The Girl with Glass Feet
by Ali Shaw
Before I completely tear this book to shreds, I'd like to just mention that I love the cover. Unfortunately, that's about all I liked.
Midas meets a girl named Ida, who is turning into glass.
Honestly, I can't come up with a better synopsis than that. This book just made me feel stupid. I didn't "get it". But, to be quite honest, I'm not entirely sure there was anything to "get".
The premise is intriguing and promises a sort of contemporary fantasy story. Unfortunately, it reads more like literary fiction. Bad literary fiction. There are endless descriptions that border on purple prose. Stop describing rocks and snow and get on with it, already. All the description felt like unnecessary padding... and I say unnecessary because the story was meaty enough to stand on its own, had the author done it right. He didn't, though. Instead, we're introduced to a number of mysteries that seem to have nothing to do with each other and which, in the end, are never explained. I don't think I've been this pissed off at a book's ending since I read Breaking Dawn (and that really pissed me off). As far as I'm concerned, it's lazy writing to introduce a bunch of mysteries and then not bother to explain any of them.
As for the characters, I wasn't impressed. They all read alike, and the author's habit of not using speech attributions made for some confusion in numerous places. Midas was not especially likable. Heck, nobody was especially likable. Everyone seemed emotionally stunted and odd, with the exception of Denver, a seven-year-old girl with the demeanour of a 37-year-old psychologist. (Don't even get me started on how her hair changed colour between pages 81 and 82. Editors, wake up!) I have a feeling that Midas was little more than a (rather blatant) self-insert... but even that didn't help make him anything more than a one-dimensional twit. Since the characters all acted alike, down to their mannerisms (it seems that the only way one can show distress is to put one's face in one's hands), when one of them went and did something a little different, it was jarring and seemed inconsistent. And, ultimately, when the conclusion came, I'd formed so little attachment to any of the characters that I didn't care.
The premise was a good one, and had it been done well, it could have worked. It's like this book wanted to be The Time Traveler's Wife. But without the chemistry between the characters, some basic answers about the mysterious affliction, and a decent ending that actually resolves something, The Girl with Glass Feet will only ever be a second-class wannabe.
Overall: 1.8 out of 5