Monday 25 March 2019

BOOK REVIEW | 'Glass Town Wars' by Celia Rees (****)

Hey guys, and happy Monday! I am pleased to be back today with another book review, this time of Celia Rees' Glass Town Wars, a speculative YA novel with plenty of twists and suprises. As you may have guessed from the title, the world at the heart of the story is inspired by the Brontë's juvenilia, and it was this that made me desperate to read this book (everyone knows how I feel about the Brontës!).

I was kindly sent this book by Pushkin Press in exchange for an honest review :)

Intrigued? Check out the blurb here...

'A beautifully crafted, multilayered story with a gripping adventure at its heart' Melvin Burgess

All these Glass Town intrigues. No matter how long you'd been absent, how far you'd travelled, once you were back, it was as though you'd never been away.

Tom and Augusta are from different places and different times, but they meet in the virtual world to combine forces in battle, to save a kingdom, escape a web of deceit and to find love. In a place where fictions can be truths and truths fictions, learning who to trust is more than friendship, it is about about survival.

Glass Town Wars, inspired by the early writings of the Brontës, is a captivating, magical novel by the renowned Celia Rees.

As soon as I started reading, I was gripped by the writing and this world that Rees conjured right in front of my eyes. This is Glass Town as you've never seen it before: neither ancient nor modern, gritty, intriguing, always glittering. I particularly loved the different parts to the book; the fantasy-esque part where war is on the horizon, the part in the hospital where Tom is in a coma and is being used as a guinea pig for a new gaming device, and Emily Brontë's life in Haworth, where she exists in a place that is permanently in between reality and fantasy. These three parts to the novel brought everything together in a way that was so compelling. I couldn't help but imagine how pleased Emily Brontë would have been to see the world she errected on paper as a child, perceived as a futuristic video game; a cutting-edge life-threatening experiment.

The imagination behind this book was astonishing, at some parts to the point that I got quite lost. As with the original Glass Town stories, the number of people involved and the relations between them was quite confusing at times, though the ending of the book made all of that make sense to me. I think the interweaving stories and intricacy of the storylines only added to the vast complexity of this book, and made this an incredibly rich reading experience for me. Even if I couldn't always keep up with the storyline, this didn't take away from the richness of the story and the detailed, decadent world of Glass Town, a world that I was swiftly swept into. And the descriptions of Emily furiously scribbling her stories onto paper while waiting for the bread to rise only made this frantic, fast-paced world seem all the more realistic. Glass Town Wars is a fantastic adventure story written by a prolific, brilliant author. But what I thought was most skillful about this book was that the story was still, somehow, Emily's. 

Check out Celia Rees here:

Until next time :)


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