen Grant

Genre: Young Adult

Rating: 4 stars
Pages: 416

Summary: The first death: Seventeen-year-old Lin Fox finds a body in an orchard. As she backs away in horror, she steps on broken glass.

The second death: Then blood appears on her doorstep – blood, and broken glass.

The third death: Something terrible is found in the cemetery. Shards of broken glass lie by a grave.

Who will be next? As the attacks become more sinister, Lin doesn’t know who to trust. She’s getting closer to the truth behind these chilling discoveries, but with each move the danger deepens. Because someone wants Lin gone – and won’t give up until he’s got rid of her and her family. Forever.

Thoughts: Helen Grant is one of the few YA authors to have gotten her novels reviewed by the mainstream newspapers - The Guardian, The Times, etc. have given her glowing reviews you'll find spotted across the back cover of her books. This unusual sight made me pick up The Glass Demon, and I am pleased to report that the blurbs were right. Helen Grant is pretty fantastic.

Grant took a risk when writing The Glass Demon - even though the novel is narrated by an English girl, it is set in Germany and the majority of the dialogue is in German. (That is, fake!German that we read as English.) Jumping between languages, and all the complications that arise because of it, is part of everyday life for Lin. As someone who grew up bilingual, I adored finally reading a novel in which the protagonist had two languages to choose from. It's unusual in YA fiction - hell, it's unusual in adult fiction too!

US Cover
Then there's atmosphere - something The Glass Demon had in spades. It is set in a small, creepy town in the backwoods of Germany - complete with gothic ruins and forests that the Brothers Grimm grew up in. To that Grant added a series of terrifying deaths and a demonic legend, all written in a light, suspenseful style... the book is scary yet utterly captivating.

As for Lin? Well, she's actually rather ruthless. I simultaneously loathed her and loved her as she made both brilliant and incredibly stupid decisions.  In short, this girl was as realistic as they come - she didn't fall head-over-heels for the "love interest", she had wildly inappropriate thoughts about priests, and had a family that took the fun out of dysfunctional.

And then there's the ending... which just made the book for me. It left room for interpretation while leaving no room for a sequel. In short? Fan-bloody-tastic.

Bottom line? The Glass Demon is a spooky, atmospheric, captivating read - if you are looking for an excellent standalone YA novel, look no further.


  1. "creepy town in the backwoods of Germany - complete with Gothic ruins and forests that the Brothers Grimm grew up in." Wow loving the sound of this one. I am also curious about the bilingual aspect. Terrific review.

  2. Sounds like a great read! I'm definitely going to be picking this one up :)

  3. Great review - I'm really curious about this one now! :) I've added it to my wishlist!

  4. This sounds really great. Thanks for posting this review, I hadn't heard of this book before (though I have been living under a rock all summer). I'm definitely going to check this out ASAP.



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