Thursday, January 6, 2011

YA book review: All Just Glass by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers (January 11, 2011)

Summary: Sarah Vida has given up everything for love. From a legendary family of vampire-hunting witches, Sarah was raised to never trust a vampire, to never let her guard down, and to avoid all tricky attachments of the heart. But now Sarah IS a vampire—changed by the boy she thought she loved. Her family has forsaken her, and Sarah herself is disgusted by her appetite for blood.

Aida Vida is Sarah's older sister, the good, reliable sibling who
always does her family proud. But when Aida's mother insists that Sarah be found and killed, Aida is given the one assignment that she may not be able to carry out. 

Our review: "When witch-kin is slain, there shall be no safe haven, no higher law to protect the
guilt. Every hunter shall turn her blade to the task, and there shall be no rest until those responsible have been slain." The words from The Rights of Kin come back to haunt Adia Vida, witch and vampire hunter, as she prepares to go hunting. She must now abide by this ancient law, invoked by her own mother, Dominique. Adia's only problem is the witch-kin in question is her baby sister, Sarah. Her sibling was murdered and has risen as one of the walking dead--a vampire, the creatures generations of her family have sworn to destroy. Can good girl Adia follow in her stern mother's footsteps and take the life of her beloved sister?

When Shattered Mirror ended Sarah Vida had confronted her vampire boyfriend Kristopher's violent twin, Nikolas. Years later All Just Glass continues Sarah's story. Killed by Nikolas, Sarah has become what she detests most. As the story begins she is grappling with the remnants of her humanity and her need for liquid nourishment. After her mother calls upon an old Right, Sarah has to decide if the vampires--the twins, Narissa and others who have become her new family--should have to die protecting her because her old family demands her death. Should she just turn herself in and be destroyed? Or can a truce be made between hunters and vampires?

Atwater-Rhodes returns to her Den of Shadows characters and has continued her interesting take on the supernatural. In her world witches can heal and kill, vampires can be nonviolent, but can they truly co-exist? Traditional rules are questioned by both sisters as they try to find their place in their ever changing worlds where sometimes rules need to be broken in order to invoke change. The book takes place over the span of twenty-four hours. Each chapter is a continuation of this timeline told from the alternating perspective of each sister. 

In the beginning there were so many characters tossed at me I realized I'd forgotten some of them from 
Shattered Mirror and had to grab my copy to refresh my memory. New readers may want to catch up on the previous novel to better enjoy this one. A summary or brief  background on each character would have been helpful in the opening chapter since it's been a long time between these books.

All Just Glass was entertaining and I liked the relationship between the two sisters. They were realistically drawn and their determination to do the correct thing was admirable. There was a slight twist at the end I did enjoy. Besides the Vida sisters there were other storylines involving the vampire twins, an intriguing vamp named Jerome, the hunters Zachary and Robert  were more fleshed out, and many secrets were revealed. The author's style, while more mature, is still trademark Atwater-Rhodes. There is a quiet, old fashioned quality to her writing I appreciate. Her style may not be suited for all readers but I find myself enmeshed in her stories. The constant shifting of perspectives played nicely, especially towards the end, and created a ton of tension for the showdown between sisters.

This time around the witches take precedence over the vampires. Fans of the Den of Shadows 
series will like this latest addition.

NOTE: Den of Shadows is a compilation which contains all four novels in one: In the Forests of the Night, Demon in My View, Shattered Mirror and Midnight Predator.

Rating: +++1/2

Favorite excerpt: (From page 176, ARC edition.)
"As if he sensed the right moment, Jake pulled her forward. The rhythm of his heart and blood and breath made a symphony, and she let herself drown in it.

That was his metaphor, not her own, she realized as her fangs pierced his flesh ever so gently. The embrace was intimate as his thoughts wrapped around hers, sharing what he felt: peace, joy, music. His entire world was music, rising and falling in people's voices, in the tremble of lights and colors. He heard music even in silence and was constantly composing it from the sounds of the world. And his greatest art came from this sensation of oneness and sharing and being with eternity.

She felt Nikolas' hands on her shoulders squeeze a warning, but she didn't need it. Instincts compelled her to draw back before she went too far, and she knew she would never risk harming this beautiful, perfect instrument.

She let him go, and he leaned back in his chair, dazed and unharmed.

Sarah blinked and realized there were tears in her eyes."

Cover comment: The starkness of the black and white picture and the flying crows are
 reminiscent of The Den of Shadows Quartet cover (which I adore). The two Vida sisters separated by a knife is cool in concept but doesn't really grab me. I find I don't take the cover models seriously and as a hunter and vampire they need to look seriously powerful. Just OK.

Book source: Good Golly Miss Holly book tours


  1. I was on the fence until I read the exerpt you included. I think I'll give this series a try! Thanks for the review.

  2. Thanks for the great review. I haven't heard much about this one, but it looks like it could be interesting.

  3. Haha, you were much nicer to All Just Glass than I was. I read and loved Amelia's other novels, but I felt like this one was such a steep downgrade from them. I had to force myself to keep reading for the tour. :/ I'm glad that you were able to enjoy it, though. :) Great review!